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The CRITICAT CDT Management Committee consists of academics from St Andrews, Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh. Their research interests span homogeneous-, heterogeneous- and bio-catalysis, as well as reaction engineering.

Director: Prof. Andrew Smith

Andy’s research interests lie in the development of new catalytic methodology using Lewis base organocatalysts (including NHCs and isothioureas) and their application in the discovery of novel approaches to the assembly of complex functional molecules. We also utilise physical organic chemistry methods to develop a mechanistic understanding of the processes we study.

CDT Manager: Dr Kevin Jones

Kevin carried out his PhD with Prof. Nick Tomkinson at Cardiff before winning an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship to work with Dr Martin Klussmann at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung. He worked as an associate editor with Wiley before taking the CDT manager role. Kevin is interested in organic methodology and catalysis.

Prof. Stuart Macgregor

Stuart's research uses computational chemistry to model chemical structure and reactivity of transition metal systems, especially those of relevance to homogeneous catalysis and metal-mediated organic synthesis. A particular focus of the Macgregor group is on defining the mechanism of challenging bond activation processes, such as C-H or C-F activation, and integrating these fundamental processes into catalytic cycles.

Dr Jason Love

Jason’s research focuses on the design and synthesis of molecular metal complexes that can promote new and sustainable chemical reactivity and give fundamental insight into how metal compounds assemble and interact with substrates. These interests span the Periodic Table, crossing over the traditional scientific boundaries to include ligand design, transition metal and f-element chemistry and catalysis, supramolecular recognition and catalysis, and the chemistries that underpin metal extraction processes.

Prof. Nick Westwood

Nick’s research group uses high-level organic synthesis to drive projects in a variety of areas. Recently we have become interested in the analysis and subsequent degradation of the biopolymer lignin. Through detailed NMR analysis, we are searching for linkage-specific catalysts to cut useful building blocks from this underused renewable resource. Our additional interests in natural products and chemical biology mean that we frequently study the mechanism of action of biocatalysts.

Prof. Mercedes Maroto-Valer

Mercedes’ interests are at the interface of chemical engineering and chemistry in heterogeneous catalysis and reaction engineering, particularly in CO2 utilisation, production of solar fuels and selective photocatalytic conversion of CO2 to olefins. Over recent years, her team has developed a unique suite of photocatalytic reactors (liquid-phase batch, annular, pressurised units, optical fibre and monolith reactors), as well as reaction monitoring tools.

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Teaching Committee

The Teaching Committee provides advice on the taught aspects of the CRITICAT course from lecture material to experimental techniques.

Dr Ai-Lan Lee

Ai-Lan’s research interests lie in the development of new transition metal catalysed reactions. Areas of expertise include the development of new gold- and palladium-catalysed reactions, as well as development and application of new catalysts, elucidation of reaction mechanisms and asymmetric catalysis.

Dr Stephen Thomas

Stephen’s research focuses on the development of new catalytic methodologies using non-toxic, environmentally benign and inexpensive reagents and catalysts. Ultimately, we aim to provide the non-expert with operationally simple methods for the construction of complex molecular frameworks. Underpinning this is a keen interest in physical organic chemistry and organometallic mechanism to understand and probe fundamental reactivity.

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November 15, 2020

Virtual Explorathon

Virtual Explorathon Starts

December 14, 2020

Science Communication Speaker

Talk on Science Communication (Teams)

March 22, 2021

Annual Conference

Annual Conference (Teams)

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