School of Chemistry

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James Bennett

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Education, Faculty of Science



James Andrew Bennett was born in Derby, England in 1981. He obtained a first class degree in Chemistry (MChem) and a PhD in catalysis at the University of Leicester. His thesis investigated the use of perfluoroalkyl moieties to allow heterogenisation of homogeneous catalysts over zirconium phosphate supports. In 2007, he started work as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Birmingham on a multidisciplinary project, investigating biogenic heterogeneous catalysts composed of transition metal nanoparticles supported on bacterial biomass. The goal of the project was to use waste metals (e.g. recovered from automobile catalytic converters or electronic scrap) and waste biomass (e.g. from industrial fermentation processes) to produce an economically valuable product in the form of active and recyclable catalysts for a range of chemical transformations and involved a 6-month KTN secondment at C-Tech Innovation. James then worked with Professors Karen Wilson and Adam Lee at the European Bioenergy Research Centre (EBRI) at Aston University (2013-2016), developing sustainable catalysts for pyrolysis oil upgrading. During his time at Aston, James completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, granting him fellowship status with the Higher Education Academy. James has always enjoyed teaching and during his research career continually sought out opportunities to lecture, tutor and pass on his enthusiasm for chemistry. In 2017, James joined the University of Hull as a Teaching Fellow to pursue his passion for education before moving to the University of York in 2018 as an Associate Lecturer. He has worked at the University of Nottingham since 2019 and is currently Assistant Professor in Chemical Education.

Teaching Summary

Module convenor for

  • CHEM1025: An Introduction to Structure, Periodicity and Coordination Chemistry (Part A) [Apprenticeship]
  • CHEM1026: An Introduction to Structure, Periodicity and Coordination Chemistry (Part B) [Apprenticeship]
  • CHEM1032: Sustainable Chemistry [Apprenticeship]
  • CHEM2023: General Inorganic Chemistry (Part A) [Apprenticeship]
  • CHEM2024: General Inorganic Chemistry (Part B) [Apprenticeship]
  • CHEM2027: Principles of Analytical Chemistry [Apprenticeship]

Contributing lecturer to

  • CHEM1001: Sustainable Chemistry 1
  • CHEM2018: Sustainable Chemistry 2
  • CHEM2007: General Inorganic Chemistry
  • CHEM2012: Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry
  • CHEM3027: BSc Project

Academic tutor for level 1 - 3 modules in inorganic chemistry

Supervisor of year 3 Inorganic Practical Research Projects and year 4 MSc projects in Chemical Education

Past Research

Dr Bennett has worked as a researcher on a number of interdisciplinary projects, with a focus on the design, testing and optimisation of a range of different heterogeneous catalysts.

Practical skills

  • Substantial experience in preparative inorganic and organic chemistry and catalytic testing.

  • Inert atmosphere techniques (glove-box and Schlenk line).

  • Experienced user of large scale, high-pressure autoclaves and continuous flow reactors.

  • Advanced user of analytical techniques including:

  • X-ray diffraction (determination of phase and particle size, in-situ techniques)

  • Porosimetry surface areas/pore size distributions of micro/mesoporous solids

  • FTIR/DRIFTS/ATR spectroscopies (analysis of macromolecular solids)

  • Chemisorption studies (determination of active metal site properties)

  • GC and HPLC (determination of reaction progress, maintenance and calibration)

  • multinuclear NMR (1H, 13C, 19F, 31P, 77Se characterisation)

  • Knowledge and use of mass spectroscopy, SEM, EDXA, ICP-OES, TGA, TPD/TPO.

  • Experience in preparation and compliance of safety documentation such as Safe Operating Procedures, COSHH and risk assessments and handling of hazardous chemicals/waste.

  • Chemistry programmes such as XWin (NMR), MestreC (NMR), Chemdraw (drawing), Scifinder Scholar, Web of Science (searching), SpartanPro and Mercury (modelling)

School of Chemistry

University Park Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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