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Departmental Seminar Programme

2017 / 2018 academic year

All lectures held at 4.00 pm in Physics Lecture Theatre, Science Concourse, unless otherwise stated.

Date Speaker Institute Seminar Title

Week 1 - 5 Oct

Dr Russ Kitson

University of Warwick

And Now for Something Completely Different': A story of a switch from lab-based to chemistry education research 

Week 2 - 12 Oct

Prof Jasper van Thor

Imperial College London


Ultrafast Structural Dynamics and Coherence in Protein Crystals  

Week 3 - 19 Oct

Prof Helen Hailes

University College London

The use of enzymes for C-C bond formation and amine analysis 

Helen received her Ph.D in 1991 at Cambridge under the supervision of Professor Jim Staunton. She pursued post-doctoral work at Cambridge, and then at Imperial College London with Professor Steve Ley and subsequently with Dr David Widdowson. She joined the Department of Chemistry, University College London as a Lecturer in 1994, becoming a Senior Lecturer in 2002, a Reader in 2005, and Professor of Chemical Biology in 2010.

Week 4 - 26 Oct

Prof Michael Shaver University of Edinburgh New Monomers in Ring Opening and Radical Polymerisations

Week 5 - 2 Nov

Eugenio Vázquez Universidade de Santiago de Compostela DNA recognition with designed peptides &

Week 6 - 9 Nov


Week 7 - 16 Nov

Prof Pavel Jungwirth Academy of Sciences CR

‘The Warwick Lecture in Theoretical Chemistry’

Exploring Hydrated Electrons in Non-Conventional and
Conventional Ways: From Alkali Metal Explosions to Non-Explosive Ways

Week 8 - 23 Nov

Associate Prof Martin Schmeing

McGill University

Structures and functions of nonribosomal peptide synthethases, macromolecular antibiotic factories  

Martin did his PhD studies with Tom Steitz at Yale and postdoctoral studies with Venki Ramikrishnan at MRC LMB, in both cases on the structure of the ribosome. He thus has the unusual distinction of having worked with two Nobel Prize Winners. Since starting his independent career at McGill University in Montreal he has focused on structural studies of nonribosomal peptide synthetases, resulting in several high profile papers, including one in Nature in 2016. Martin will be with us for a day or two before/after his seminar lectures, so there will be plenty of opportunity for faculty, postdocs and PhD students to meet with him.

Week 9 - 30 Nov

Prof Paul Topham Aston University

X-ray scattering in polymer science  

Week 10 - 7 Dec

Dr James W Walton Durham University

Ruthenium π-Arene Complexes in Catalysis and as Therapeutic Agents

Week 11 - 11 Jan

'UG Winter Prizegiving' event followed by:

Dr Gavin Bell, Physics Department

University of Warwick

'Adventures in Epitaxy'

Discussing what epitaxy is (growth of one crystal on another) and some examples: semiconductors and nanostructures, graphene, etc.

Week 12 - 18 Jan

Prof Saiful Islam University of Bath

RSC Prizewinner: Peter Day Award

'Atomic-Scale Insights into Energy Materials (Batteries Included)'

For the next generation of clean energy technologies, the fundamental understanding and development of new materials
are crucial. This talk highlights (with the aid of 3D specs) the use of advanced modelling methods in synergy with experiment to gain new insights into the materials chemistry of lithium batteries and perovskite solar cells.

Week 13 - 25 Jan

Prof Ed Tate

Imperial College London Proteins, lipids and drug disovery: from malaria to the common cold   

Week 14 - 1 Feb

Prof Clare Grey FRS

University of Cambridge

Recent Developments in the Application of In- and Ex-situ NMR Spectroscopy to Batteries and Supercapacitors

This talk will focus on our work on the development of methods that allow devices to be probed while they are operating (i.e., in-situ). This allows, for example, the transformations of the various cell components to be followed under realistic conditions without having to disassemble and take apart the cell. To this end, the application of new in and ex-situ Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and X-ray diffraction approaches to correlate structure and dynamics with function in lithium- and sodium-ion batteries and supercapacitors will be described.

Week 15 - 8 Feb

Dr Aidan McDonald

Trinity College Dublin

Winner of the RSC Sir Edward Frankland Fellowship.

'Tuning the reactivity of high-valent nickel oxidants for hydrocarbon oxidation'

Week 16 - 15 Feb

Prof Dudley Shallcross

University of Bristol

Nyholm Prize lecture.

The myriad impacts of public engagement on tertiary education; including smoothing the transition from secondary to tertiary education  

Week 17 - 22 Feb

Prof Evan Williams


The Warwick Lecture in Analytical Chemistry: 'Fast Reactions in Aqueous Nanodrops  

**in LIB2**

Week 18 - 1 Mar

Prof Yi Tang


The Warwick Chemical Biology Lecture:

'Chemistry and Biology of Fungal Natural Products'

Yi did his PhD at Caltech with David Tirrell and postdoctoral work with Chaitan Khosla at Stanford. He has more than 150 publications (H-index 46), including numerous recent articles in JACS, Angewandte Chemie and Nat. Chem. Biol. His primary area of current research interest is fungal natural product biosynthesis and he recently published the textbook “Natural Product Biosynthesis: Chemical Logic and Enzymatic Machinery” with Chris Walsh (Tim Bugg’s postdoctoral supervisor). Yi will be with us for a day or two before/after his seminar, so there will be plenty of opportunity for faculty, postdocs and PhD students to meet with him.

Week 19 - 7 Mar

Michelle Hill

Monash University

'Skills? What skills? Do undergraduates studying chemistry recognise or value skills development?'

Week 19 - 8 Mar

Prof David Leigh and

Prof Craig Hawker

University of Manchester

UC Santa Barbara

Mini Symposium/Departmental Materials Prize lecture

Week 20 - 15 Mar



‘The Warwick Chemistry Research Fellows Lecture’

12 April

Prof Graham Leggett

University of Sheffield

In room: C521