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Durham University

Department of Chemistry

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Chancellor visits Chemistry

(19 November 2009)

Durham University Chancellor, Bill Bryson, with the Chemistry Head of Department, Prof John SO Evans (L), and academic staff Dr JRR Verlet (one from R) and Dr E Wrede (R), in one of the Department's laser spectroscopy research laboratories.

The Department was extremely pleased to welcome the University's Chancellor, Bill Bryson, to Chemistry for a tour of research and teaching facilities, and to meet with many of its members.

During his short tour, the Chancellor was introduced to a range of academic staff, learning about current research in materials synthesis and characterisation (Prassides, Evans and Howard), photovoltaic devices (Clarke), polymer scaffolds for biological applications (Cameron), and the use of femtosecond laser spectroscopy to probe the excited states of molecules (Verlet and Wrede).

In the undergraduate teaching laboratory, third-year inorganic chemistry students demonstrated the superconducting materials that they had synthesised the day before, explained the theory of superconductivity and highlighted their awareness of research in this particular area.

The visit ended with informal conversations over coffee, including discussions with undergraduate project students, postgraduates, post-doctoral researchers, technical and support staff about the key contributions that each make to the life of the Department.

The Chancellor said he was incredibly impressed by the enthusiasm and passion for science that had been demonstrated by all whom he had met.