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Media appearances

3 April 2014

High levels of air pollution have been recorded over the last few days in the UK due to the unusual combination of several factors.

Saharan dust has been transported from the Mediterranean on slow moving southerly  winds which have picked up additional man-made pollution from a variety of European sources. The low wind speeds and high pressure over the UK has prevented the horizontal or vertical dispersion of these pollutants and particle pollution measurements have exceeded the DEFRA Level 10 pollution alert (levels > 100 ug m-3).

Prof Paul Seakins has appeared on several television and radio programmes discussing the origin and nature of the pollution and work at Leeds on how pollutants are transformed in the atmosphere.

Fulbright Award

26 March 2014

Mark Levenstein from Old Dominion University, Virginia, USA will spend the next academic year in Leeds working with Prof Fiona Meldrum in Chemistry and Prof Nik Kapur in Mechanical Engineering.

Mark said "I'll be working with a mechanical engineer and a chemist, in that area between applied and pure science. It's very interdisciplinary, which is part of what appealed to me."

Old Dominion University have published a longer article about this award.


Travel grant winner

24 March 2014

Congratulations to PhD student George Burslem on receiving an international travel grant to attend the EMBO Chemical Biology Conference.

George who works with Profs Wilson and Nelson is one of six recipients of the first round of funding from the Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector (BMCS) of the Royal Society of Chemistry. The scheme enables talented younger chemists to benefit from the experience of participating in high-impact international conferences.

The BMCS judging panel was delighted by both the quality and numbers of applications to this first funding call; the chair of the panel Dr. Andrew Williams commented "I think it's a great reflection on the quality of chemistry research in Britain that the job of selecting the six awardees was so difficult. My thanks and congratulations go to all the applicants."

Geo Fuel Cells

13 March 2014

A new approach to simulating the energetic processes that may have led to life on Earth has been published in the journal Astrobiology.

In collaboration with colleagues from California, including NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech, researchers from the School of Chemistry & the Centre for Computational Fluid Dynamics here in Leeds have built reactors which simulate the relatively low levels of electrical energy that emerge from geological environments such as hydrothermal vents. These reactors are based on the principles of a fuel cell and more closely model the type of energy transduction processes that take place at the heart of every living cell. It is hoped that this new approach to simulating prebiotic processes may lead to a better understanding of how life could have emerged on earth.

UoL press release and contextual video can be found at: ‘Simulating how the Earth Kick-started metabolism’. The article in Astrobiology is here

Final year research

27 February 2014

Our final-year Integrated Masters students unveiled their research results in a lively poster presentation event. Fifty-five posters were presented.

The research on display was of the highest quality and covered the length and breadth of chemistry: from atmospheric to medicinal, from analytical to synthetic to computational. The objects of study were very diverse; biocatalysts, cosmic dust, and electrically conductive inks are but three examples.

The students themselves voted for the best posters on display. Mohammed Jeraal (right) won the top prize with his work on self-optimising continuous reactors. Alexandra Parker (left), who is developing a new method for the trace analysis of metaldehyde, was awarded the runner-up prize. Congratulations to Mohammed, Alex, and to their research groups (the Bourne and Ansell groups, respectively).

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