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UK’s top catalysis centre celebrates 10th anniversary

17 January 2019

Duncan Wass and Graham Hutchings
Professors Duncan Wass (l) and Graham Hutchings at Cardiff Catalysis Institute’s 10th Annual Conference

The UK’s leading university catalysis centre has celebrated its 10th anniversary with a stellar international conference.

Created in 2008, Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI) has built a world-leading team of international researchers who find new ways of speeding up chemical reactions.

The showpiece event brought together catalysis experts to share ideas and developments on the science of chemical change.

Speakers included Bert Weckhuysen, professor of Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis at Utrecht University and winner of the 2013 Spinoza Prize – the highest award in Dutch science, and Matt Rosseinsky, professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Liverpool, who was awarded the Royal Society’s Hughes Medal in 2011.

The conference marked a change at the top of CCI. Professor Duncan Wass joins the CCI from University of Bristol as newly appointed Director and brings with him a wealth of experience in the development of catalysts to tackle society’s most pressing challenges.

He takes over from Professor Graham J. Hutchings CBE FRS, Regius Professor of Chemistry, who has led the CCI since its foundation.

Professor Hutchings is one of the world’s pre-eminent authorities on catalysis. He has published over 800 scientific papers and 45 patents and has been cited in academic journals over 43,000 times.

He leaves the role having achieved a number of landmark discoveries, the most notable of which was that gold is an unparalleled catalyst for a number of reactions.

Professor Hutchings said: “I am delighted that Professor Wass will be taking over the role. His wealth of experience and expertise will no doubt further Cardiff’s reputation as one of the world’s leading centres for catalysis. It’s been an absolute pleasure to lead the CCI for the last 10 years, and I look forward to working with Professor Wass and colleagues in what promises to be an exciting future.”

“The Cardiff Catalysis Institute is one of the world’s leading centres for catalysis research, so to be its Director is a huge privilege and opportunity,” said Professor Wass.

Professor Hutchings’s many achievements and important contributions to catalysis speak for themselves. His inspirational leadership created the CCI as it is today, and I look forward to building on this legacy in the future.

Professor Duncan Wass Director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute

Created with an initial £2.8m investment from Cardiff University, the Institute has developed areas of expertise including photocatalysis, renewable fuel synthesis, and exhaust after-treatment, while maintaining a global reputation in catalyst design.

It became a Chancellor's Research Institute in 2012 - the first of its kind at Cardiff – and in 2013 was established as a University Research Institute, in recognition of its status as a beacon for the transformation of fundamental scientific research into application.

The Institute has established strategic alliances with Universities with complementary expertise in catalysis - such as Bath, Bristol, Queen's Belfast and UCL and has been a key player in the creation of the UK Catalysis Hub, which brings together expertise from most UK universities active in catalysis.

CCI will find a new home in the University’s Translational Research Facility, currently being built on Cardiff Innovation Campus.

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