Press Releases

University chemistry conference sparks future ideas for surface science – University of Reading

Release Date : 06 April 2009

Nearly two hundred delegates from the UK, Europe and North America gathered at the University of Reading recently, to attend a national surface science conference.

Surface science is at the interface between Chemistry, Physics and Materials Science and covers all the physical and chemical processes taking place at surfaces. This includes everyday applications such as state-of-the-art gas sensors, catalytic converters in vehicles or bio-diesel production plants.

Organised by academics from the University of Reading's Department of Chemistry and the Institute of Physics, the conference highlighted the need for a greater understanding of the fundamental processes involved in these applications. This will drive the development of cleaner, greener and more efficient solutions to a wide range of challenges facing society today.

The event was also an opportunity for staff and students from the Department of Chemistry to showcase their research. At present, Reading academics are working on understanding how small molecules bind to surfaces in order to make industrial processes cleaner and more efficient, as well as building nanostructures for use in nanoelectronics applications.

Central to this year's meeting was a session in honour of Professor Sir David King, former Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government and a renowned surface scientist, who celebrates his 70th birthday later this year. Reading academic and Chair of the conference Dr Georg Held previously worked with Sir David before his appointment in the Department of Chemistry at Reading.

He said: "I am delighted at the success of the conference. It once again demonstrates that the surface science community in the UK is both active and vibrant with exciting technological developments being made all over the country. This was the 17th and largest meeting of the conference series which has been running for over 30 years, indicative of the strength of surface science research in the UK and its growing technological importance in society "


For all University of Reading media enquiries please contact Alex Brannen, Media Relations Manager, tel 0118 378 7388 or email

Notes for Editors:

The University of Reading is ranked as one of the UK's top research-intensive universities. The quality and diversity of the University's research and teaching is recognised internationally as one of the top 200 universities in the world.

The Department of Chemistry at the University of Reading is a thriving and vibrant department and central to the University's Science Strategy. Its research falls into four main areas: Nanoscience and Materials, Synthetic Methodology, Chemical Biology and Earth System's Chemistry. The Department has strong links to many other departments across the campus. These include Pharmacy, Food Biosciences, Meteorology and Archaeology, as well as University research centres such as the BioCentre Facility and the Centre for Advanced Microscopy.


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