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Prize winners and commemorative session at 18th Rideal Conference

30 March 2015

Rideal Conference 2015
Harnack House, Berlin

The 18th Rideal Conference, Roles of Catalysis and Catalytic Processes as World Energy and Feedstock Sources change, was held in Berlin on 25-27 March 2015. The conference is named after Sir Eric Rideal to mark his contribution in the areas of surface science and catalysis. The meeting takes place every three years and has a tradition of invited oral presentations from international experts with a focus on scientific discussion. For the first time the conference was held outside the UK at the historic Harnack House, the conference venue of the Max Planck Society.

Cardiff had a major presence at the conference, with the organisers dedicating one of the six sessions to commemorate the life and work of Professor Wyn Roberts. The session opened by a presentation given by Martyn Twigg and co-written by Professor Sir John Meurig Thomas, which also included a video in which Martyn interviewed Sir John, reflecting on many of Wyn's significant scientific contributions, as well as including many personal memories of their long overlapping careers. This was followed by Graham Hutchings, who reflected on his interaction with Wyn over many years, and how this impacted on recent work in methane activation and selective oxidation. Mike Bowker discussed his work on improving fundamental understanding of heterogeneous catalytic reactions, by discussing the role of 'precursor states' in the reactivity of catalysts. Phil Davies gave the last presentation by presenting the work from Wyn's last paper that they co-authored. The title was: Low energy pathways and precursor states in surface oxidation reactions.

The session concluded with a lively scientific discussion, encompassing many fundamental aspects of catalysis, which Wyn would have certainly enjoyed and was a fitting conclusion to commemorate the life and work of Professor Wyn Roberts.

Cardiff also had major success in the poster competition. The competition was judged by an international panel of the conference plenary speakers, and Cardiff won two prizes. Ryan Sharpe won for his poster on: The fabrication of gold-palladium nanoparticles on TiO2(110) and the SMSI effect. The second Cardiff winner was M. Sankar for his poster on: precise control of size, composition and nanostructure during the synthesis of a supported gold-palladium nanoalloy catalyst.

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