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Department Newsletters


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Head of Department Newsletter - july 2017

Communication, in a large department like ours, can be difficult. We all get too many emails. My aim in this and subsequent newsletters will be to provide you with headlines about things you might like to know about, with links to more detailed information where possible. I will try to do this every couple of months. This should not take you long to scan; I hope that it will improve communication across the department.

Departmental success

At the end of a busy academic year I wanted to thank everyone in the department for their continuing efforts to maintain this as an internationally recognised institution in which to work, teach and undertake research.  In the recent QS international rankings the Department of Chemistry was ranked 3rd in the world, and the University was awarded Gold status in the UK Teaching Excellent Framework (TEF).  A number of our academic staff received prizes from the Royal Society of Chemistry and four were promoted. Click here to read more.

Interdisciplinary Lectureships

The School of Physical Sciences, in a new initiative, has created nine interdisciplinary lectureships, each to be held jointly in two departments within the school. I am pleased to announce we have been able to appoint three interdisciplinary lecturers who will start their new positions in Michaelmas term. Please join me in welcoming Anja, Hugo and Robert to the department. They will give a departmental seminar to introduce their area of science on Friday, 27 October 2017.

Anja Schmidt

Anja will join us as lecturer in Climate Modelling, jointly with the Department of Geography. She is an Academic Research Fellow at the School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, and combines expertise in atmospheric science and volcanology to advance the current understanding of volcanic impacts and hazards.

Hugo Bronstein

Hugo will take on the role as lecturer in Functional Materials, joint with the Physics Department. He is a lecturer and ERC starting grant holder at the UCL. His research focuses on how to synthesize conjugated organic materials for use in next generation electronic devices.

Robert Jack

Robert is currently a reader and an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellow at the University of Bath, and will join us as lecturer in Statistical Mechanics & Soft Matter, joint with DAMTP. His research brings together statistical mechanics and soft matter, including fundamental aspects of non-equilibrium processes.

Building update

The most obvious changes to our building infrastructure is the construction of the Chemistry of Health building. Currently the plant room is built and internal walls and mechanical services are being installed. The building remains on track and is scheduled to be completed by mid April 2018. 


The department has secured a grant of £1.9 million from the EPSRC to purchase a new transmission electron microscope (TEM).  The department's existing TEM is fast approaching the end of its life.  The new instrument will be available not only to researchers in the Department of Chemistry, but also to groups from other departments. The microscope is expected to be commissioned by mid-2018.

In addition to the TEM grant, the department has secured £386k from the School of Physical Sciences as a contribution towards replacing equipment in CBC, NMR and the Teaching Laboratories as part of a programme of upgrading ageing equipment.


My gratitude to the website development team for making this possible and for all the updates on the departmental website. Feedback on the format is encouraged! Please send comments to if you are having any problems reading this newsletter on your device.