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19 July 2012
Manufacturing industry is set to benefit from a Cardiff University investment in one of its foremost chemical research institutes.
The Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI) in the School of Chemistry is a world leader in this vital field. The application of catalysis is crucial to the development of economically and environmentally sustainable manufacturing processes. Components generated through catalysis are used at some stage in the production of most materials and finished products, impacting on the manufacture of everything from fertilizers to medicines.
Now a substantial Cardiff University investment of £3 million over five years will keep the CCI in the international forefront of its field. Given the central importance of catalysis, Cardiff has also recognised the CCI as the University’s inaugural Chancellor’s Research Institute. The commitment will enable the CCI to grow new lines of research rapidly.
The Cardiff Catalysis Institute was established under the Directorship of Professor Graham Hutchings FRS in 2008. A team of more than 90, it already has strong industrial links in such areas as low carbon processes and new uses for waste products. The research strength has been recognised with a number of international awards, including Professor Hutchings’ Fellowship of the Royal Society for his transformation of gold’s role as a catalyst in such uses as chemicals manufacture.
Professor Hutchings is stepping down from his other role as the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research to devote all his time to the CCI. He said: "Our research income, high-level academic publications and individual awards have been about double our initial targets. We now want to take the Institute to the next level, building on our established strengths in areas like heterogenous catalysis. We also want to move into new areas, such as photocatalysis, using Cardiff’s strength in nanoparticles, and bio-catalysis, finding more imaginative ways of utilising of carbon dioxide than we have at present.
"I am really looking forward to the new opportunities from this increased investment. Catalysis has been selected by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council as a topic for enhanced research funding in the UK. The establishment of the CCI as a Chancellor’s Research Institute will provide Cardiff with the right platform to grow in this vital field."
The Vice-Chancellor, Dr David Grant, said: "Under Professor Graham Hutchings’ leadership, the Cardiff Catalysis Institute has quickly become an international leader in its field. With this increased investment and new status as a Chancellor’s Research Institute, the Institute can now benefit an even wider range of industries through its work improving the efficiency and sustainability of chemical processes."
Professor Peter Knowles, Head of the School of Chemistry, said: "The Cardiff Catalysis Institute is central to the success of the School, and has contributed substantially to our outstanding performance of £6.31 million in new research awards so far this year. We are delighted that the University has recognised the Institute’s work in this way, as part of a wider increased commitment to chemistry research and scholarship at Cardiff."
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Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, the University today combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of Britain’s leading research universities. Visit the University website at: www.cardiff.ac.uk
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