Skip to main content

Top award for catalysis researcher

17 January 2022

Photo courtesy of Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies, University of Bath.

Former Cardiff University catalysis researcher, Dr Alexander O’Malley, has won a prestigious award dedicated to the memory of one of Wales’ most distinguished scientists.

Dr O’Malley, who was Ramsay Memorial Trust fellow at Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI), was awarded the Sir John Meurig Thomas Medal at the UK Catalysis Hub Winter Conference.

Dr O’Malley, now at the University of Bath, has produced seminal work on the use of neutrons to investigate catalytic processes. He was selected from a list of top early-career scientists working in the United Kingdom.

“It is huge honour to be awarded the JMT Medal,” said Dr O’Malley.

“Sir John was a hugely important figure in a number of fields, most relevant to myself being microporous catalysis. Hugely important to developing such a research programme were the independent fellowships I was fortunate enough to receive, such as the Ramsay Fellowship which I carried out at Cardiff.

“The freedom to pursue my own research lines, in conjunction with the world class catalysis expertise at the CCI was crucial to my development as a researcher in such a diverse field, from both a theoretical and experimental viewpoint. I’m very pleased to have maintained a strong relationship with the CCI since, and the fruitful collaborations will continue long into the future.”

“I’m incredibly grateful to all my colleagues and everyone at the Catalysis Hub and ISIS Neutron Source for enabling the work. We are just getting started!”

Dr Alexander O’Malley

Sir John Meurig Thomas, who died in 2020, had served as Honorary Distinguished Professor in the School of Chemistry at Cardiff University since 2005. Recognised globally as one of the most eminent figures in catalytic science over the past century, Sir John was a pioneer in many of the techniques and concepts that have now become standard in the field.

The UK Catalysis Hub is a consortia of universities involved in catalysis research lead by Cardiff University, the University of Bath and the University of Manchester.

Professor Chris Hardacre, UK Catalysis Hub Director said, “Alex has worked closely with the UK Catalysis Hub throughout his research career and his work has shown the benefits and advances that can be achieved on working closely with the central facilities. Congratulations to Alex on this well-deserved award.”

Share this story