Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


Chemistry boom at Cardiff

School of Chemistry is going from strength to strength

Chemistry student using Cardiff University's unique multi-faceted spectrometer-microscope array.

Research projects give students opportunities to use the very latest equipment such as Cardiff's unique £1.5Million multi-faceted spectrometer-microscope array.

Multi-million pound investments in the University’s School of Chemistry are ensuring that a bright future for this vital scientific discipline in Wales.

Cardiff University’s School of Chemistry is going from strength to strength at a time when chemistry departments have closed or contracted at several universities throughout the UK.

Research awards are soaring, undergraduate and postgraduate admissions are strong and increasing collaboration and positive endorsements from companies and other organisations are evidence of the School of Chemistry’s growing standing and reputation nationally and internationally.

The Chemistry boom in Cardiff has been supported by substantial on-going investment by the University together with extensive support from research councils and industry. This support allows the School’s research facilities and infrastructure to provide an environment in which internationally leading research is carried out. Most recently, the School has seen an investment of more than £12Million by the University in research infrastructure, together with an increase from £2.8Million to £20Million in research award funding.

The School has state-of-the-art facilities, 12 Professors and 50 PhD students. Laboratory facilities for synthetic organic and inorganic chemistry have been completely refurbished and two new synthetic suites have been added, together with eight new refurbished laboratories for material science and biomolecular chemistry.

A significant breakthrough in the development of a new heart imaging agent, in collaboration with GE Healthcare, is already bringing significant annual royalties to the University.

Professor Kingsley Cavell, Head of the School of Chemistry

Professor Kingsley Cavell, Head of the School of Chemistry said: “Our commitment is towards tackling important scientific challenges of the 21st Century, and our current research priorities and facilities put us in a strong position to achieve this objective. We are equally proud of our "Excellent" teaching ranking, and our degree schemes accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry.”

A £4.2Million investment has allowed the School to create a new research centre of excellence in Physical Organic Chemistry - an area which underpins the manufacture of all chemical related material, including pharmaceuticals and novel engineering materials. The funding has supported the establishment of a centre of excellence with a lead Professor. The University has also contributed with the provision of a new laboratory, from Science Research Investment Funding, to be opened in May 2007. Cardiff is one of only five universities to benefit from the investment by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to support areas which it describes as “crucially important to the UK economy and to the well-being of science more generally.”

This success is underlined by the huge support for the Cardiff Centre from a range of companies, from multi-national enterprises such as AstraZenca, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, and Sasol Technology to locally based companies such as GE Healthcare. The Royal Society of Chemistry and the Welsh Development Agency are among other organisations which supported Cardiff’s efforts to win the new centre for Wales.

Professor Gabor Somorjai and Professor Sir John Meurig Thomas FRS at the opening of the Wolfson Laboratory for Nanoscience in the School of Chemistry.

Professor Gabor Somorjai (pictured right) and Professor Sir John Meurig Thomas FRS (pictured left), both Honorary Fellows of the University, officially opened the Wolfson Laboratory for Nanoscience in the School of Chemistry.

The appointment by the University of the Chemistry Nobel Laureate Professor Dr Robert Huber has led to two new joint Chemistry/ Bioscience academic appointments. Professor Huber is leading the development of Structural Biology at the University. The Structural Biology Unit is being established as a joint initiative between the Schools of Chemistry and Biosciences. Professor Rudolf Allemann, School of Chemistry said: “This appointment of one of the world’s leading figures in the field is testament to our ambitious vision for the development of research at the interface between the physical, life and medical sciences at Cardiff.”

State-of-the-art facilities and outstanding research ensures the School of Chemistry has a thriving postgraduate community. More than 50 postgraduates are accepted into the School each year, funded via studentships from Government Research Councils, private industry, European and charitable organisations and funding from the School itself. Research in the School currently consists of 35 full-time members of staff, many of whom are world-leading in their disciplines, together with around 160 postgraduate and postdoctoral staff. At postgraduate taught level, new developments include the expansion of our portfolio to include an innovative programme in Computing in the Physical Sciences, taught in collaboration with the Schools of Mathematics and Computer Science.

School of Chemistry:

Study Chemistry at Cardiff

Nobel Laureate joins Cardiff