Department of Chemistry events

Semester 1 & 2 all Departmental Seminars are held in Dainton Building - LT01 unless stated otherwise.

Semester 1 (September - December 2017)


28 September 12:00

Safety Lecture (Level 4)


2 - 6 October 11:00-13:00

Venue:Dainton Building Foyer

ChemSoc book sale

3 October 16:00

Level 1 Safety Briefing

5 October 12:00

CoSHH Lecture

12 October 12:00

Experimenting with Danger

18 October 13:00

Speaker: Prof. Jim Thomas

Charles Stirling Lecture:

Abstract: TBC

19 October 12:00

Speaker: Prof Alessandro Troisi
University of Liverpool
Contact: Dr Natalia Martsinovich

Departmental Seminar:
How charge is transported in organic materials

This talk describes the mechanism of charge transport in organic semiconductors and how this mechanism can be deduced by combining information from experiments, computational models and very simple qualitative models. It focuses on how theory can be used to construct the simplest possible models by gradually removing irrelevant details.


1 November 13:00

Speaker: Prof. Peter Styring

Charles Stirling Lecture:

Abstract: TBC

2 November 12:00

Speaker: Dr Zoe Waller
University of East Anglia

Contact: Prof. Jim Thomas

Departmental Seminar:
Adventures with Four-Stranded DNA

The work in our group is centred around alternative DNA secondary structures. We are particularly interested in a type of 4-stranded DNA which can form in sequences rich in the base cytosine. This talk will cover our recent findings in this field with applications in nanotechnology and biology.

9 November 12:00

Speaker: Dr Maria Paz Muñoz
University of East Anglia

Contact: Prof. Nick Williams and Tony Haynes

Departmental Seminar:
Twists and Turns of Platinum-Allene Chemistry

In this talk our efforts towards understanding the divergent reactivity in Pt-allene systems compared to other metals will be discussed, including the development of a new NMR method (SSTD NMR) to study the fluxional behavior of platinum-allene complexes in solution and examples of the new Pt-allene chemistry recently discovered in our group.

15 November 13:00

Speaker: Dr Peter Portius

Charles Stirling Lecture:

Abstract: TBC

16 November 12:00

Speaker: Prof. Robert Mulvey
University of Strathclyde

Contact: Prof. Patrick Fowler

Departmental Seminar:
Alkali Metal Mediation in Synergistic Synthesis and Catalysis

Recent advances in second generation metallation chemistry for aromatic functionalisation where two metals operate synergistically to perform reactions outside the scope of unimetal systems, and introducing the concepts of trans-metal-trapping and surrogate hydride complexes for hydroelementation catalysis.

16 November 17:30

Presenter: Andrew Szydlo

Fireworks and Waterworks lecture

This lecture is followed by a wine reception.

22 November All Day

Careers Seminar

29 November 13:00

Speaker: Dr Grant Hill

Charles Stirling Lecture:

Abstract: TBC

29 November 15:00

Chemistry Feedback Focus Group

Are you an undergraduate interested in changing the way feedback is managed within the department? Come along to our focus group to have your say!

Sign up through the following link to recieve more information.

30 November 12:00

Speaker: Dr Seb Spain

Level 4 lecture: How to (not) give a talk


7 December 12:00

Speaker: Vas Stavros
University of Warwick

Contact: Dr Grant Hill

Departmental Seminar:
Photon-to-molecule heaters. In search for the optimum sunscreen

UVA and UVB radiation constitutes only a small fraction of the solar irradiance at the surface of the Earth, but its deleterious effects are substantial. To alleviate such photodamage, off-the-shelf suncreams contain chemical filter molecules that absorb the UV radiation and dissipate it as heat. The talk will discuss our “reductionist” approach towards advancing our understanding of chemical filter molecules and their photoprotective properties, at the molecular level. The talk will also discuss future directions in our quest to develop more efficacious sunscreens.

Semester 2 (January - May 2018)


There are currently no events planned for January. For any upcoming events contact the webmaster.


8 February 12:00

Speaker: Dr Gemma-Louise Davies

Contact: Dr Sarah Staniland

Departmental Seminar:
Designing Functional Nanomaterials – from Medical Imaging Agents to Industrial Applications

In this talk, I will describe the unique properties that we can bestow upon nanomaterials using careful design principles in bottom-up synthetic processes. I will describe families of MRI contrast agents, as well as new functional nanocomposites capable of triggering (industrially-important) polymerisations on-demand using an applied magnetic field

22 February 12:00

Speaker: Prof Sharon Ashbrook
University of St Andrews

Contact: Prof. Patrick Fowler

Departmental Seminar:
Disorder in Inorganic Solids: Exploiting Multinuclear NMR Spectroscopy and DFT Calculations

NMR spectroscopy provides an element-specific, sensitive probe of the local environment, enabling detailed information to be extracted. However, in the solid state the vast majority of this information remains unexploited, owing to the challenges associated with obtaining high-resolution spectra and the ease with which these can be interpreted. Recent advances enabling accurate and efficient calculation of NMR parameters in periodic systems have revolutionized the application of such approaches in solid-state NMR spectroscopy, particularly among experimentalists. As NMR is sensitive to the atomic-scale environment, it provides a potentially useful tool for studying disordered materials, and the combination of experiment with first-principles calculations offers a particularly attractive approach.


Wednesday 14 March

Contact: Prof. Julia Weinstein
Sponsored by the EPSRC and the University of Sheffield

Seminars start: 11:00

Official lab opening: 13:30

Ultrafast Laser Spectroscopy Laboratory Opening Seminar

A programme of international speakers has been arranged to celebrate the opening of the Ultrafast Laser Spectrocopy Laboratory:

  • Michael Wasielewski (Northwestern University, USA) - The RSC Physical Organic Chemistry Award Lecture "Self-assembling organic nanostructures for solar energy conversion"
  • David Phillips, FRS (Imperial College London), "Flash photolysis - a historical perspective""
  • Majed Chergui (Ecole Polytechnique Federale Lausanne, Switzerland), "Ultrafast electronic, spin and structural dynamics: X-ray and optical studies"
  • Jenny Clark (University of Sheffield), "Spectroscopy of organic semiconductors from solar cells to polaritons"
  • Francesca Calegari (Center for Free-Electron Laser Science, DESY, Germany), "Attosecond pulse generation and applications on bio-chemically relevant molecules"
  • Adrien Chauvet (University of Sheffield), "Quantum control: shaping light to probe and control chemistry"
  • Andrew Orr-Ewing, FRS (University of Bristol), "Watching chemical reactions with ultrafast infrared spectroscopy"
  • Anthony Parker (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory), "Lasers for science - from chemistry to medicine"

Registration for the event is free, with lunch and refreshments provided. Please register before 8 March 2018.


22 March 12:00

Speaker: Prof Lucy Carpenter
University of York
RSC Tilden Lecture 2017

Contact: Prof. Tony Ryan

Departmental Seminar:

This lecture is in association with the award of a Tilden Prize to Prof Carpenter for her research on the atmospheric chemistry and ocean-air emissions of reactive halogens. In particular, her research group works mainly on the atmospheric chemistry, emissions and impact of processes relevant to the marine "background" atmosphere. She has established the importance of reactive halogen-containing molecules to tropospheric chemistry, and studied their complex chemistry within and on the surface of the oceans.


18 April 13:00

Speaker: Dr Tim Craggs

Charles Stirling Lecture: Chemistry and Biology - one molecule at a time

As a fairly recently appointed lecturer in the department, I will give you a brief overview of my career route into academia and discuss some of the exciting work both going on in my lab now and along the way, involving looking at individual DNA and protein molecules.


3 May 12:00

Speaker: Prof Neil McKeown
The University of Edinburgh

Contact: Prof. Patrick Fowler

Departmental Seminar:
Porous organic materials without a framework

Abstract TBC

10 May 12:00

Speaker: Dr Tim Easun
Cardiff University                        

Contact: Dr Jonanthan Foster

Departmental Seminar:
Dynamic behaviour in metal-organic frameworks

The primary applications of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are often proposed to be in gas storage and separation, and they are indeed highly promising crystalline microporous materials with potential to act as rapid uptake/release sorbents for important gases such as CO2, H2 and CH4. However, increasingly the more niche, specialised properties and functions of well-designed MOFs are gaining traction. A crucial aspect of any advanced study on MOFs is the use of a wide variety of analytical techniques to study the behaviour of both the frameworks and their guests. This talk will briefly describe examples of some of these techniques, including synchrotron-based experiments, and specifically highlight the area of photoresponsive MOFs, describing examples of the different strategies to incorporate and perhaps exploit light-induced structural changes in framework materials.

16 May 14:00 (DB LT1)

Speaker: Dr Stephen P. Thomas
The University of Edinburgh

Contact: Dr Ben Partridge

Departmental Seminar:
Simplifying Earth-abundant metal catalysis

This talk will describe Dr Thomas' efforts to develop methods to allow Earth-abundant metals to be used as easily as 2nd- and 3rd-row transition metal catalysts.

16 May 14:00 (Hicks LT-A)

Speaker: Laura Pilon
PRA World

CDT Industrial Seminar:
Sticky Stuff, Rocket Science and Watching Paint Dry

Dr Laura Pilon will present a summary of her career from her DPhil in polymer synthesis at Sussex University via the diverse areas of adhesives science and energetic materials research at AWE Plc and sustainable chemistry at Pera Technology, to her current role as a Senior Scientist at PRA World Ltd (the Paint Research Association). Her talk will include topics such as getting that first job in industry, making the most of development opportunities, and the differences between working for large and small organisations. Laura will also present a brief introduction into some of the polymer technology applications she has worked on, including an EU-funded sustainable chemistry case study and will finish with a couple of examples of how regulation has driven innovation in the paints industry.

Summer (2018)


There are currently no events planned for June. For any upcoming events contact the webmaster.


6 July 13:00 (DB G11)

Speaker: Dr David Grills
Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA

Contact: Prof. Julia Weinstein

Departmental Seminar:

From the Fundamental Radiation Chemistry of Acetonitrile to Mechanistic Pulse Radiolysis Studies of CO2 Reduction Catalysts

Previous Seminars

For a list of previous seminars from the 2015/2016 academic year, click here.
For a list of previous seminars from the 2016/2017 acadmeic year, click here.