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Catalysis underpins a huge range of modern chemical transformations. From the megaton scale production of acetic acid to the polymers we use for plastics to automotive catalytic converters to key steps in pharmaceutical synthesis, the impact of catalysis upon our everyday life is enormous.
Companies such as BP, INEOS, Sasol, Johnson Matthey, Pfizer, AstraZeneca all have research and development facilities in the UK. Researchers from many of these companies will deliver taught elements of this course, and therefore the students will have the opportunity to learn from and network with future employers first hand.
The training offered by this course within an internationally-leading institution will open a variety of international career options to our students, either within the framework of a PhD programme or within industry.
Catalysis has traditionally been divided into homogenous (solution-based), heterogeneous (solid-liquid, solid-gas interface) and (reaction) engineering disciplines. However, this distinction is becoming increasingly blurred so this MRes course aims to provide students with a coherent overview of these areas.
Students will graduate from the course with a solid knowledge base in the area, they will also be challenged to develop their own ideas on how to focus academic and industrial research to meet the pressing challenges in catalysis.
The programme is only offered as a full-time, one-year course and leads to the MRes degree. Students begin their lecture programme with core courses spanning the first term (OctoberDecember) and second term (January-March). The taught courses are assessed by exams in January and May. In the second term students also participate in Journal Clubs. In October students choose a 9-month (December-August) multidisciplinary research project. They present a research proposal on the topic of their research in late November and a dissertation and oral presentation in September. In mid-September, a viva is held on the research topic.
Term one: Students choose a research project from a list of one-page abstracts (typically around 40) after discussion with academic staff during the first two weeks of the course. Each research project has two supervisors, each from different academic disciplines (typically one from chemistry and one from engineering or materials). Under the guidance of their supervisors, students write a research proposal for submission at the end of term. Students begin their taught lecture programme in this term, which cover both core and optional topics. In total, the students cover 4 core topics (equivalent to 5 courses in length as one counts double) and 2 optional topics. The core topic taught in this term is: • Catalytic reaction engineering with selected lectures (24 in total) from: CE2-04-02 Reaction engineering I (Dr Marcos Millan-Agorio), CE3-02 Reaction Engineering II (Dr Clemens Brechtelsbauer), CE4-20 Pharmaceutical process development (Dr Andreas Kogelbauer, Dr Clemens Brechtelsbauer, Dr Frantisek Stepanek, Mr Richard Escott). This course will count double the credit of the chemistry course and will continue into Term Two. The optional topics are: • 4.I5 Modern applications of inorganic chemistry in industry - 8 lectures, chemical industry staff, organised by Dr Mimi Hii • 4.I10 Green chemistry - 10 lectures, Prof. Charlotte Williams
Term Two: The students continue their lecture courses with the core courses: • 4.18 Palladium catalysis in organic synthesis - 8 lectures, Dr Mimi Hii • 4.O10 Catalytic asymmetric synthesis – 8 lectures, Dr. Chris Cordier and Dr Jordi Burés • 4.O23 The kinetics of catalysis - 8 lectures, Dr Jordi Burés Four further optional courses are also available for the students to take: 4.I11 Green solvents - 8 lectures, Prof. Tom Welton (examined by essay – not under exam conditions) 4.I6 Ultrasound and microwaves for chemical synthesis - 8 lectures, Dr Lickiss 4.I7 Inorganic chemistry with computers not chemicals - 8 lectures, Dr Tricia Hunt 3.I3 Inorganic mechanisms and catalysis – 9 lectures, Dr George Britovsek In February and March, the students take part in two Journal Club sessions in which the critically evaluate key publications related to topical catalysis. This is an assessed transferable skills course, which aims to develop presentation skills, whilst encouraging scientific debate, and providing the opportunity to broaden scientific knowledge. At each meeting students will work together in a group and make a presentation about a seminal high impact paper. This will be followed by a chaired discussion/debate about the paper. Students are assessed on their ability to organise the presentation in a logical manner, the use of clear power-point slides, the clarity of the presentation and its scientific content. The students also begin their research project in the laboratory of their supervisors in December.
Term Three: Students present their research findings at a one-day MRes Oral Presentation day held in midSeptember. The research projects will be finished and the MRes Dissertation will be handed in beginning of September. Project assessment is based on a written MRes Dissertation, performance in the Oral Presentation and in the viva held in the presence of the supervisors and an External Assessor(s). These External Assessors will be academics from other institutions or industrialists working in the area of catalysis. Both the Oral Presentations and viva will take place a few days before the MRes Examination Board meeting.
Academic requirement: 2:1 degree or higher in Chemistry, Engineering or related subject. A modest level of background chemistry or engineering knowledge is assumed.
English requirement: IELTS 6.5 (writing and speaking 6).
Tuition fees (2015–2016):
- Home/EU Full-time — £10,450
- Overseas Full-time — £29,300