A Catalyst for Change
19 July 2012
Professor Graham J. Hutchings FRS
The Cardiff Catalysis Institute has received a major University investment in its search for faster, cleaner and more economic industrial processes.
The Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI), in the School of Chemistry is a world leader in its vital field. The application of catalysis is crucial to the development of economically and environmentally sustainable manufacturing processes. Components generated through catalysis are used at some stage in the production of most materials and finished products, impacting on the manufacture of everything from fertilizers to medicines.
The University has now recognised the central importance of catalysis and established the CCI as an inaugural Chancellor’s Research Institute within the University. These high-level Institutes have been named to reflect the forthcoming change of title for the University’s President to Chancellor, in line with practice at other UK universities. The CCI will also receive substantial University investment to ensure that new lines of research can be grown rapidly.
The CCI was established under the Directorship of Professor Graham Hutchings FRS in 2008. A team of more than 90, it already has strong industrial links in such areas as low carbon processes and new uses for waste products. The research strength has been recognised with a number of international awards, including Professor Hutchings’ Fellowship of the Royal Society for his transformation of gold’s role as a catalyst in such uses as chemicals manufacture.
Professor Hutchings will step down from his other role as Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research, from August 31 to devote all his time to the CCI. He said: "Our research income, high-level academic publications and individual awards have been about double our initial targets. We now want to take the Institute to the next level, building on our established strengths in areas like heterogeneous catalysis. We also want to move into new areas, such as photocatalysis, using Cardiff’s strength in nanoparticles, and bio-catalysis, finding more imaginative ways of utilising carbon dioxide than we have at present.
I am really looking forward to the new opportunities from this increased investment. Catalysis has been selected by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council as a topic for enhanced research funding in the UK. The establishment of the CCI as a Chancellor’s Research Institute will provide Cardiff with the right platform to grow in this vital field."
The Vice-Chancellor, Dr David Grant, said: "Under Professor Graham Hutchings’ leadership, the Cardiff Catalysis Institute has quickly become an international leader in its field. With this increased investment and new status as a Chancellor’s Research Institute, the Institute can now benefit an even wider range of industries through its work improving the efficiency and sustainability of chemical processes."
Professor Peter Knowles, Head of the School of Chemistry, said: "The Cardiff Catalysis Institute is central to the success of the School and has contributed substantially to our outstanding performance of £6.31million in new research awards so far this year. We are delighted that the University has recognised the Institute’s work in this way, as part of a wider increased commitment to chemistry research and scholarship at Cardiff."