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International accolades for Cardiff researchers

25 May 2011

Two researchers from Cardiff University’s School of Chemistry have received Distinguished Achievement Awards from the International Precious Metals Institute (IPMI).

Highly prestigious, only three of these prizes are awarded worldwide each year.

Professor Graham Hutchings, Director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, has been awarded the IPMI Henry J. Albert Award. This recognises and encourages outstanding theoretical and experimental contributions to the science and technology of precious metals.

He is only the second UK-based researcher to be given this award since its inception in 1979.

Elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2009, Professor Hutchings has had a long and distinguished career, devoting much of his time to the understanding and application of catalysis theory and function. His research findings were the first to support the use of gold as an important new catalyst.

Dr Jennifer Edwards, a post-doctoral researcher at the Cardiff Catalysis Institute has been named as the first-ever recipient of the IPMI Carol Tyler Award. Named after a former President of the IPMI, the award recognises the achievements of women in the field of precious metals, be it in industry or academia.

Dr Edwards’ work focuses on the use of gold and gold palladium alloys as catalysts, and particularly for the really challenging reaction of hydrogen and oxygen to make hydrogen peroxide.

Professor Hutchings commented: "Jenny and I have collaborated on gold catalysis for over seven years and it is a great honour that our work has been recognised in this way."

Based in the United States, the IPMI seeks and promotes the efficient and environmentally sound use, reuse, and recycling of precious metals from both primary and secondary sources. Professor Hutchings and Dr Edwards will be attending the prize ceremony in San Antonio in June.


Notes to editors:

1. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact

Jessica Kelly

Public Relations Office

Cardiff University

029 2087 0298

2. Cardiff School of Chemistry

Cardiff School of Chemistry is one of the largest chemistry schools in the UK, and both teaching and research benefits from a multi-million pound investment in laboratories and other facilities. It currently has over 200 undergraduate and postgraduate students. The joint strengths are of academic excellence within the School and extensive industrial contacts outside. The School has received the highest "Excellent" rating in the ongoing independent government assessment of teaching quality.

The School conducts industry-relevant research, focusing on six areas: surface science and catalysis; structural and computational chemistry; organic synthesis; co-ordination and speciation chemistry; magnetic resonance spectroscopy; and materials chemistry. Research income has increased more than threefold in recent years, including a substantial increase in industrial funding. It is also home to two of only six national centres that are funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. These are the X-ray Diffraction Centre and the ENDOR centre.