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However, older stories are shown below.

RSC Education award for Dr David WrightDr David Wright

Dr David Wright, chemistry lecturer on the International Foundation Year, has been awarded the 2012 Royal Society of Chemistry Schools Education Award for his enthusiasm, commitment and inspiration in sharing his love of chemistry with students, teachers and technicians leading to an increased understanding of the subject.

David has taught students in the Department for two years and was until recently chemistry teacher at the local Kendrick girls' school.

David states:

'I am surprised but honoured and delighted to receive this award. I taught Chemistry in schools for many years, and after my retirement from Kendrick School I joined the International Foundation Programme at the University of Reading, teaching Chemistry to students from a wide range of countries. I really enjoy working with students from many different cultures and backgrounds, and sharing my enthusiasm for the subject with them. It is also a pleasure to work with colleagues both in IFP and in the University of Reading Chemistry Department, on whose expertise I often draw whilst teaching the Foundation course.'

This is the third RSC Education award won by staff at Reading in the past 3 years.

Professor Ian Mills awarded Ian Millsthe "SUNAMCO" Medal of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics

Ian Mills FRS, Professor Emeritus in Chemistry, has been awarded the "SUNAMCO" medal of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics. This award is for Ian's work over the past fifteen years to re-define the standard units of measurement (the "SI" system) in terms of fundamental constants of nature such as Planck's constant, rather than by reference to man-made artifacts such as the "standard kilogram". The medal was presented to Ian last week at conference in Washington D.C.

Ian is President of the Consultative Committee for Units of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, based near Paris. The new approach to defining units such as the kilogram, the mole and the ampere was recently and unanimously approved by the international Conference on Weights and Measures.

Athena Swan AwardAthena Swan Award



Drs Joanne Elliott and Mariana Ghosh recently collected an Athena SWAN Bronze award, on behalf of the School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy, at a celebration lunch held on 3 May 2012.




Class of 2012 GraduateBecky Swanston Graduation 2012


On Thursday 5th July, our Final Year MChem and BSc Students graduated at a ceremony held in the Great Hall, London Road which was followed afterwards by a reception held in the Chemistry Department.  There was also a prize giving ceremony to recognise the students who have excelled during the course of their studies.

                                                                                            Becky Swanston      

                                                                    INCO Prize - Top Student in Inorganic Chemistry

Russell Balster and Pradip Songara Prizes 2012









                           Pradip Songara                                                  Russell Balster

               Paul Holt Prize - Top Student in                   CEMAS Prize - Most Improved 
                       Organic Chemistry                                           Chemistry Student

The Edward Guggenheim Prize for the Top Student in Physical Chemistry went to Gavin Chiu and the Paul Beswick Memorial Prize for Best Performance in MSc in Chemical Research went to Claire Boyles.

The academic and technical staff congratulate our new graduates on their success and wish them good luck in their future careers.

Chemistry Vacation StudentsVacation Students



Welcome to our third year undergraduates Daniel Cook (centre) and Patrick McIntyre (second left) who started today as vacation students with Professor Christine Cardin (left) and Dr John Brazier, of the School of Pharmacy (right). The studentships are funded by UROP and by EPSRC, and the students will be following up Professor Cardin's recent Nature Chemistry paper on ruthenium 'light-switch' complexes binding to DNA.

PG Research Day 2012 PG Research Day 2012 - Best Talk Prize

The Department of Chemistry Annual Postgraduate Research Day was held on 26th June. Nine students gave talks, and a further twelve presented posters. The judges, Prof David Thornthwaite and Dr Katherine Thompson from Unilever, Prof Harry Heaney from Loughborough, and Dr Chris Nicklin from Diamond Light Source, all commented on the high standards they had seen, in both the research and its presentation, and on the wide range of research being carried out in the department.

Best Presentation Prize

PG Research Day 2012 - Best Poster PrizeThe prizes for best talk and best poster were awarded to Aaron Acton (supervisor: Dr Wayne Hayes) and Lewis Hart (supervisors: Prof Howard Colquhoun and Dr Wayne Hayes), respectively, for their presentations on "Novel PEG-based dendrimers for use in combination therapy" and "Supramolecular polymers for inkjet printing applications". Congratulations to them both, and to all who presented.

Thanks to our sponsors, Unilever, Agilent Technologies and the SCI, the judges and Catherine O'Hare for helping to make the day a success.

EPSRC funding for the Nanostructured Polymer and Biopolymer Team

Wayne Hayes has secured funding from EPSRC for a 3-year long project to study the properties and engineering performance of supramolecular polyurethanes and their composites. This collaborative grant is in conjunction with Dr Clive Siviour and Professor Paul Buckley from the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford. The collaboration involves support for two post-doctoral research fellows, one at Oxford and Reading, respectively, to design and synthesise novel polyurethanes followed by assessment of the physical characteristics of these materials. Beneficially, the project features the input of an overseas visiting researcher, Dr Cristina Prisacariu from the Romanian Academy's Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry 'Petru Poni' at Iasi and also an Industrial Advisory Panel - these parties will provide key input to the evaluation of the polymers and polymer composites in terms of their adhesive and coatings performance.

ILL PhD Clip Session Presentation Award 2012

Federica Sebastiani (jointly supervised by Dr Christian Pfrang and Dr Richard Campbell) won the PhD Clip Session Presentation Award at Institut Laue Langevin, ILL, in Grenoble, France on 16th April 2012. Federica's talk was entitled 'Neutron Reflectometry Applied to Atmospheric Night-time Oxidation' and the award was presented to her by the director of ILL, Professor Andrew Harrison. Federica just completed her first year of a joint PhD studentship between ILL and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Reading which applies neutron reflectometry and ellipsometry to the study of oxidation processes at the air-water interface of atmospheric aerosols. Federica's project harvests the unique capabilities of ILL's FIGARO instrument and builds on previous work led by Dr Pfrang: Sebastiani








The programme of the clip session can be found at:

Professor Laurence Harwood Laurence Harwood Photoselected to take part in "I'm a Scientist, Get me out of here!"

Professor Harwood was selected from a large number of scientists who applied for a place. I'm a Scientist is running from 12th-23rd March 2012!  This is an X-factor style competition. The students talk to scientists online for 2 weeks and vote for their favourite scientist, in a nail-biting science show down. This event is largely sponsored by the Wellcome Trust

During the event, the scientists will spend a few hours answering students' questions each day, during the day and evening. This will vary according to how busy the zone is. Professor Harwood is in the "Energy Zone" and the full list of all 8 zones in March is available at I'm a Scientist get me out of here.

In each zone there are 5 scientists, competing with 20 classes of students per zone, usually this will mean up to 400 students. About half of the time will be spent answering questions submitted on the web-site. The other half of the time will be spent having live text chats with students in the zone. Chats are are booked by the teachers.

This is a "Big Brother" type event and Professor Harwood will be battling to stay in.  

Please log in from time to time and see how he is getting on!

Professor George MarstonGeorge Marston provides expert commentary on exciting research on the first ever direct kinetic study of the Criegee intermediate

Professor George Marston was recently asked to provide expert commentary on exciting research on the first ever direct kinetic study of the Criegee intermediate, a key intermediate generated in the reactions of ozone with alkenes. These reactions play a variety of critical roles in atmospheric chemistry, providing an important dark source of hydroxyl radicals and also generating secondary organic aerosol. Professor Marston has carried out experimental and theoretical studies of these reactions for over 15 years. His article (An Elusive Intermediate Gets Caught, Science 335, 178 (2012)) can be found at

A Press Release by Laurence Harwoodthe European Journal of Organic Chemistry cites Professor Laurence Harwood and his team in their latest americium-selective ligand work

"The stakes remain high, the rewards even greater"

Please click on the link below for further information

Press Release by the European Journal of Organic Chemistry

and also to view the front cover of the Journal

EurJOC Feb 2012 Front Cover


Red Kite Elena Marelli Red Kite Crystallographers Poster PrizeCrystallographers Meeting - First Prize in Poster Competition

Elena Marelli (supervised by Dr Ann Chippindale) won first prize in the poster competition for her submission 'Breaking up and getting back together: transition-metal cyanides in action' presented at the inaugural 'Red Kite Crystallographers Meeting' held recently in Oxford. The group, which has student and academic members from Reading, Oxford, ISIS and Diamond, was founded to enable local crystallographers to meet and forge collaborative links.



Professor Ian Hamley accepts Royal Society award

Listen to the interview with Professor Ian Hamley  Ian Hamley

Ian Hamley, Professor of Physical Chemistry, has been awarded a prestigious Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.

The award, announced by the Royal Society today (15 December), provides a five-year funding boost for Professor Hamley, as part of a scheme to keep Britain's top research scientists in the UK. The Royal Society, the world's oldest science academy, makes the awards, which are funded jointly by the Wolfson Foundation, a charitable trust supporting the sciences, and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Professor Hamley is planning to use the award to continue his groundbreaking research into peptides, tiny parts of proteins that occur naturally and have an important biological function in the human body.

His research into the structure and functions of peptides has given researchers new insights into potential treatments for Alzheimer's disease, a degenerative and incurable form of dementia that afflicts millions of people worldwide.

Professor Hamley's team at the Department of Chemistry has also found a form of peptide that can stimulate the formation of collagen, part of the structure of the skin, leading to hopes that peptide-based treatments could be formulated to treat wounds, or in cosmetic applications as an anti-wrinkle cream.

Professor Hamley said he was delighted to be offered the award.

"It's great to be recognised. We've been working in the area for a number of years and this is quite a boost. It's a measure of esteem and prestige which should help us going forward in our interactions with industry and in applying for funding from research councils," he said.

He added that while a cure for Alzheimer's might still be some way off, he and colleagues are confident that other applications for their discoveries, including treatments for burns, post-operative wounds and eye injuries, as well as a new anti-wrinkle cream, could be created in the next two to three years.

"It's a very big challenge. We're probably a long way off before someone comes up with a cure for Alzheimer's disease but we would like to think we can make some contributions to that, giving some pointers in how you design some molecules that could do that. We've come up with some quite interesting compounds which look as if they could be very useful." RSC Wolfson Merit Award

Bowen Cup and RSC Analytical Chemistry PrizeBecky Swanston Bowen Cup 2011

Becky Swanston, Part 3 BSc Chemistry student, has won the "Bowen Cup" and Royal Society of Chemistry Prize for Analytical Chemistry. The Bowen Cup was inaugurated by Dr Humphry Bowen in 1988 and is awarded annually together with the RSC prize to the student gaining the top marks in part 2 Analytical Chemistry. The Chemistry Department at Reading is allocated a Royal Society of Chemistry prize as recognition of the quantity and quality of its analytical chemistry teaching. The picture shows Becky receiving the Bowen Cup from Dr Matthew Almond, School Director of Teaching and Learning.

Reading MChem Chemistry Graduate Nominated for the European Science and Technology Education (SET) Award in ChemistryDan Wood at SET awards dinner

Daniel Wood (MChem Chemistry 2011) has been shortlisted into the final three for the prestigious SET award in Chemistry. The SET award is Europe's most important Chemistry education award and therefore being shortlisted represents a significant achievement for both Daniel and the Department. Daniel was shortlisted based upon his academic achievements and more specifically his project work under the supervision of Dr Wayne Hayes, Head of Department, which focussed on novel hydrogelators which are capable of purifying contaminated water.

On 23rd September, Daniel presented the results of his project work to a panel of leading UK academics and industrial chemists at the Royal Society of Chemistry before attending the awards dinner and ceremony later that evening with Dr Hayes. The Department is extremely proud of Daniel's achievements and wishes him every success in his PhD studies at Cambridge University. Well done Dan!

Supported by Industry, and leading scientific and technical institutions, the SET awards recognise the exceptional achievements of both students and universities throughout the UK. Reading Chemistry Department already have a previous SET award winner, Katherine Barrow, who won the World Leadership Forum Award for the Best Chemistry Student in 2003. 

CEMAS PrizeCemas Prize 2011

Stephen Street has won the CEMAS prize for 2011 for the most improved performance during his 4-year MChem degree. Stephen graduated with a first class honours degree. The photograph shows Stephen receiving his award at CEMAS - an analytical chemistry company based in Ascot (

From left to right: Michael Eustace (CEMAS), Dr Alan Jutsum (Managing Director, CEMAS), Stephen Street, Dr Matthew Almond (Deputy Head of Chemistry Department).

Award for best research publication from the Life Sciences Faculty for 2010Best Research Publication 2010

Professor Howard Colquhoun and Professor Christine Cardin jointly received an award for the best research publication of 2010 by the Faculty of Life Sciences and Professor Colquhoun is shown receiving the award on their behalf.

Their paper was: Sequence-selective assembly of tweezer-molecules on linear templates enables frameshift-reading of sequence information".

Z. Zhu, C.J. Cardin, Y. Gan and H.M. Colquhoun, Nature Chem., 2010, 2, 653-660

Class of 2011 Graduate

On July 7th our Final Year MChem and BSc students graduated in the Great Hall on the London Road Campus and then returned to a reception in the Department to attend the annual prize giving ceremony to recognise the students who have excelled during the course of their studies.

The academic and technical staff congratulate our new graduates on their success and wish them good luck in their future careers.

  • INCO Prize for the Top Student in Inorganic Chemistry:- Emma Evans (BSc (Hons) Chemistry)

Helen Evans To Student Prize 2011









                                                                                              Emma Evans with Dr Wayne Hayes

  • Paul Holt Prize for the Top Organic  Student:- Daniel Wood (MChem Chemistry)

Daniel Wood - Paul Holt Prize 2011









                                                                                             Daniel Wood with Dr Wayne Hayes

  • Edward Guggenheim Prize for the Top Physical Chemistry Student:- Jocelyn Peach (MChem Chemistry with a Year in Industry)

Jocelyn Peach Best Phys Chem Student 2011









                                                                                           Jocelyn Peach with Dr Wayne Hayes

  • CEMAS Prize for the Most Improved Student:- Steven Street (MChem Chemistry)

Steven Street Most Improved Student 2011









                                                                                          Steven Street with Dr Wayne Hayes

  • Paul Beswick Memorial Prize for the Top MSc Student:- Emily Sonnex (MSc in Chemical Research)

Emily Sonnex Top MSc Student 2011









                                                                                    Emily Sonnex with Dr Matthew Almond

Department of Chemistry Research Day

The Department of Chemistry Annual Research Day was heldResearch Day Presentation Prize on 28th June. Thirteen students gave talks, and a further fifteen presented posters. The judges were Professor David Thornthwaite and Dr Katherine Thompson from Unilever, Professor Harry Heaney from Loughborough, and Dr Chris Nicklin from the Diamond Synchrotron Facility. The judges all commented on the high standards they had seen, in both the research and its presentation, and on the wide range
of research being carried out in the department. 
                                                                                                     Best Presentation Prize

The prizes for best talk and Research Day Poster Prizebest poster were awarded to
Anna Kutner (supervisor: Dr Matthew Almond) and Liam Deacon (supervisor: Dr Roger Bennett) respectively for their presentations on "Characterisation of soils containing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) using in-situ and rapid laboratory techniques" and "the polar surfaces of Zinc Oxide".

Congratulations to them both, and to all who presented, and thanks to all research students, the Judges, and Judy Butler
for helping to make the day a success.                                                  Best Poster Prize

National Final of a Chemistry Competition held in the Department

SAC2011 Photo

The national final of the Royal Society of Chemistry's Schools Analyst Competition was hosted by the Chemistry Department on 21 June 2011. Over 50 Year 12 students from schools across the UK enjoyed a challenging day of analytical chemistry which included using state-of-the-art equipment in the University's Chemical Analysis facility (CAF). The competition was won by the team from Sir John Dean's College (Northwich), with Arnold School (Blackpool) coming second and North Halifax Grammar School (Halifax) thirdRSC logo (small).

Jack Hoffman, a member of the winning team, said: "We can't quite believe it but are delighted to have won! The day was challenging but lots of fun and we learnt a lot. Reading's facilities were hugely impressive, especially the CAF which is a very inspiring place. The competition has definitely made me think about studying chemistry at higher education, hopefully at somewhere like Reading."

The teams had to use their chemical knowledge and practical skills to solve an analytical chemistry problem devised by the Department of Chemistry. The 'Purple Solution' scenario involved identifying the cause of a contamination problem on an industrial site where several companies were potentially to blame.SCI Logo (small and trimmed)

Organised by Dr. Joanne Elliott and supported by a large team of staff and students, the event was sponsored by the Analytical Chemistry Trust Fund, the University's Chemical Analysis Facility and the Thames and Kennet Branch of the Society of Chemical Industry.

For more information, see the press release or download the poster prepared by two Year 10 work experience pupils.

Chemistry Researcher wins Prize for Oral Presentation given at the 2011 Great Western Electrochemistry Photo of Qiang ZengMeeting in Bath

Dr Qiang Zeng from the research team Inorganic Materials: Structure and Properties, won a prize for one of the best three of eighteen oral presentations at the 2011 Great Western Electrochemistry Meeting in Bath (6th June) for his lecture "Spectro-Electrochemical Studies of Rhenium Imidazole Complexes". This research has been carried out in the Spectroelectrochemistry Laboratory under the supervision of Prof. Franti Hartl. These compounds serve as protein surface labels used to investigate relaxation dynamics of long-range electron transfer reactions in proteins.

Successes of our present and former students at the British Crystallographic Association Spring Meeting in KeeleBCA Prizewinners CJD

Nick Funnell - runner-up in the Young Crystallographers prize lecture competition for his talk  'Using pressure to direct polymorph formation'. Nick was Prof Christine Cardin's MChem project student in the 2007-8 academic year and is just finishing a PhD in Edinburgh
James Hall - Rigaku poster prize for his poster 'Crystal structure of a chiral metal complex bound to DNA'. James is a first year postgraduate funded by Reading and Diamond, and was elected to the Young Crystallographers committee. He carried out this work jointly with Professor Cardin since last December.
Claire Murray - Durward Cruickshank Young Crystallographers' Prize for the most active young crystallographer. Claire is a previous poster prizewinner, is now the Vice-Chair of the Young Crystallographers group, and was nominated for her energetic outreach work. She is a second year postgraduate jointly funded by Reading and Diamond.
Elena Marelli - Cryst Eng Comm poster prize for her poster 'breaking up and getting back together : transition metal cyanides in action'. Elena is supervised by Drs Ann Chippindale and Simon Hibble.

Dr Elizabeth Page , Senior Lecturer in Chemistry Education in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Reading, has been awarded the 2010 RSC Education Award for her "unstinting work in the promotion of chemistry to the wider community and her commitment in supporting chemistry teachers"Elizabeth Page Education Award

Elizabeth is pictured here with President of the RSC Professor David Philips.

Elizabeth's specific interest is in the secondary-tertiary transition and she has developed a successful support programme for students, significantly improving retention rates and performance. With other colleagues in the Department she was instrumental in establishing the 'Chemistry Teachers' Centre' in 2000. The aims of this group are to enthuse and inspire young people in chemistry and support teachers in achieving this. The group has grown to constitute over 200 members and has become a valuable network for local chemistry teachers who benefit from the various curriculum-support activities and outreach events organised by the Chemistry Department at Reading.

More recently Elizabeth has led many activities in chemistry education and outreach, some through the RSC Chemistry for our Future initiative. She was awarded a University Teaching Fellowship in 2009. She is currently leading a project to promote independent learning skills through undergraduate chemistry teaching."

CRC Achivement in Chemistry Award

The CRC press "Acheivement in Chemistry" prize Pradip Songara CRC Achievement Awardfor 2011 has been won by Pradip Songara for his performance in part 2 practical work. Pradip is a Part 3 MChem Chemistry with a Year in Industry student currently carrying out a one-year industrial placement at GlaxoSmithKline. The prize consists of a certificate and a copy of the CRC Press "Handbook of Chemistry and Physics". This prize has been awarded at a range of international universities for over 50 years. The photograph shows Pradip receiving his prize from Dr Matthew Almond, Deputy Head of Department and School Director of Teaching and Learning.

Bowen Cup for Analytical Chemistry 2010

The Bowen Cup for Analytical Chemistry has been wonBowen Cup this year by Hayley Lynton-Jenkins currently a part 3 student on the BSc Chemistry with Forensic Analysis degree programme. The cup was donated by Dr Humphry Bowen when he retired in 1986 and is awarded annually for the best performance in part 2 analytical chemistry. This year the cup was presented by Dr Lisa Jutsum from CEM Analytical Services in Ascot. Lisa is a graduate of this department having obtained her BSc and PhD degrees here.

The photograph shows Lisa on the left and Hayley on the right.

Becky Swanston wins Ede and Ravenscroft prize.

Chemistry student Becky Swanston hasEde & Ravenscroft Prize 2010 been awarded the Ede and Ravenscroft prize for the top performance of any student in the Faculty of Life Sciences in the part 1 examination in 2010. Becky averaged 86 % in her examinations, had A grades in all of her modules and scored over 90% in 40 of her 120 credits. The photograph shows Becky receiving a certificate commemorating her outstanding achievement from Dr Wayne Hayes, Head of the Department of Chemistry.

Teaching Excellence in the Department of Chemistry

Staff in the Department of Chemistry have Teaching Excellence Award 2009-2010recently been recognised for their excellence in undergraduate teaching. Dr Matthew Almond was voted by current students as making the "Most Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Life Sciences in 2009-10". Dr Joanne Elliott has also won the award for "Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning" in the School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy. Both Dr Almond and Dr Elizabeth Page currently hold presitigious University Teaching Fellowships.

These awards demonstrate the importance that staff within the Department of Chemistry give to undergraduate teaching and the very high quality of that teaching. The photograph shows Dr Almond receiving his award from Professor Gordon Marshall, University Vice-Chancellor, at a recent awards ceremony.

Cemas Prize 2010Cemas Prize Photo

"The CEMAS prize for the most improved performance in finals examinations in 2010 has been awarded to Naida Sehovic. CEMAS is an analytical chemistry company located in Ascot who employ a number of our graduates amd sponsor several of our PhD and MSc students. The photograph shows Naida receiving her prize from Dr Alan Jutsum (Managing Director of CEMAS) with on the left Michael Eustace (CEMAS) and on the right Dr Matthew Almond (Department of Chemistry)"

The Department of Chemistry hosts filming of historic chemistry experiments for new BBC science series!

On 4th September, the Chemistry Dr John BaumDepartment hosted a TV production team from the BBC Science Unit, who are making a series of programmes on the 'History of the Chemical Elements' for BBC4. Dr John Baum (Chief Chemistry Technician) and Dr David Chappell (Postdoctoral Fellow in the Polymer Research Group) re-created experiments of historical importance in the development of industrial chemistry. These experiments included the synthesis of 'Prussian Blue', one of the very first man-made pigments, and the production of nylon - still a hugely important polymer - first made by the BBC Dave Chappellworld-famous American chemist, Wallace H. Carothers in 1936. This new BBC series aims to bring to life the stories of the pioneering scientists who mastered the art of chemical synthesis, so ultimately giving the world a cornucopia of new and useful substances. John and David worked with the film crew and with the presenters, Professor Jim al Khalili and Professor Allan Chapman, in re-creating these enormously significant and historically ground-breaking experiments. We look forward to seeing the results of the filming early next year on BBC4!

Chemists win Team Teaching Award

A team of staff from the Department of Chemistry, along with an industrial colleague and a local school teacher have won a University award for team teaching. Shown here are the three academic staff members, Dr Andy Russell, Dr John McKendrick and Liz Tracey who, along with Prof. Alan Naylor from AstraZeneca and Dr David Wright from Kendrick School, submitted their new module in drug synthesis to the University teaching and learning awards competition.

This award recognises the best team teaching initiatives from across all the University's departments and divisions. Award Winnning TeamThis team of chemists won the prestigious award for their module that uses team work and problem-based learning to solve a real-life challenge in drug synthesis. Prof. Naylor as the industrial contact is there to advise students on the issues facing the pharmaceutical industry when posed with such problems and to judge the students' efforts against real constraints. Drs Russell and McKendrick are responsible for teaching medicinal chemistry and drug design in the department and Liz Tracey set up the Wikis by which team members contribute and share ideas on line. The module equips students with many of the skills required by employers in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The Department of Chemistry at Reading recognises the importance of problem solving at all levels in their courses and have worked with local schools to develop problem solving techniques in high-flying A level students from Kendrick and other places. The module equips students with many of the skills required by employers in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

The Department of Chemistry has a strong reputation for team teaching.

In 2008 a team of staff won the University team-teaching award for the final year project in Chemistry Education offered by the Chemistry Education Project StudentsDepartment of Chemistry. This initiative enables students to carry out their project in a local secondary school gaining first hand experience of teaching chemistry at this level. Students carry out a special project which may involve educational research, developing materials or resources for the school or arranging an educational visit to the University. The project is part of the national Undergraduate Ambassadors' Scheme designed to attract more students into teaching STEM subjects. Shown below is the group of students who carried out Chemistry Education projects in 2008 - half of whom went on to become chemistry teachers.

The Department of Chemistry was one of the first Forensic Science in the LabDepartments to win a team teaching award when in 2006 when the team responsible for the newly developed Chemistry with Forensic Analysis degree were recognised for their contributions to the success of the new programme. Experts in Forensic Science and Analytical Chemistry were brought together in the teaching of Forensic Analysis in a BSc degree programme which is proving to be very popular. Following the success of the three year degree course the Department is now planning to offer an MChem in Chemistry with Forensic Analysis for those students serious about making a career in Forensics.

Chemical Analysis Facility

Four staff in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Reading have been awarded grants totalling almost £600,000 in the latest EPSRC funding round.  Professor Ian Hamley and Drs Ann Chippindale, Roger Bennett and Georg Held were awarded these grants from the EPSRC Next Generation Facility User Panel. This brings income from research grants to the Department to over £2.5M in the last few months, which is in addition to the £1M raised from industry. The research funding further enhances Reading Chemistry’s status with over 90% of the Department’s research rated as Internationally Recognised. This is likely to be boosted even higher by the new Chemical Analysis Facility, currently being installed in the Department. This £4.5M investment by the University will provide a world-class facility for use in research and training undergraduate students and will firmly establish Reading as a centre of excellence in analytical chemistry.


"Diamond's beamline furthers research into Alzheimer's disease.

As reported in the University Bulletin, a team of scientists from the Department of Chemistry became the first researchers to use the Diamond Researchlatest experimental station at the UK's national synchrotron facility. Prof Ian Hamley, Head of Physical Chemistry, and his team used the circular dichroism (CD) station at the Diamond Light Source to further their studies into the causes of diseases such as Alzheimer's and CJD.

One of the main contributing causes of Alzheimer's disease and CJD is thought to be the formation of hard, insoluble plaques between the neurons in the brain. In a healthy brain, protein fragments including the so-called amyloid beta protein are broken down and eliminated but in the case of Alzheimer's disease and CJD, these structural protein fragments (fibrils) accumulate to form troublesome amyloid plaques.

Prof. Hamley and his team have synthesised samples of short peptides (fragments of proteins), based on the human sequence, modifying their design with the aim of enabling them to bind to the fibrils in the brain and disrupt the formation of plaques. The team used the station to investigate the structure of short protein fragments,and the research plays a fundamental role in understanding the function of these short fragments and the role they may play in such diseases" 


The University has announced plans to invest 4.5 million pounds on the development of a Chemical Analysis Facility. The Chemical Analysis Facility will be developed within the confines of the pre-existing Chemistry and Pharmacy building and the money will be spent on refurbishment of the allocated space, on upgrading current analytical equipment and on the purchase of new instrumentation. This development will greatly aid interdisciplinary and cross disciplinary science research at the University and will also be of benefit to undergraduate students as they progress through their degree programmes. The new facility is expected to take about 18 months to complete and work has already begun.

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