Winter Conference 2023 – Watch now

When: 18 & 19 December 2023
Where: Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Campus, Fermi Avenue, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 0QX

On the 18th and 19th of December 2023 the UK Catalysis Hub held its annual winter conference and networking meeting. The Conference took place at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire. The event was a hybrid event so attendees had the option to attend virtually if they couldn’t attend in person.

The conference began at lunchtime on the 18th with lectures, the JMT medal presentation, a poster session in the evening of the 18th December and dinner by invitation. We were very happy to announce Dr Sarah Lovelock from University of Manchester as winner of the Sir John Meurig Thomas Catalysis Medal. Read more about the prize here.

Speakers included researchers from the Catalysis Hub and internationally renowned speakers and industrialists covering a range of topics in catalysis.

Speakers included:

Prof. Suzanne Blum, University of California, Irvine
Dr. Sudip Chakraborty, Harish-Chandra Research Institute
Prof. Jacqueline Cole, Cambridge
Dr. Michael Forde, University of the West Indies
Dr. Arthur Graf, Cardiff 
Dr Yujie Ma, Manchester
Dr. Thomas McGuire, Oxford
Dr. Pierre Moreau, Plastic Energy Ltd
Dr. Abraham Nieva de la Hidalga, Cardiff University
Dr. Andy Wain, National Physical Laboratory

Click on the talk titles below to view presentation recordings, abstracts and speaker biographies:

18 December 2023

12:00 -13:00 – Buffet Lunch – Visitors Centre (R112)

Session 1 – Pickavance Lecture Theatre (R22) Chair: Professor Graham Hutchings, Cardiff   

13:00 -13:05 – Welcome – Pickavance Theatre (Building R22)

13:05 -13:50 – Prof. Jacqueline Cole, Cambridge – Data-driven design of catalysts for sustainable applications

13:50 -14:35 – Dr. Andy Wain, National Physical Laboratory  – Using In Situ Vibrational Spectroscopy to Probe (Electro)Catalytic Interfaces – Watch recording

14:35 -14:55 – Dr. Thomas McGuire, Oxford  – Chemical Recycling of Commercial Poly(l-lactic acid) to l-Lactide Using a High-Performance Sn(II)/Alcohol Catalyst System

14:55 -15:25 – BREAK

Session 2 – Pickavance Lecture Theatre (R22) Chair: Professor Christopher Hardacre, Manchester

15:25 -16:10 – Dr. Pierre Moreau, Plastic Energy  – Acceleration of End-of-Life Plastic Chemical Recycling by Catalysis – Watch recording

16:10 -16:30 – Dr. Arthur Graf, Cardiff – PiFM: Deciphering the nano-world – Watch recording

16:30 -17:15 – Prof. Suzanne Blum, University of California, Irvine – Insights into Polymerization through Chemical Imaging – Speaking virtually

17:15 -18:15 – Sir John Meurig Thomas Medal Presentation  – Special winner announcement and presentation

18:15 -19:00  – Poster Session & Refreshments, Visitors Centre (R112)

20:00 Dinner by invitation only

19 December 2023

8:30 -8:55 – Tea and Coffee, Visitors Centre (R112)

Session 3 – Pickavance Lecture Theatre (R22) Chair: Professor Richard Catlow, UCLCardiff

09:00 -09:10 – Welcome

9:10 -9:55 – Dr. Michael Forde, University of the West Indies – Green Catalysis Examples and Insights from the Caribbean – Watch recording

9:55 -10:15 – Dr Yujie Ma, Manchester – Direct Conversion of Methane to Ethylene and Acetylene over an Iron-Based Metal−Organic Framework

10:15 – 10:45 BREAK: Tea and Coffee, Visitors Centre (R112)

Session 4 – Pickavance Lecture Theatre (R22) Chair: Professor Matthew Davidson, UK Catalysis Hub Director   

10:45 -11:05 – Dr. Abraham Nieva de la Hidalga, Cardiff University – Using published data for the development of processing and analysis tools: XAS data processing use case – Watch recording

11:05 -11:50 – Dr. Sudip Chakraborty, Harish-Chandra Research Institute – Computational Advancement towards Efficient Catalytic Materials: Connecting a Few Dots

12:00 – Conference Closes

12:00 – 13:00 – Buffet Lunch Visitors Centre (R112)

A printable version of the programme can be downloaded at

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