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Department of Chemistry


Tim Williamson wins Science Council award

Congratulations to Tim Williamson who won the RSciTech category of the CPD (continuing professional development) Award. The awarding panel felt that the report was an excellent example of good CPD; comprehensive, thorough and demonstrating a broad range of activity and engagement. Tim has been invited to attend the upcoming CPD Workshop in Covent Garden on 23rd September to accept the award.

(2 Sep 2015)

Fuel Cells Get Cool

Work from Ivana Evans’ group on materials for solid oxide fuel cells has been highlighted in the Institut Laue Langevin’s report “Neutrons and Energy 2015” The article on page 8 of the brochure describes experimental and computational studies on materials which show high oxide ion conductivities at low temperature. These properties are needed for solid oxide fuel cells which convert chemical energy directly to electrical energy. 

(26 Aug 2015) » More about Fuel Cells Get Cool

Researcher Mobility Grant for Hannah Bolt

Hannah Bolt a 2nd year PhD student working with Dr Steven Cobb (Chemistry) and Dr Paul Denny (Medicine, Pharmacy and Health) has been awarded a Researcher Mobility Grant from The Royal Society of Chemistry and the Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector (BMCS). The grant will fund a research placement for Hannah enabling her to work at the Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (USA) to work with Prof. Ronald Zuckermann. Hannah’s work will focus on the synthesis of a peptoid library for structure activity studies against the neglected tropical disease Leishmaniasis.

(26 Aug 2015)

Building blocks for new materials

Work from John Evans' group features on the cover of “Inorganic Chemistry” this August. The paper is the culmination of three publications in ACS journals this year which show how it’s possible to create controlled transition metal arrays in a family of oxychalcogenide materials related to the iron arsenide superconductors. The first two publications described how the apparently complex superstructures of these materials could be rationalised using (3+1)D or superspace crystallography, leading to the idea of an “infinitely adaptive” family of materials. The latest paper describes 60 new compositions showing how the resulting “building block” ideas can be used to create new materials.

(6 Aug 2015) » More about Building blocks for new materials

Chemists examine pigments in Gospels

Scientists from Durham and Northumbria Universities have used Raman spectroscopy to examine the St Augustine Gospels at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. They were thought to have been written in the 6th Century in Italy and possibly brought to Britain by St Augustine of Canterbury himself. This manuscript is the oldest surviving Latin illustrated Gospel book and one of the oldest European books in existence. 

(10 Jul 2015) » More about Chemists examine pigments in Gospels

Durham Chemistry wins Teamwork Innovation Award 2015

The Procter & Gamble and Durham University Partnership has won the Royal Society of Chemistry’s 2015 Teamwork in Innovation Award consisting of £4,000 and a trophy. This was given in recognition of the multidisciplinary, collaborative and high-impact research leading to product innovation.

(12 May 2015) » More about Durham Chemistry wins Teamwork Innovation Award 2015

Adams Poster Prizewinners 2015

Congratulations to Christian Wells (1st prize), Rowan von Spreckelsen (2nd) and Sean Boardman in winning the D.B. Adams Poster prizes. These awards, inaugurated in 2014, are made annually in memory of Dr David Brinley Adams (Durham: BSc, 1967 – 1970, PhD, 1970 – 1973, Senior Demonstrator, 1973 – 1975) in recognition of academic excellence in the MChem poster competition.

(3 Jul 2015)

Chemistry World article by Sam Lear

Congratulations to Sam Lear, a PhD student in the Cobb group, who was a runner up in the recent RSC World Science Communication Competition. Sam’s 800 word article based on this year’s topic: chemistry and art secured him second place in the final which was recently held at Burlington house. Sam’s article “Perfumery: the molecular art form” is available to read in Chemistry World (May issue).

(21 May 2015)

Durham Chemistry tops the rankings

Durham Chemistry has risen to second position in the 2016 Complete University Guide, securing its position as a top department for the study of chemistry, providing our students with an excellent academic environment for research-led study with other bright minds leading to excellent employability prospects. Durham Chemistry’s rise to second position now places it ahead of Oxford Chemistry (in third place). Durham Chemistry students have higher entry qualifications than any other British university except Cambridge, and our final year students are amongst the most satisfied students with the quality of their teaching and learning experience. Durham Chemistry students are taught by academic staff whose research is world-leading, and has the greatest societal impact of any UK Chemistry department, as measured by REF2014.


(29 Apr 2015) » More about Durham Chemistry tops the rankings