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University of Bath

UOA 18 - Chemistry

RA5a: Research environment and esteem


Chemistry at Bath is conducting internationally-leading research across a broad front and providing excellent education with strong research links for all our students.  RAE2008 presents a timely opportunity to highlight the progress made in achieving our current position. 

1.1       Progress Since RAE 2001

Chemistry at Bath was rated 4A (24.5 FTE) in RAE2001. The strategic objectives identified in RAE2001 have all been met or exceeded. Over the RAE2008 period, with until recently a similar number of staff, we have seen:

·         A substantial increase in research awards, particularly from peer-reviewed Research Council grants including a 3.5-fold increase in annual spend and a better than four-fold increase in our EPSRC portfolio (£11.3M; EPSRC-website November 2007).

·         A threefold increase in publications together with a sustained increase in quality; staff published an average of 37 papers during the period.

·         A marked increase in the population of postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers.

·         Significant enhancement of collaborative research – both within the university and with national and international partners.

·         Substantial investment in research infrastructure (buildings and equipment).

·         Enhanced external recognition evidenced by national and international committee membership and invited lectures.

With the exception of some of the five early career staff appointed in 2007, ALL academic staff in the department have: 

·         obtained external funding as PI

·         supervised research students and/or PDRAs

·         given plenary/invited lectures 

·         published in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals

The expansion of our portfolio is demonstrated (Table 1) by the substantial increase in peer-reviewed external research income and spend. This has allowed an increase in research students from 50 to 71 and postdoctoral workers from 16 to 26 since 2001.

Table 1: Charting progress in RAE2008 period









Grant Portfolio, £M








Research Spend, £M








The volume and quality of outputs has also grown substantially. For RAE2008, 1055 papers were published by staff in the Department with 225 in journals with impact factor > 4.0.  

Indicators of the growing esteem and strength of current staff include the number of invited lectures (see 6) and the election of 60% of staff to the current EPSRC Peer Review College.  Nine Royal Society (RS) Fellowships and one Senior and one Advanced EPRSC Fellowships have been held in the department since 2001.

In parallel with this expansion in research, undergraduate programmes have seen an impressive growth in recruitment (from 63 in 2001 to 107 in 2007) as well as in entry standards (average A-level grades of ABB for 2007 entrants). This gives a pool of talented students from which research students can be recruited so that our research school is sustainable in the future.

The increase in research funding and quality of output since RAE2001 demonstrates a successful, dynamic department on a strong upward curve which can now claim a place among the leading group of UK chemistry departments.

1.2       Future Strategy and Objectives

The major departmental aim for the 2008 – 2014 period is to build on recent progress. We will reinforce current strengths as well as expanding our activities. Specific targets for the latter are:  

  • Sustainable chemistry:  Exploiting our strengths in catalysis, the recent formation of a University Research Centre (jointly with Chemical Engineering, led by Davidson) in Sustainable Chemical Technology will provide a focus to extend work (involving nine Chemistry staff) in using sustainable resources, energy and materials. Our coordination of three Supergen consortia and the appointment of two RCUK academic fellows in this area will facilitate rapid progress.
  • Computational chemistry:  Building on our existing strengths, the priority here will be an appointment in computational biological chemistry.
  • Biological Chemistry:  This is an area where we currently have high-quality activity but that can be significantly enhanced by collaboration and by building on the contacts with Biology and Biochemistry (Bull, Jenkins, Edler) and Pharmacy (Price) that we currently have.  Our new lecturer in organic chemistry (Lewis) and RS URF (Pascu) will be key here.  The joint (Chemistry and Pharmacy) appointment to a visiting professorship of Raymond Schinazi, Director of the Centre for AIDS Research at Emory University, who has been pivotal in the development of successful anti-HIV and anti-hepatitis drugs, will also boost this area.
  • Infrastructure:  Short-term targets for improvements include solid-state NMR, rotating-anode XRD, biological mass spectrometry and MALDI, and further high-performance computational facilities.


2.1       Promotion of Research

The University Research Committee sets the overall strategy for departments.  It monitors and reviews research performance and allocates resources for strategic investment, an example being the strategic appointment of Islam to a new chair. 

Research and Innovation Services provide fully-integrated support for all forms of research, innovation and knowledge transfer.  Support to Chemistry includes the formation of Atlas Genetics, a lifesciences enterprise company formed as a spin-out from the Department (Jenkins, Frost, Peter) and several successful KTP programmes: Smart Holograms (James, Bull), Petlon Polymers (Davidson), Molecular Sensing (Frost, Jenkins). The University’s recent partnership with IP Group plc, which has particular expertise in chemistry-based spin-outs, will enhance future prospects for commercial exploitation of research from the Department.

2.2       Departmental Structure and Research Groupings

Following review after RAE2001, the Department chose to maintain a group structure of inorganic, organic, physical and computational to allow coherent management of the Department. The Heads of Group, Chairs of Research and Teaching committees, together with the Head of Department, form an Executive Committee with overall management responsibility. Coordination of research is overseen by the Research Committee, with representation from across the Department. This committee is charged with ensuring an active research culture in the Department and encouraging collaboration between groups. Collaborative research is a feature of the Department with virtually all staff obtaining funding and publishing papers with colleagues from a different group (see 4.2). That many of these collaborations evolve naturally and are self-sustaining is evidence of the strong collegiate ethos in Chemistry at Bath.

2.3       Research groups and selected highlights     

Inorganic Chemistry is led by Raithby, and comprises Burrows, Davidson, Hill, Köhn, Mahon, Molloy Pascu and Whittlesey. Research spans a number of areas with particular strengths in coordination chemistry, organometallic chemistry, catalysis and structural characterisation using diffraction methods.

Paul Raithby is an internationally-recognised crystallographer who was awarded a prestigious EPSRC Senior Fellowship (2006-2011) to develop time-resolved crystallographic methods. He coordinated a successful bid for a single crystal-diffraction beamline (£3.5M) at the new Diamond synchrotron and is at the forefront of developing time-resolved crystallography.  For example, he carried out the first crystal determination in Europe of a molecule in a metastable state (RA2:Raithby#1). He has over 700 research publications and is in the top 50 of most cited UK chemists.

Andrew Burrows is developing supramolecular network structures held together by coordination and hydrogen bonds.  He recently demonstrated that cations generated by solvent hydrolysis are able to template the formation of anionic metal-organic frameworks. (RA2:Burrows#1) and has been awarded two EPSRC Discipline Hopping fellowships to advance this chemistry.

Matthew Davidson is developing new benign catalysts for oxygen-rich feedstocks and leads a major DTI/LINK sustainable technologies initiative. His work on the ring-opening polymerisation of cyclic esters using Group 4 catalysts and his studies on new fluoride sensors are highly cited as is his work on weak intermolecular interactions, exemplified by the modeling of vitamin E antioxidants (RA2:Davidson#3). Davidson’s collaboration with Johnson Matthey (approaching £1M) led to the award of a RS Industry Fellowship (2000-2004).    

Michael Hill was appointed to Bath in August 2007.  His work spans molecular catalysis to materials synthesis for electronic applications. He has pioneered the application of heavier group 2 elements, in particular calcium, in catalysis (RA2:Hill#3). His group also discovered the first example of a catenated group 13 complex (RA2:Hill#3) which promises to be the forerunner of a new family of molecular materials.

Randolf Köhn has produced new catalysts for alkene polymerisation centred around paramagnetic transition metal complexes by elegantly developing the chemistry of triazacyclohexane ligands.  He has built up a strong collaboration with BASF who have made substantial contributions to his research funding.  In addition, he has developed new NMR spectroscopic techniques to probe the structures of paramagnetic complexes. (RA2:Köhn#1).      
Mary Mahon manages the crystallography facilities and has research interests in structure determination, with particular emphasis on supramolecular arrays. (RA2:Mahon#2). During RAE2008 she has published 188 papers that have attracted 1339 citations and her work underpins much of the synthetic chemistry in the Department.  

Kieran Molloy continues his innovative work in synthesizing novel precursors for chemical vapour deposition of functional films and inorganic polymers and is particularly well known for developing aerosol-assisted CVD for thin film deposition. (RA2:Molloy#1&2). His extensive collaborations with industry include Dow Corning, Pilkington, Unilever, EpiChem and Trolex Sensors. 

Sofia Pascu brought her RS URF to Bath in October 2007.  Her work involves encapsulating metal-containing species to prepare drug delivery systems for medical imaging and therapy (RA2:Pascu#2). She has established a number of important interdisciplinary collaborations, notably with Gray's Cancer Institute, and her work has featured on the front cover of Dalton Transactions twice in 2007.

Michael Whittlesey has been applying novel C-H activation processes to catalysis. In particular he has made important contributions on the bond activation chemistry of late transition metal complexes bearing N-heterocyclic carbenes (RA2:Whittlesey#2). Whittlesey has also been central in coordinating the impressive recent development of the NMR infrastructure at Bath.   

Organic Chemistry is led by J. Williams; other members are Bull, Carbery, Cox, Frost, Lewis, and James. Research areas focus on catalysis of organic reactions, including enantioselective synthesis.  Complementary interests are in chemical sensing and bioorganic chemistry.  

Jonathan Williams is an acknowledged leader in novel catalytic approaches for organic synthesis, recognised by five national awards and prizes including the Corday-Morgan Medal in June 2001.  In particular, he has developed several research areas in asymmetric catalysis including the 'borrowing hydrogen' strategy for the synthesis of C-C and C-N bonds (RA2:J.Williams#2). His top 10 papers have over 1700 citations.  

Steven Bull held a RS Industrial Research Fellowship (2001-2005). He has made significant contributions in several areas including the stereochemical promiscuity of enzymes and new asymmetric methodologies in organic chemistry. This has led to the publication of over 50 papers in the RAE period. The development of new pseudo C3 symmetric ligands for controlling the propeller chirality of transition metal complexes was highlighted in Science (RA2:Bull#4), whilst collaborative work with biochemists has revealed a metabolic pathway in Archaea that represents a new paradigm in evolutionary biology.

David Carbery was appointed to a Lectureship in December 2005 following post-doctoral positions at Imperial and Oxford and is rapidly establishing a reputation for novel approaches to organocatalysis. He has already established a group of 5 PhD co-workers and obtained funding for two PDRAs. 

Jonathan Cox’s work spans the chemical/biological interface. Of particular note is his innovative work on the first exploration of using DNA as a material for very long term (hundreds of years and beyond) data storage (RA2:Cox#3).  He has also developed novel educational tools for visualization of DNA.

Christopher Frost has broad interests in the field of catalysis applied to organic synthesis.  He has recently developed new tandem catalytic methods for asymmetric synthesis (RA2:Frost#1) and an innovative approach to site-selective peptide modification (funded by an EPSRC Adventurous Chemistry Award).  His collaborative work at the interface with chemical engineering has led to the development of new magnetic fluid materials for homogeneous catalysis and the award of two EPSRC Discipline Hopping fellowships.

Tony James has built on the work performed during a Royal Society URF (1995-2003). He has widely acknowledged expertise in supramolecular chemistry and chemical sensing, in particular glucose sensing systems using boronic acids, an important example being enantioselective fluorescent sensors for sugar acids (RA2:James#2). He has several international collaborations including a visiting professorship at the University of Tokyo.  He leads a DTI funded project in collaboration with Glysure and Gilden Photonics worth £1.2M

Simon Lewis joined the department in October 2007 following postdoctoral work at Harvard with Prof. Andrew Myers.  He has brought to the department expertise in the synthesis of natural products and the development of novel methodologies in organic synthesis.

Physical Chemistry is led by Peter and comprises Cameron, Edler, Jenkins, Jones, Marken, Price and Roser. Research focuses on condensed phase physical chemistry, with major themes in electrochemical systems and polymer/colloid chemistry. Research potential in physical chemistry has been enhanced by recruitment (2007) of Cameron and Jones as RCUK Fellows, with matching support from the University of £250k over five years. 

Laurie Peter has a strong international presence based on his work on the underlying physical and chemical processes in dye-sensitized solar cells (RA2:Peter#1).  With a current EPSRC grant portfolio of over £1.2M, he leads the SUPERGEN Excitonic Solar cell Consortium and is member of the PV 21 SUPERGEN Consortium (recently renewed for a further 4 years). He has acted as international advisor to the US Department of Energy and the Swedish Department of Energy during on-site reviews of their funded laboratories.  

Petra Cameron will be using her RCUK Academic Fellowship to develop a biophysical research programme, initially based around enzyme–mediated photoelectrochemistry building on the work that won her a von Humboldt fellowship. (RA2:Cameron#1).

Karen Edler held a Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship from 2000-2004.  Her research in hierarchical structure formation in self-assembling systems has shown previously unsuspected links between the self-assembly of inorganic materials and polymeric materials in the presence of surfactants which has enabled development of a new class of surfactant-templated polymer membrane (RA2:Edler#1,#3,#4).  This has led directly to the award of five subsequent grants worth £729k.

Toby Jenkins came to Bath following a von Humboldt Fellowship at the Max Plank Institute, Mainz. His research focuses on using electrochemistry and surface plasmon resonance for biosensing and characterising biomembranes and biological interfaces. He is involved in a pan-European project with groups in Germany, Switzerland and Spain to develop novel antibacterial polymers. (RA2:Jenkins#1) which has recently attracted substantial EU-FP7 funding. 

Matthew Jones will build on his previous experience to encompass mesoporous materials, heterogeneous catalysis and solid-state NMR during his RCUK Fellowship work with the aim of understanding and applying new catalysts in sustainable chemistry, including enantioselective heterogeneous catalysis (RA2:Jones#3). 

Frank Marken is highly active in the area of interfacial kinetics with 119 publications since 2001. Particular interests are electrochemical reactions at mesoporous electrodes, kinetics in the presence of microwaves, multi-phase and biological redox systems, micro-reactor electrosynthesis and multi-layer sensors. A highlight of his work is the microwave activation of the electrooxidation of glucose in alkaline media (RA2:Marken#3).

Gareth Price is currently Head of Department. He has interests in the use of high-intensity ultrasound in chemistry and the preparation and characterisation of polymers.  Achievements from an international collaboration (Australia, USA, Japan) in the former include the elucidation of frequency effects in sonoluminescence quenching and sonochemistry which has been used to develop a new interpretive model. (RA2:Price#1,3).   

Stephen Roser is applying optical, neutron and X-ray techniques to 'difficult' substrates such as liquids and amorphous materials to develop membrane mimics to investigate controlled inclusion and asymmetrical structures. (RA2:Roser#1).  He has been granted extensive use of central facilities (ILL, ESRF).  

Computational Chemistry is led by I. Williams; other members are Greig, Islam and Parker.Computational Chemistry at Bath was highlighted in the RAE2001 as a particular strength and has been enhanced by the strategic appointment of Islamto a Chair. Greig’s recent appointment following the award of a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship has strengthened activity in the modelling of biochemical reaction mechanisms. 

Ian Williams is best known for studies of transition states in chemical and biochemical reaction mechanisms, the origins of catalysis, and the interpretation of isotope effects. His modelling has challenged established paradigms and textbook assumptions regarding, for example, kinetic isotope effects in enzyme-catalysed methyl transfer and the existence of a-lactones in solution (RA2:Williams#1).

Ian Greig works primarily in computational biomolecular simulation, having strong interests in novel mechanisms of glycosidase action with implications for rational drug design. During his time at Bath he has already established an international collaboration (RA2:Greig#2) investigating the mechanism and inhibition of glycosyl hydrolase enzymes.

Saiful Islam has over 50 peer-reviewed papers since 2001 in the area of atomic-scale studies of energy materials, particularly novel oxides for fuel cells and lithium batteries. Highlights include his work on cooperative mechanisms of fast-ion conduction in gallium-based oxides published in Nature Materials (RA2:Islam#2). He is PI on the EPSRC Supergen consortium on Energy Storage (£2.1M total).

Stephen Parker has over 75 publications (30 with non-UK co-authors) since 2001 on developing and applying atomistic modelling of the surface properties of oxides and minerals. Much of the recent focus has been on studying the solid-solution interface at the atomic-level, as demonstrated in a recent highlight on the adsorption of water and metal ions on calcite surfaces (RA2:Parker#1).


3.1       Research Income and Studentships

The substantial expansion of the Department’s research income summarized in Table 1 and section 1.1, provides a real measure of Bath’s recent success. The increase in our EPSRC portfolio (£11.3M, Nov. 2007 from £2.5M in 2002) now places Bath 12th in the UK for this performance indicator, ahead of a number of larger Departments.  There has been a linked increase in PDRA and PhD numbers, supported primarily through peer-reviewed external funding. This success is continuing with nine grants worth in total over £2.5M from EPSRC being announced in the period August 1 – October 31. These, together with industrial support for the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technology and central facilities development funding for 2008, we have already (Nov. 2007) secured 12 PhD studentships for October 2008 in addition to our DTA account.

3.2       Provision for PhD Students and PDRAs

The Department provides excellent facilities for researchers who are all housed in modern research laboratories. All have dedicated write-up areas separate from their laboratory space with access to comprehensive IT facilities.

Training for PhD students is provided by the Department (e.g. analytical methods, research planning, thesis and report writing, safety) and by institution-wide courses (e.g. information retrieval skills, career management, PDP).  Much of this is provided through “Roberts funding”, coordinated by the Faculty of Science. Attendance is compulsory at the programme of around 30 departmental research seminars each year.  Committees at Faculty and University level are responsible for ensuring the quality of postgraduate research and education.

Written and oral reporting is encouraged and PhD students give two Departmental research seminars, at the end of years 1 and 3, the latter forming a symposium also attended by industrial sponsors. Departmental funding is available to allow students to present their work at national and international meetings. 

PhD student progress is monitored by the supervisor and a departmentally nominated mentor, by formal written reports and oral examinations. Formal reports from the supervisor / mentor to the Faculty Board of Studies are required at the 6, 12, 24 and 30 month stages of the PhD to monitor satisfactory progress. 

PDRAs have access to all university staff development opportunities and take part in an annual appraisal.  A dedicated member of the Careers Service specialises in dealing with contract research staff.

3.3       Track Record of PG and PDRA Employment

One University aim is “to produce research of practical benefit to stakeholders”. One indicator is the record for the employment of PDRA and PhD students with approximately equal numbers going into industry or postdoctoral research. Several PhD and PDRAs have gone on to academic positions in this RAE period, including: Goicoechea (Oxford), Patmore (Sheffield), Clarke (St Andrews), Hill (Imperial/Bath), Goldar (CEA, France), Cameron (Bath), Neylon (Southampton), O'Hara (Strathclyde), de Leeuw (UCL), Jones (Bath). Ooi, Harrington and Male have been appointed staff-crystallographers in other UK chemistry departments, reflecting the excellent training provided (Raithby, Mahon).  Employers of our PhD graduates include Qinetiq, GSK, Johnson Matthey, Astra-Zeneca, AWE, Pfizer, Unilever, Syngenta, Sterix, Dow Corning, and IBM.

3.4       Staffing Policy

The strategy for recruitment within Chemistry is to identify outstanding individuals with strong and innovative research profiles that complement and augment our existing strengths.  We then aim to provide the facilities and encouragement for them to thrive and perform at the highest levels. 

Evidence that our strategy has been successful is given by the progression and promotion of staff (Molloy awarded a personal Chair; Frost, James, Weller promoted to Reader; Bull, Burrows, Cox, Edler, Frost, Mahon, Roser, Whittlesey, Willis and Köhn promoted to Senior Lecturer). Academic promotions at all levels at Bath involve at least four external referees. Four RS Fellowship holders (Edler, Hill, James, Weller) were also appointed to permanent positions in the RAE2008 period. The balanced distribution of staff with respect to age and seniority has allowed us to appoint academics at all levels including internationally-recognised scientists (Islam, Hill), established researchers with rapidly developing profiles (Marken) and early-career staff with outstanding potential (Cameron, Carbery, Greig, Jones, Lewis, Pascu). 

The University moved swiftly to appoint high quality replacements for the small number of Category B staff which ensured that our progress and momentum has been maintained. Fisher’s move to Cambridge (2004) enabled the appointment of Marken (from Loughborough) to a Senior Lectureship, complementing our strengths in electrochemistry;  Weller and Willis moved to Oxford in 2007 and were replaced by Hill (Imperial College) to maintain activity in organometallic chemistry and Lewis (Harvard) who will broaden organic chemistry into the synthesis of natural products. 

The age profile (see Table 2) points to sustainability for the foreseeable future; mid-career academics who can act as role models for younger colleagues are set to move into senior roles, allowing the younger staff the necessary freedom to develop their careers. A particularly encouraging aspect of the current age profile of the Department is that there will be minimal disruption of the core research effort through retirement of key staff over the next 10 years. This indicates a period of stable and sustainable research growth in the medium term, which will be enhanced by the additional impetus from recent early career appointments.

Table 2:  Age profile at 31 July 2007










No. of staff










3.4.1    Early career support

The Department has consistently provided substantial start-up funds for new academics to equip laboratories together with a guaranteed departmental PhD studentship. They are assigned an experienced mentor to assist them in the early stages of their careers and attend a structured introductory programme which includes elements on research such as proposal writing, EPSRC mock panels and leading research teams.  Their research performance is reviewed in annual appraisals with Heads of Group. A reduced teaching commitment is given to assist new staff in establishing their research.  

3.4.2    Sabbaticals.

Research sabbatical leave is promoted widely within the University with additional opportunities arising from external funders. Examples within this RAE period include Price who spent 6 months (2002) at the University of Melbourne (RA2:Price#1,3) and I. Williams who spent 6 months (2004) at the University of Castellon (RA2:I.Williams#1).  The University has recently announced an enhanced sabbatical scheme and we expect staff to make use of this, increasing our international profile.


4.1       Relationship with Industry

Our industrial collaborators, as users of our research, are key stakeholders. The inaugural award of the AZ/GSK/Pfizer Process Chemistry Prize (J. Williams) provides testament to the quality and relevance of our research. Direct collaborations include three KTPs and one spin-out described in 2.1. Many projects are funded directly or through industrial CASE e.g. Frost, GSK, Syngenta; Bull, AZ, Celltech;Parker, AWE; Peter Corus, Johnson Matthey; Marken, Unilever; Carbery, GSK, Organon; Köhn  BASF; James Smart Holograms, Glysure; Price & Molloy Dow Corning, Molloy, Epichem, Pilkington; Jenkins NPL; Price JET. Many of these relationships are long standing over 6-10 years e.g. Frost (Pfizer), Molloy (Unilever), J. Williams (AZ, GSK). Particularly notable are the substantial funding from Synetix/Johnson Matthey of close to £1M to Davidson for research into polyoxygenates (e.g. RA2:Davidson#1) and to James from Beckmann-Coulter (£670k) for novel glucose sensors (e.g. RA2:James#4). 19 patent applications have been filed in the RAE2008 period in conjunction with industrial partners, e.g. James (Beckman Coulter, electrochemical saccharide sensors), Köhn (BASF, polymerisation catalysts), Frost (Syngenta, indium-based catalysts), Davidson (Johnson Matthey, polymerisation catalysts). 

4.2       Collaborative research

There is an extensive track record of research collaborations, many of which have attracted significant peer-reviewed funding and are producing internationally recognised work. Three departmental large equipment bids have been also funded (EPSRC, total £1.24M). 

4.2.1    Internal to Bath

Selected examples of research collaborations within Chemistry at Bath together with a measure of their success include: 

·         Adventurous Catalysis Research (Frost/Weller/J.Williams/Whittlesey, EPSRC £251k, 5 papers)

·         Network Structures (Burrows/Mahon, Burrows/Frost, EPSRC £220k, Leverhulme £65k, 10 papers,) 

·         Borrowing Hydrogen (Whittlesey/J.Williams EPSRC £780k, 15 papers,), 

·         Catalyst design for Polyurethane Synthesis (I. Williams/Davidson Synetix, £224k) 

·         Nanostructured Hydrogel Films (Price/Edler, EPSRC £305k)

·         C3-Symmetric Ligands (Davidson/Bull GSK-CASE, 5 papers)

·         Boron Sensors (Davidson/James, Beckmann Coulter CASE award, 2 papers)

Strong collaborations with other Departments within the University, totalling £3.1M, are exemplified by:

Chemical Engineering 

·         Engineered Functional Materials (Frost/Price/Lapkin/Plucinski, EPSRC £105k, £650k);

·         Bioengineering Reactors (Davidson/Lapkin, EPSRC, £208k)

·         Network Structures (Burrows/Mahon/Rigby, EPSRC, £125k)

·         Hydrogen storage on TiO2 (Parker/Gordeev/Lapkin, EPSRC, £63k) 


·         Magnetic Mesostructures (Peter/Bending, EPSRC, £461k).

·         Shuttle Nanoelectronics (Raithby/Gordeev/Bending, EPSRC £288k); 

·         Photovoltaic Cells (Peter/Walker, EPSRC, £361k) 


  • Biocatalysis Research (Bull/Danson, BBSRC, £230k; 498k).

4.2.2    External to Bath (selected major collaborative grants)

Expertise within Chemistry at Bath is recognised by the substantial number of collaborations in place with other institutions (totalling over £19M over RAE2008). Selected highlights include:

·         Peter leads the SUPERGEN Excitonic Solar Cells Consortium (Edinburgh, Cambridge, Imperial £1.1M total).  

·         Islam leads the SUPERGEN Energy Storage Consortium (St Andrews, Surrey, Strathclyde, £2.1M total). 

·         Peter is co-investigator on SUPERGEN PV Materials (Durham, Bangor, Southampton, Northumbria, Loughborough, £3.1M total). This has now been extended with funding of £4.9M (£800k to Bath)

·         Davidson is academic lead on EPSRC/DTI New Routes to Sustainable Polyoxygenates (Bangor, Johnson Matthey, Hyperlast, National Starch, £1.2M total)

·         Islam collaborates with several research groups (Kent, Imperial, Surrey, RAL, Birmingham) on grants totalling £970k involved with energy materials.

·         Edler leads a ESF EUROCORES Self Organisation of Nanostructures Program (€510k)

·         Raithby leads time-resolved Photocrystallography (with Nottingham, £205k to Bath) 

·         Molloy has a very successful and long-standing collaboration on CVD with Parkin UCL (£850k in total). 

·         Davidson was co-investigator on EPSRC grant for development of D19 as a Fast Monochromatic Diffractometer (£1.6M with Durham, Keele, ILL, Grenoble) 

·         Davidson holds two EPSRC Ideas Factory awards (total grants £1M, jointly with Queens Belfast, Nottingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Oxford, Leeds, Reading and Strathclyde)

·         Burrows and Frost each have 2 EPSRC Discipline Hopping fellowships with Chemical Engineering Departments (Cambridge, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Birmingham, £172k). 

4.3       Visitors to Chemistry at Bath 

Our research expertise has attracted over 40 visitors on extended trips, the majority coming on externally funded fellowships; this is in addition to exchanges of PhD students. Longer stays (> 1 month) have included Chisholm FRS (Leverhulme Visiting Professor, Ohio State); Fehlner (Leverhulme Visiting Professor, Notre Dame); Turner (5 year RS North American Fellowship, Davidson); Fyles (University of Victoria), LuoKun (Chinese Metallurgical Institute); Gauszy (Universite Clemont Ferrand); Lee (Korea), Kim (Korea Polytech Univ.), Sakurai (Japan) and Andrews (Monash),  

4.4       Public Dissemination of Research

Additional signs of a sustainable and active research environment are interactions with the wider community through research-based public engagement activities. Examples include:

·       Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition; Glasgow Science Exhibition (Davidson/Islam /Peter)

·       Queen’s Science day at Buckingham Palace  (Davidson / Islam / Peter)

·       Techfest Mumbai (Davidson)

·       British Association Festival of Science York 2007 (Davidson / Islam / Roser)

·       Lectures to Bath Café Scientific (Davidson / Peter)

·       Public Lectures at Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution (Davidson / Islam / Peter / Raithby) 


5.1       Physical Infrastructure

Chemistry research at Bath takes place in a bespoke building opened in 1999 with funding from University sources. The University further underlined its commitment to Chemistry by funding construction of a second building (£3.8M) opened in 2003 to house teaching laboratories and additional research facilities. Further modification of the research building to accommodate expansion has been funded by the university: two large previously undeveloped laboratories have been fitted out (~£300k) with partial support from the Wolfson foundation (£105k). Additional infrastructure modifications have taken place to support major instrumentation grants, such as new high field NMR spectrometers and a new mass spectrometry suite. 

5.2       Research Infrastructure

Chemistry has benefited from nearly £2M investment in new equipment over the RAE period, the majority from peer-reviewed EPSRC grants.  Examples include:

NMR facilities are excellent for both routine, hands-on use, and specialised experiments. Since 2001, 250/300/400/500 MHz instruments have been installed (£740k) replacing the single machine available in 2001. The University has funded construction of dedicated NMR suites to house these instruments. 

Mass spectrometry is provided by two LC-Q-ToF instruments (£500k) installed in January 2007. One of these is interfaced to an inert-atmosphere glove box to provide unique capability for mass spectrometric analysis of air-sensitive compounds. The second machine provides HPLC-MS capability. A GC-MS has also been installed. 

X-ray crystallography facilities comprise two Nonius kappa-CCD X-ray diffractometers each equipped with an Oxford Cryosystems cooling system, one with a Helix; and a Bruker D8 Advance powder diffractometer.

SAXSess / Small Angle X-ray Scattering System for Materials Chemistry (value £250k, funded by EPSRC/Panalytical/University of Bath) is central to research on nanostructured materials. 

Computational capabilities and infrastructure have been enhanced with funding from the University (£170k) and the BBSRC (£77k) for an 80-processor Opteron computer-cluster and other equipment to support computational chemistry.  Members of the group are also major stakeholders in the University’s new high-powered computing facility for research.

Other research infrastructure improvements (ca. £600k) such as UV-visible spectrometers with integrating sphere, gas and liquid chromatographs, high throughput screening equipment, fluorimeters, cytometers, potentiostats, gold metal evaporators, surface plasmon resonance systems, spectroelectrochemical equipment and Langmuir troughs have been funded by the Royal Society and/or by industrial grants. State-of-the-art solvent purification facilities, inert gas circuits as well as numerous smaller items of equipment have been provided from University strategic funds. 

Library. The University’s commitment towards Chemistry support is reflected in its annual spend (£120k p.a. in 2006) in addition to the £45k p.a. the library spends on CAS SciFinder and Beilstein. 

5.3       Support Staff Appointments

The University has recognized the important contribution to our research of skilled support staff by the creation of the following new posts during RAE2008 for academic-related specialists. Dr John Lowe supports NMR, Dr Anneke Lubben (recruited from Bruker) oversees Mass Spectrometry and Dr Gabriele Kociok-Köhn supports XRD. As well as coordinating the services, these staff play a vital role in training research students. IT support to all researchers is provided by Dr Mark Russell. A workshop was purpose-built within Chemistry to accommodate the appointment of an outstanding glassblower, Philip Jones, who has won several international prizes for his work. Two teaching fellows have also been appointed (Drs Reilly and Fossey).  Their support for teaching frees up valuable research time for academic staff; they also make a research contribution, Fossey having published two papers and attracted independent funding.


16 members of staff are currently peer-elected members of the EPSRC College. In addition to over 190 keynote invited lectures at international conferences (see examples below), staff have delivered well over 370 invited seminars at universities or companies. Nine staff hold editorial positions on international journals, 10 staff sit on policy-making committees (e.g. EPSRC Strategic Advisory Team). Most staff have reviewed proposals for international funding bodies as well as UK funding organisations. ALL staff other than early career appointees have been external examiners for higher degrees, a significant number of these in overseas institutions, with over 170 external PhD examinations during the RAE2008 period.

In the following, “keynote lecture” indicates a major invited or plenary lecture at an international conference with attendance funded by the organisers.

Bull    Senior Lecturer, Organic

·         Two visiting Professorships/Fellowships (Blaise Pascal/Sydney)

·         Scientific consultant (Avecia Lifesciences/Aldrich)

·         Forty invited lectures  (e.g. Cambridge, UCLA )

·         Tetrahedron Asymmetry Award for most cited paper in 2003-2006

Burrows   Senior Lecturer, Inorganic

·         Eight keynote lectures (e.g. 16th International Conference of Chemistry/Chemical Engineering, Havana, 2006)) 

·         Editorial board, Transition Metal Chemistry

·         Author of three invited reviews on crystal engineering (e.g. Structure and Bonding)

·         Two Discipline Hopping Fellowships at the Chemistry/Chemical Engineering interface.

Cameron (early career, Feb 2007)    RCUK Fellow 

·         Three invited talks (e.g. Max Planck Institute, Wiesbaden)

·         Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (2005, Mainz, Germany)

·         Reviewer for five international journals (including J. Phys. Chem.)

Carbery (early career, Dec 2005)   Lecturer, Organic

·         Two invited lectures (e.g. Gregynog Synthesis Workshop) 

·         Pfizer Young Chemists Bursary

·         SCI Young Chemists Panel member

·         Three CASE awards (Organon, GSK)

Cox    Senior Lecturer, Organic

·         8 Invited lectures (e.g. Dept. of Zoology, Oxford) 

·         Holds two patent applications

·         Consultant with Invicta Plastics

·         Organiser of public lecture series attracting two Nobel prize winners

Davidson  Professor, Inorganic

·         22 invited lectures (e.g. Pacifichem, Hawaii 2005)

·         Member of the RSC Dalton Council (2006-2008)

·         Led the 2006 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition on sustainable energy technologies 

·         Sits on the Royal Society International Fellowships committee and the ESF refereeing panel

Edler   Senior Lecturer, Physical

·         Ten keynote lectures at international conferences (e.g. E-MRS 2005)

·         Organising committee of three major conferences (e.g. RSC MC8 2007)

·         Sits on six committees and executives involved with materials chemistry and synchrotron beamlines (e.g. RSC Materials Chemistry Forum)

·         Four invited reviews (e.g. PCCP,  Soft Matter)

Frost   Reader, Organic

·         Co-founder of Altas Genetics, a Lifesciences company formed as a spin-out from the University of Bath and Osmetech plc. 

·         Management committee of COST Action D40 “Innovative Catalysis”

·         30 invited lectures (e.g. Oxford, ITT Bangalore)

·         Two EPSRC Discipline–Hopping Fellowships at the chemistry/chemical-engineering interface

Greig    (early career, Sept 2007)   Leverhulme Fellow

·         Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship

·         Green Research Scholar, University of British Columbia (2004)

·         Five conference presentations

Hill   Reader, Inorganic

·         Royal Society URF, 2001 – 2008

·         20 invited external lectures (e.g. ACS plenary session, Washington DC 2005 )

·         Treasurer of the Dalton Division Main Group Discussion Group. 

·         Published research highlighted in Chemical & Engineering News, Materials Today and Electronics Weekly

Islam  Professor, Computational

·         22 keynote lectures at conferences (e.g. MRS, Boston 2006)

·         Chief organiser of four conferences (e.g. RSC Faraday Discussion, 2006)

·         Editorial Board of the RSC Journal of Materials Chemistry 

·         Executive member of three national committees (e.g. RSC Materials Chemistry Forum, 2006-2009)

James   Reader, Organic

·         Named inventor on five international patents in the area of glucose sensors

·         52 invited lectures (e.g. Molecular Machines and Sensors, Shanghai, 2007) 

·         Two visiting professorships (e.g. University of Tsukuba, Osaka University)

·         Published one book ('Boronic acids in Saccharide Recognition' 2006) and four invited book chapters 

Jenkins   Lecturer, Physical

·         Editorial board of European Polymer Journal

·         Co-founder (with Frost) of Atlas Genetics (‘Spin-out’ company)

·         Two keynote lectures (e.g. 2nd international workshop on lipid bilayers, 2005)

·         External PhD examiner in three european institutions (e.g. Twente, Netherlands)

Jones (early career, Mar 2007)   RCUK Fellow

·         Lecture at ACS meeting, Boston 2007 

·         Six patents filed on mesoporous materials and heterogeneous catalysis

·         30 career papers (including 3 x Angewandte Chemie)

·         Several papers (RA2:Jones#2,#3) have been highlighted in the popular scientific press (e.g. Chem. Eng. News).

Köhn   Senior Lecturer, Inorganic

·         Three keynote lectures (e.g. RSC UK Macrocycles and Supramolecular Chemistry Meeting)

·         Two patents with BASF in the area of olefin polymerisation

·         Invited review in an ASC symposium series “Beyond Metallocenes

·         Reviewed proposals for international funding agencies, such as ACS, NSERC and Danish Research Council

Lewis  (early career, Oct  2007)  Lecturer, Organic

·         Invited participant, BASF postdoc symposium 2006

·         Invited participant, Roche, Basel ‘Leading Chemists of the next decade’ symposium

·         Seven postgraduate prizes

·         Invited lecture presentations (e.g. Astra-Zeneca medicinal chemistry workshop)

Mahon  Senior Lecturer, Inorganic

·         Elected committee member of the British Crystallographic Association.

·         External PhD examiner (e.g. Galway, Ireland)

·         Consultant to industry on X-ray diffraction (e.g. AWE)

·         Contributed to over 170 papers in the RAE2008 period

Marken  Senior Lecturer, Physical

·         Two keynote lectures (e.g. SURPHARE, Poland, 2006)

·         Invited lecture tours in Japan 2003 and 2006

·         Executive committee member of the RSC Electrochemistry Group (2006-2011)

·         Member of the EU COST Action D32 “Microwave and Ultrasound Activation in Chemical Analysis”

Molloy  Professor, Inorganic

·         Five keynote lectures (e.g. 11th Asian Chemical Congress, Seoul, 2005)

·         Chair, Chemistry Postdoctoral Awards Panel, 2007,  Irish Research Council for Science Engineering & Technology

·         Organiser of two international conferences (e.g. 12th International Conference on the Coordination and Organometallic Chemistry of Ge, Sn and Pb)

·         Editorial boards for two journals (e.g., Applied Organometallic Chemistry)

Parker   Professor, Computational

·         Eight keynote lectures at international conferences (e.g. consecutive years at Goldschmidt)

·         Visiting professor in Materials at EPF Lausanne, Switzerland

·         Chairman of the RSC Solid State Group

·         Editorial board of Journal of Materials Chemistry

Pascu    (early career, Sept 2007)  Royal Society URF.

·         5 invited external seminars
·         Dalton Transactions prize for best presentation at the 2006 MICRA  conference, Durham
·         Drapers Company Research Fellow, St Anne’s College Oxford (Oct. 2005 – 2008)
·         Academic Visitor, Department of Applied Chemistry School of Engineering, University of Tokyo

Peter   Professor, Physical

·         Editor of the Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry for a number of years, and member of the Editorial Board of Electrochemistry Communications

·         International panel member on six review panels associated with energy research (e.g. the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado)

·         Leads the EPSRC Supergen Excitonic Solar Cell Consortium, member of the PV21 Supergen Consortium

·         39 keynote lectures (e.g. Materials Research Society)

Price   Senior Lecturer, Physical

·         Six keynote lectures (e.g. Pacifichem 2005, USA)

·         Sits on the editorial boards of two journals and is associate editor of Polymer International

·         Member of the European Union COST - D32 working group

·         President of the European Sonochemistry Society (1999-2003)

Raithby   Professor, Inorganic 

·         EPSRC Senior Research Fellowship (2006 – 2011)

·         President of the British Crystallographic Association

·         Seven keynote lectures (Metal Clusters Towards the 21st Century, ACS Atlanta, 2006)

·         Editorial board of three journals (e.g. Chem. Commun.)

Roser   Senior Lecturer, Physical

·         Member of a large platform grant consortium (Polymer therapeutics)

·         Two keynote lectures (e.g. International Workshop on Biomembrane Mimics) 

·         Executive member of the IOP/RSC neutron scattering group

·         Public engagement of science, lecturing and media appearances both in the UK and internationally

Whittlesey   Senior Lecturer, Inorganic

·         27 invited lectures (e.g. ACS 2004)

·         Invited author of six chapters in major reference books (e.g. NHC in synthesis, Wiley VCH)

·         Member of two EPSRC panels (e.g. assessment of UK National Services, 2006)

·         Committee member of RSC Inorganic Reaction Mechanisms Group

Williams, IH   Professor, Computational

·         16 keynote lectures at international conferences (e.g. FASEB Summer Research Conference on Biological Methylation, Vermont, 2006) 

·         Organised the interdisciplinary international conference on “Isotope Effects” (2005)

·         Committee member of three computational chemistry groups (e.g. Chair of the RSC Theoretical Chemistry Group)

·         Editorial board of Theochem.

Williams, JMJ    Professor, Organic

·         Recipient of two significant awards (e.g. AZ/GSK/Pfizer Award for Process Chemistry Research (2005)) 

·         Editorial board of two international journals (e.g. Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis)

·         Sits on three professional advisory boards (e.g. EPSRC Strategic Advisory Team for Chemistry)

·         Over 50 invited lectures (e.g. 8th International Symposium on Catalysis Applied to Fine Chemicals)