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News & Events

Chris Hansen wins ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

Congratulations to former group member Dr Chris Hansen who has won an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship to launch his independent research into the impact of fluorinated compounds in the atmosphere.  Chris will be leading this research project at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

Matt Bain finishes his PhD

Congratulations to Matt Bain for a successful defense of his PhD thesis in his viva on 4/11/2019.  Matt’s doctoral research involved development and application of new photoionization and multi-mass velocity map imaging methods to study photochemical dynamics and product branching ratios.  He is now a postdoctoral research fellow with Prof Steve Bradforth at the University of Southern California.

Ed Mahoney completes his PhD

Congratulations to Ed Mahoney for success in his PhD viva.  Ed’s thesis explores alternative excitation mechanisms in microwave activated plasmas operating under conditions relevant to the chemical vapour deposition (CVD) of diamond.  Ed is spending a few more months in Bristol as a PDRA working on an impact acceleration project to improve the atom efficiency of diamond CVD, but plans to be travelling in South East Asia before the end of 2019.  

Welcome to Daniel Polak

Dr Daniel Polak joins the Bristol group following PhD studies with Dr Jenny Clark at the University of Sheffield. In his PhD, Daniel studied singlet fission of polyenes inside de novo maquette proteins and the effect of microcavities on the emission efficiency of singlet fission. Daniel will use multidimensional optical spectroscopies to explore chemical and biomolecular condensed phase dynamics.

Poster Prize for Aditi Bhattacherjee

Congratulations to Aditi Bhattacherjee who won a poster prize at the 14th Femtochemistry Conference (FEMTO 14) in Shanghai (July 28 – Aug 2 2019).   Her poster, “Tracking a Photocatalytic Decarboxylation Reaction over Picosecond to Millisecond Timescales using Ultrafast Infrared Transient Absorption Spectroscopy” described some of the Bristol group’s recent studies of the mechanisms of photoredox catalysed organic reactions using transient infra-red absorption spectroscopy.

Special Issue of PCCP marks Mike Ashfold’s 65th birthday

To celebrate Mike Ashfold’s sixty-fifth birthday, Andrew Orr-Ewing has guest edited a special issue of Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics themed on Photodissociation and Reaction Dynamics to coincide with Mike’s birthday. The volume contains 59 peer-reviewed articles from Mike’s friends, colleagues and collaborators from across the world, including contributions from current Bristol colleagues Carmen Galan, Tom Oliver, Andrew Orr-Ewing, Dudley Shallcross, Colin Western, and Bristol alumni Basile Curchod, Jeremy Harvey, Craig Murray and David Tew.

Three project students win prizes

Congratulations to Joe McManus, Becky Martin and Ben Carwithen who all won School of Chemistry prizes for their achievements in the final year of their degree programmes.  Joe (left) was awarded the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Project Prize and received a Head of School Commendation Letter.  Becky (centre) received the Peter Cox Prize and a Head of School Commendation Letter.  Ben (right) was awarded the Richard Dixon Prize.

Faraday Discussion 217 on Ultrafast Photoinduced Energy and Charge Transfer, Ventura, CA, Apr 8-10, 2019

The Scientific Committee for Faraday Discussion 217, the first ever to be held in California, comprised Mike Ashfold and recent Benjamin Meaker Fellow Steve Bradforth (Univ. S. California), Tom Oliver, Jennifer Ogilvie (Michigan), Naomi Ginsberg (U.C. Berkeley) and Vas Stavros (Warwick). The Discussion, which was very well attended, featured Introductory and Closing Remarks lectures by, respectively, Majed Chergui (EPFL) and Bern Kohler (Ohio State), 23 other papers for discussion and about 60 posters (including one from group member Marta Duchi, who is pictured with Mike on the beach in Malibu).

Andrew Orr-Ewing delivers the 2019 Burton Lecture at King’s College London

Andrew was invited to give the 2019 Burton Lecture at King’s College London on 20 March, and spoke about his research group’s work on the use of transient absorption spectroscopy to study photochemical reaction mechanisms.  Professor Harold Burton was Head of the Department of Chemistry from 1947 until 1966, and the series of annual lectures to commemorate his contributions began in 1970.

Poster Prize for Luke Lewis-Borrell

Congratulations to Luke Lewis-Borrell who won a poster prize at the SCI Spotlight on Photoredox Catalysis and Photochemistry meeting in London on 26th Feb.  Luke’s poster highlighted how ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy methods can be used to characterize the excited state lifetimes and electron transfer rates of organic molecules designed for use as photoredox catalysts, and hence how photoredox-catalysed reaction mechanisms can be unravelled.  The work will lead to new design principles for future generations of catalysts.

Andrew Orr-Ewing is the 2019 Davidson Lecturer at the University of Kansas

Andrew Orr-Ewing travelled to the University of Kansas in February 2019 to deliver the annual Arthur William Davidson Lecturer.  This lecture series in Physical Chemistry has run since 1987 and Andrew was the first scientist based outside the USA to be invited to deliver the Davidson Lecture.

Ryan Phelps wins poster prize

Congratulations to Ryan Phelps who won a prize at the RSC Spectroscopy and Dynamics Group’s annual conference for his poster entitled “Observing the fate of keto carbenes using ultrafast spectroscopy”.  The poster describes Ryan’s studies of short-lived reactive intermediates in solution using transient infra-red spectroscopy on femtosecond to picosecond timescales.  The SDG annual meeting was held at the University of Nottingham from 7-9 January 2019 and was attended by almost 150 delegates.

Outreach to Secondary School Students in Nepal

Dr Rabi Chhanytal-Pun has recently returned from a trip to Nepal in which he established links with the Department of Chemical Science and Engineering at Kathmandu University, and visited Loyola Secondary School in Kathmandu to lead outreach activities.   The outreach was supported by Bristol ChemLabs colleagues who provided Rabi with colorimeter equipment to take to Nepal for hands-on experiments by the school students.  About 80 students and two school teachers participated in the outreach activities.

Oral presentation prize for Dr Ravi Kumar Venkatraman

Congratulations to Dr Ravi Kumar Venkatraman who was awarded the Elsevier Prize for Best Oral Presentation at the 2018 International Conference on Perspectives in Vibrational Spectroscopy, held at BARC, Mumbai in Nov 2018.  Ravi’s talk was entitled “Novel Insights into the Photophysics and Photochemistry of Benzophenone: A Tale of Two Different Solvent Environments”.  Part of his presented work was reported in a recent paper in J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 9, 1642−1648 (2018). DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.8b00345.

Dr Tom Swift awarded EPSRC doctoral prize

Congratulations to Tom Swift who has been awarded a prestigious EPSRC doctoral prize fellowship to work with Tom Oliver. His research will investigate the dynamics of photosynthesis in crop species.

Dr Sohail Mushtaq secures position with MSI Ltd

Congratulations to Sohail who will start as a senior application scientist with Mass Spectrometry Instruments Ltd in January 2019. MSI specialises in the design and application of high performance magnetic sector double focusing mass spectrometers. 

Welcome to Georgia Thornton

Georgia joins us from the University of Warwick as a new PhD student.  She will be working on the study of mechanisms of photoredox catalysed reactions in solution using ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy.

Welcome to two new group members

Fabiola Cardoso Delgado and Teo Garcia Millan are Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials Centre for Doctoral Training students, and will study for PhDs with Tom Oliver, jointly supervised by Heather Whitney and Carmen Galan, respectively.

Andrew Orr-Ewing elected to Membership of the Academia Europaea

Academia Europaea was founded in 1988, on the initiative of the Royal Society and other National Academies in Europe.  Academia Europaea is the only Europe-wide Academy with individual membership from Council of Europe states and other nations across the world.