Research students take part in European-wide catalysis challenge

26 July 2018

European Federation of Catalysis Societies catalysis challenge

Susana Guadix-Montero and Josh Davies, both PhD students in the School of Chemistry at Cardiff University, were selected to represent the UK at the first young generation catalysis challenge organized by the European Federation of Catalysis Societies (EFCATS).

The competition was organised to strengthen the interactions of younger researchers within the European catalysis community.

Only two young researchers (PhD students and postdocs/researchers who obtained their PhD after 1 July 2016) from each of the 25 EFCATS nations were selected and invited to attend the exclusive event hosted at Wageningen University and Research (WUR) in the Netherlands from 9th-11th July 2018.

Participants were split into multidisciplinary and multinational teams and were tasked to write a research proposal to address some grand challenges as a team. The teams presented their proposals to a board of EFCAT representatives. The top three research proposals were selected and the team members were awarded a cash prize.

Susana’s team included participants from Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark and Turkey and won the second prize for their proposal on a heterogeneous catalyst for biomass conversion, specifically the design of novel Pt-based cluster catalysts for selective conversion of glycerol to 1,3-propanediol by in-situ H2 generation.

Susana, who works with Dr S. Meenakshisundaram, said: “It was an unforgettable experience. I personally would recommend everyone to attend.”

The European Association of Catalysis Societies is a non-profit organization of 25 National European Catalysis Societies to facilitate, coordinate, and rationalize scientific activities in the field of catalysis on a transnational level.