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Regius Professor

The title of Regius Professorship is a rare and prestigious award bestowed by the Sovereign to recognise exceptionally high quality research at an institution.

A Regius Professorship is a very rare privilege that was previously reserved for the ancient UK universities until recently. The first Regius Professorship was awarded by King James IV in 1497.

School of Chemistry

To mark Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday, the School of Chemistry was awarded a Regius Professorship in June 2016. The honour was bestowed on the School in recognition of a long track record of exceptionally high-quality research and teaching and its role in driving growth and improving productivity in the UK.

The title of Regius Professor is currently held by Professor Graham Hutchings, the director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI) in the School of Chemistry.

Professor Graham Hutchings in CCI lab
Professor Graham Hutchings

Professor Hutchings is a Fellow of the Royal Society and is one of the world’s pre-eminent authorities on catalysis – the process of making chemical reactions happen more quickly in order to make products cheaper, cleaner, safer and more sustainable.

Professor Hutchings’ landmark discovery during his time at the CCI is that gold is a remarkable catalyst for certain reactions, most notably for the production of vinyl chloride, the main ingredient of PVC. As a direct result of his pioneering research, a gold catalyst is now being manufactured by UK chemicals company Johnson Matthey at a purpose-built facility in China.