Researchers Receive Prestigious Sêr Cymru Fellowships

16 November 2017

Cardiff Catalysis Institute researchers, Dr Simon Freakley and Dr Rebecca Engel, have both received prestigious 3 year research fellowships from the Sêr Cymru II programme

The Sêr Cymry II programme, is a scheme supported by the Welsh Government to develop the scientific capacity in Wales by funding researchers to carry out their own research projects at Welsh Universities.

Dr Freakley obtained a Sêr Cymru II (funded by the European Regional Development Fund) fellowship and will be based in the Cardiff Catalysis Institute within the School of Chemistry.  His research will focus on the use of metallix nanoparticles to power chemical reactions using renewable energy. Particularly he will focus on utilising light in the visible region of the solar spectrum to accelerate chemical reactions using photocatalysts.

Dr Engel was awarded a MSCA COFUND fellowship in which she will investigate new routes to monomers from biomass, such as amines or carboxylic acids, as more sustainable alternatives to commonly fossil fuel-derived materials. Additionally, she will use kinetic modelling to obtain a better understanding of these liquid phase reactions. Overall, more sustainable pathways to widely used plastics such as polyethers or nylon will be explored during her fellowship.