Chemistry at Warwick is a thriving, highly collaborative and interdisciplinary unit within a Science Faculty of nine departments. Outward-facing, the department takes a leading role in many interdisciplinary and user-oriented activities, ranking 7th among the Russell Group universities (National Student Survey 2016).
Our research strategy is based on collaboration, drawing on relevant aspects of Warwick’s Global Research Priorities (GRPs) and extensive strategic engagement with industry, while maintaining core disciplinary excellence across our Research Themes. Our community includes 500 undergraduate students, 20 postgraduate taught students, 170 PhD students, 80 postdoctoral researchers, 50 academic staff (including 3 staff joint with Monash), and 40 support staff.
In REF 2014 our research was organised into six themes: Analytical Science and Instrumentation, Chemical Biology, Interfaces and Materials, Polymer Chemistry, Synthesis and Catalysis, and Theory and Simulation. We are ranked between 5th and 7th in most UK league tables being 6th for grade point average in the REF2014 (Research Excellence Framework) exercise. We deliver Chemistry undergraduate degree programmes at MChem and BSc level and a suite of MSc programmes which are targeted towards different career goals. Our aim is to deliver excellent research and training in a supportive, enjoyable, and safe environment.
Infrastructure and facilities
The footprint of Warwick Chemistry is 7520 m2 spanning the original five-story research facility, £25M Materials and Analytical Science building jointly occupied with physics and the top floor of Senate House as the hub for our graduate training. The department is exceptionally well equipped with a range of modern instrumentation, including many recent acquisitions.
The NMR facility in Chemistry houses 9 Bruker instruments (7 with autosamplers): two 700 MHz (one equipped with a TCI 1H-optimised cryoprobe, the other equipped with an MAS solid state probe), 600 MHz, two 500 MHz (one equipped with a DCH 13C-optimised cryoprobe), two 400 MHz, and two 300 MHz instruments. In addition, the multi-user Warwick Centre for Magnetic Resonance houses eight solid-state NMR spectrometers (143 to 850 MHz) with a large array of probes for MAS, static and DOR, two DNP spectrometers, plus pulsed and cw EPR systems.
The departmental mass spectrometry facility houses 11 instruments, including high-resolution Bruker MaXis UHPLC-ESI-Q-TOF-MS/MS, MicroToF and Autoflex Speed/Ultraflex Extreme MALDI-TOF spectrometers, and 3 x LC-MS, 2 x direct infusion ESI-MS (1 open access), triple quadrupole and GC-MS low-resolution spectrometers. In addition, the facility houses ICP-MS and ICP-OES instruments, and access to ultrahigh resolution 12T FT-ICR and Bruker MaXis II UHPLC-ESI-Q-TOF-MS/MS spectrometers is available through the Warwick Centre for Magnetic Resonance and the Warwick Integrated Synthetic Biology Centre, respectively.
The GPC facility of 13+ instruments includes high temperature and multiple detectors and is complemented by various particle size and light-scattering instruments alongside a TAMIII calorimeter. State-of-the-art solar cell and chemical biology research facilities, a UHV Scanning Probe Microscopy laboratory, and a new laser facility illustrate the specialised laboratory facilities available.
Some of our facilities are linked to university-wide Research Technology Platforms, which give us access to an exceptional suite of X-ray diffraction facilities for powders under ambient and non-ambient conditions, single crystals, thin films and, soon, small-angle X-ray scattering. We also have modern thermogravimetric and differential scanning calorimetry equipment (including TGA-DSC-MS), and gas adsorption analysis for porisometry studies. On campus is the national high field solid-state NMR facility.
Chemistry is a major user of an outstanding electron microscopy facility housed in the MAS building: a doubly-corrected ARM200F TEM/STEM has a Schottky FEG and two CEOS hexapole aberration correctors that enable imaging and analysis of individual atoms sits alongside two workhorse TEMs, two SEMs with EDX, EBSD, CL and cryo-transfer capabilities, FIB/SEM, several AFMs, and optical microscopes. Large dedicated suites of computational research workstations complement university facilities which include a 6000 core Infiniband massively parallel cluster plus thousands of other cores. Fast Scan AFM; high sensitivity single crystal XRD among others. Large scale high-performance computing facilities based in Warwick are accessible to the department and they currently include a 4000 node cluster and a petabyte data store. At least seven groups use the Harwell Complex, Diamond Light Source and ISIS facilities.
The facilities benefit from high quality technical support by instrumentation specialists (NMR: 2 FTE, MS: 2 FTE, XRD: 0.5 FTE) and workshop technicians intimately engaged in instrument design and development (electrical/IT: 5 FTE, glass-blowing: 1 FTE, mechanical: 2FTE). Specialist staff are also attached to research teams and areas for continuity of expertise and maintenance of a strong safety culture.
Chemistry is a lead partner in the Warwick Centre for Analytical Science which integrates analytical research across chemistry and the Faculty of Science and has associated Centres for Doctoral Training in Molecular Analytical Science, Molecular Organisation and Assembly is Cells, and Diamond Science and Technology. We contribute significantly to the Midlands Interdisciplinary Bioscience Training Partnership (BBSRC DTP, led by Warwick) and are a Syngenta University Technology Centre for polymer chemistry. Chemistry is a lead Warwick department in the Monash-Warwick Alliance with formal links to chemistry, pharmacy and the medical school at Monash. Chemistry also plays lead roles in the Materials Global Research Priority, in Research Technology Platforms in X-ray and High Performance Computing, and Centres for Cancer Research, Anti-microbial Interdisciplinary Centre, and Integrative Synthetic Biology.
Members of the department take Outreach to our community seriously and our state of the art undergraduate facilities are turned over to school laboratory visits when not occupied by our students. We also take demonstrations out to schools and take part in community activities.