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Salters' Festival

The School hosted a Salters' Festival of Chemistry on Tuesday 10th May.

Ten schools from across the region sent teams of four Y7/Y8 pupils who took part in a pair of laboratory based challenges.

In two tough competitions Scissett Middle School won the Salters' challenge and Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School won the Chemistry challenge.

More information about the Salters' Festival of Chemistry is available here

RSC Award

Congratulations to Prof Andy Wilson on being the recipient of the 2016 Norman Heatley Award for the development of methods to interrogate and manipulate protein-protein interactions using biomimetic approaches.

The Norman Heatley Award is to recognise and promote the importance of inter- and multi-disciplinary research between chemistry and the life sciences through independent work. It is awarded to an early career scientist under the age of 40. 

Drugs function by binding to a protein target within the body. Most existing small molecule drugs bind to well-defined pockets in proteins - analogous to a key fitting into a lock. In stark contrast, the design of drugs to inhibit protein-protein interactions generally requires a fundamentally different type of interaction of the drug with its protein target - analogous to a hand gripping a ball. Thus, developing approaches for inhibition of protein-protein interactions is an enormous fundamental challenge of huge importance to chemical biology and drug discovery, and, in future future healthcare provision.. The award recognises the importance of this topic within the wider scientific community.

For further details see the RSC website

School of Chemistry finalist wins prestigious national prize

Daniel Price MChem BSc Medicinal Chemistry (Industrial) finalist, has been awarded the annual Salter’s Graduate Prize for 2016.

Every year The Salter’s Institute awards a maximum of 10 national prizes to final year undergraduates studying at UK Universities. The prizes are awarded on the basis of assessments of the potential of candidates ultimately to occupy leading positions in public life, either by employment in Chemical or related industries, or more generally in employment that supports the industrial life of the UK.  

Candidates were expected to demonstrate knowledge of the current issues faced by the Chemical industries and the need for changing technology in the future.

The highest achieving students in the year were invited to apply to be selected as the Head of School’s nomination, following a rigorous interview Daniel was selected.

Professor Steve Marsden, Head of School said:
“The School is enormously proud of Dan’s achievement.  The Salters’ Graduate Prizes are extremely prestigious, with only four or five awards being made nationally per year in chemistry.  Winners are selected for their potential to go on to hold leading positions within or in support of the UK chemical industries.  As such the panel looks not only at academic excellence within the subject but also the ability to generate and communicate ideas, and leadership potential.  Following a very competitive selection process within the School, Dan was chosen as the School’s outstanding nominee and we are delighted that his performance has similarly impressed the judging panel at the Salters’ Institute.”

Daniel told us:
"Given that I planned to enter industry from the beginning of my degree, it was an honour to be selected to receive the Salters' graduate prize.

Being shortlisted allowed me to represent myself and Leeds on a national level, and granted me the opportunity to meet and network with some of the leading figures in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

The process has increased my exposure and awareness of the key issues facing the pharmaceutical industry and has increased my desire to enter industry to help combat and solve some of the big issues of today.

Fortunately, my PhD is based 100% in industry, so I plan to hit the ground running and work towards the ultimate expectation of the Salters' award from October: significant and lasting contribution to the chemical industry, wish me luck!"

Congratulations and well done Dan!

Partnership Awards

Congratulations to Kristina Paraschiv and Dr Kelvin Tapley who have been shortlisted for an LUU Partnership Award.

Kristina has been nominated for the Positive Impact Award and Kelvin for the Diversity and Outreach Award.

The award ceremony takes place on the 25th April.

C-Capture win National Shell Springboard Final 2016

Following their success in the regional finals, C-Capture, a spin out company from the School of Chemistry at the University of Leeds, has gone on to win the Shell Springboard National Final, first out of the 140 low carbon technology companies that originally applied.

The photograph shows (left to right): Martin Powell, Head of Urban Development, Siemens; Prof. Chris Rayner, C-Capture and University of Leeds; Caspar Schoolderman, C-Capture; Erik Bonino, Chairman, Shell UK

The company receives a total of £150,000 as prize money, as well as the prestige and publicity associated with winning such a highly competitive national award.
The team of Caspar Schoolderman, Doug Barnes, Gergely Jakab and David Lawlor, led by Prof. Chris Rayner, have worked closely together to develop highly innovative solvent systems for the removal of CO2 from gas streams. These could be from large scale point sources such as power stations to smaller scale applications such as biogas upgrading technologies.
Importantly the new process uses between 50-90% less energy than current technologies, and is also expected to be cheaper to install and run. It is currently being demonstrated in real environments using their portable containerised module capable of separating up to 1 tonne of CO2 per day.

The Shell Springboard winner was chosen by an independent panel of judges, comprising of some of the leading experts in the low-carbon and enterprise sectors, including Professor Samuel Fankhauser, co-director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, and Martin Powell, Head of Urban Development at Siemens. Powell said: “The innovative enterprises coming through this year's Shell Springboard programme are exactly the sort of technologies we need to accelerate the journey to low-carbon cities of the future. It is encouraging to see such a breadth of inventions and I wish all the finalists success in bringing their products onto the market."

Shell UK chairman, Erik Bonino, said: “The Shell Springboard National Winner, C-Capture, and Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year winner, Tom Robinson from Adaptavate, are inspiring examples of how combining bright ideas with an entrepreneurial approach can help us meet the UK’s low carbon challenge, without compromising our economic prosperity.”

Having previously received funding from the Department for Energy and Climate Change under their prestigious Energy Entrepreneurs programme, and from IP Group plc, the timing of additional funding from Shell comes at an important time in the development of C-Capture, as they intend to launch their first commercial system later this year.

More information about C-Capture can be found at

Shell Springboard is a nationwide awards programme for the next breakthrough in low-carbon enterprise. It is part of Shell’s strategy to support bright energy ideas and provide a platform for innovation, collaboration and conversation about the global energy challenge, while helping to create jobs and growth among UK small businesses. Since 2005 Shell Springboard programme has awarded £3.15 million to 98 low-carbon entrepreneurs, who have gone on to create over 250 new jobs and have an annual combined turnover of £60 million. More information about Shell Springboard can be found at


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