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Cardiff scientist wins prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry Award

26 June 2020

Professor Richard Catlow

Professor Richard Catlow of Cardiff University and University College London (UCL) has been named the winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Faraday Lectureship Prize.

Professor Catlow, who splits his time between the two institutions, won the award for the development and application of computational methods in conjunction with experiment as powerful and predictive tools in the physical chemistry of solids.

After receiving the award, Professor Catlow said: “I am naturally delighted and honoured to receive this award, especially when I look at the list of previous awardees. I also feel that as well as honouring myself, it is recognition of the field in which I have worked and of the large number of scientists with whom I have collaborated, including the many dedicated students and post-docs whose work it has been my privilege to supervise.

“It is a particular pleasure for me to receive an award named after Michael Faraday. I worked at the Royal Institution for many years and no one who has had the opportunity of working in that great institution can fail to be inspired by the life and achievements of this most remarkable man.”

Professor Catlow, who was born in Clitheroe, a small town in North East Lancashire, was a former Head of Chemistry and Dean of Mathematical and Physical sciences at UCL. Since 2015, he has held a joint professorial position between Cardiff University and UCL. In recognition of his award, he receives £5,000 and a medal.

His research has exploited and continues to exploit the latest developments in computational technology, used in direct conjunction with experiments (especially employing synchrotron X-Ray and neutron scattering techniques) to model and predict at the atomic and molecular level of the properties of complex materials.

While advancing fundamental knowledge in a rapidly developing field of contemporary chemistry, his work is also of direct relevance to areas of key societal and economic importance, including materials for renewable energy and environmentally benign catalytic technologies.

Dr Helen Pain, acting chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry said:

“We live in an era of tremendous global challenges, with the need for science recognised now more so than ever – so it is important to recognise those behind the scenes who are making significant contributions towards improving the world we live in. It is our honour and privilege to do that with these awards, which recognise exceptional scientific achievement.

“The global chemical sciences community is one that covers many different specialisms, from health and climate change to product development, sustainable transport, and everything in between. In recognising the work of Professor Catlow, we are also recognising the important contribution this incredible network of scientists makes to improving our lives every day.”

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Prizes and Awards are awarded in recognition of originality and impact of research, or for each winner’s contribution to the chemical sciences industry or education. They also acknowledge the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, as well as the abilities of individuals to develop successful collaborations.

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