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Chemistry academics win prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry prizes

08 May 2018

Three academics from the School of Chemistry have won prizes given by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Dr David Mills, Dr Conrad Goodwin and Dr Daniele Leonori have all been the proud recipients of the Royal Society of Chemistry prizes for 2018.

Dr David Mills and Dr Daniele Leonori have both won the Royal Society of Chemistry Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize for 2018.

Dr Mills’ work focuses on the set of elements known as the “f-block” – the lanthanides and actinides. These elements have been exploited in numerous consumer technologies including catalytic converters, petroleum refining and nuclear power generation.

Dr Leonori studies how bonds form between atoms of carbon and nitrogen. This is important because nitrogen-containing molecules form the structural basis of almost all pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, food additives and materials.

The Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize is awarded for ground-breaking contributions to the chemistry and magnetic properties of f-element compounds. Dr Mills and Dr Leonori will each receive £5000 and a medal, and will complete a UK lecture tour.

Dr Conrad Goodwin, who also works in the School of Chemistry, is the Royal Society of Chemistry Dalton Emerging Researcher Award winner for 2018.

Dr Goodwin’s work focuses on making molecular magnets, tiny single molecules that can act as magnets in their own right. A central metal atom in the molecule stores either “up” or “down”, just like a 1 or a 0 in binary code.

The Dalton Emerging Researcher Award is awarded for the development of synthetic routes to unprecedented magnetic molecules. Dr Goodwin receives £1000 and a medal, and will complete a UK lecture tour.

Dr Robert Parker, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry said:

“The chemical sciences are vital for the wellbeing of our world and chemical scientists help to change people’s lives for the better. That’s why we’re so proud to celebrate the innovation and expertise of our community through our Prizes and Awards.

“This year’s inspiring and influential winners come from a range of specialisms, backgrounds, countries and communities. Each has done their bit to advance excellence in the chemical sciences – to improve the lives of people around the world now and in the future.”

The winners are recognised for the originality and impact of their research, or for their contributions to the chemical sciences industry or chemistry education. The Awards also acknowledge the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, and the abilities of individuals to develop successful collaborations.

An illustrious list of 50 previous winners of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Awards have proceeded to win Nobel Prizes for their pioneering work, including 2016 Nobel laureates Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Fraser Stoddart and Ben Feringa.