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Academia Europaea

21 October 2010

Professor Graham Hutchings FRS

A Cardiff Professor has been invited to join an international association in recognition of his ground-breaking work in the field of catalysis.

Professor Graham Hutchings FRS, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research has become a member of Academia Europaea (The Academy of Europe), an international association of experts from all disciplines who are leaders in their own subject areas.

Membership is by invite only. Nominations can only be made by existing members of the Academia, followed by a peer review process and confirmation as to the scholarship of the nominated individual.

Internationally recognised for his pioneering contributions in the use of gold for catalysis, Professor Hutchings was the first to predict and subsequently demonstrate that gold would be a highly effective catalyst for acetylene hydrochlorination, thereby helping to establish a new field of catalysis.  

His research has resulted in furthering the understanding of how catalysts can be used in the removal of carbon monoxide. This has applications in submarines, fire fighters’ breathing apparatus and space shuttles. Professor Hutchings’ work has helped ensure such life-saving catalysts work more efficiently and with a less damaging effect on the environment. Among his most influential work is his research concerning the selective oxidation of hydrocarbons using gold catalysts.

The Academy of Europe was founded in 1988 and has more than 2000 members who collectively aim to promote learning, education and research. It encourages achievement of the highest possible standards in scholarship, research and education; and promotes a better understanding among the public at large of the benefits of knowledge and learning, and of scientific and scholarly issues that affect society, its quality of life and its standards of living.

Speaking about becoming a member of the Academia, Professor Hutchings said: “I am honoured to have the work of my research team recognised in this way, it is a great honour for the field of catalysis as well.”

In 2009 Professor Hutchings was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society one of the highest honours in the academic world. He is currently director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute, a new centre of excellence for catalysis within the UK. The Institute aims to build upon the School of Chemistry’s strengths in this area and provide a focal point for interdisciplinary interactions within Cardiff and externally with academia and industry.