Nottingham appoints world-class scientists to take the reins of new 'green' lab

11 Jun 2014 15:37:22.443

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The University of Nottingham has appointed three top experts in sustainable chemistry to lead the world-changing research taking place at the new GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry.

The University has recruited Professor Jairton Dupont, Professor David Amabilino and Professor Hon Wai Lam to work at the new laboratory which is due for completion early next year (2015).  

Located on the award-winning Innovation Park, the new Carbon Neutral Laboratory building will provide unrivalled facilities for chemistry. The focus on sustainability will be reflected in the building itself, which will incorporate the latest technologies to allow it to be carbon neutral over its lifetime.

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The new recruits are a coup for the University, as they are all leading experts in their fields who have worked at some of the most prestigious institutions across the globe.

Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “We are delighted that Professors Dupont, Hon and Amabilino will be joining Nottingham to strengthen our expertise in the area of sustainable chemistry.  The three appointments indicate this is a priority research area for us, and establishes the University as one which truly wishes to make a world-changing impact on this global issue”.

Professor Jairton Dupont (EPSRC/GSK Professor of Sustainable Chemistry)

Professor Dupont received his PhD at The University of Strasbourg (France) and after postdoctoral research at The University of Oxford he became Professor of Chemistry at the Institute of Chemistry, UFRGS (Brazil).

He has been a visiting Professor at various European Universities (France, Germany and Spain), is a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and World Academy of Sciences, and among various distinctions, he has received the Humboldt Research Award, the Conrado Wesel Science Award, the Brazilian Gran Cruz and TWAS Chemistry Award. His research interests are mainly centred on ionic liquids, with special emphasis on catalysis, nanomaterials and alternative energies.

Professor Dupont said of his appointment: “I was interested in joining Nottingham for three main reasons: the people, the team involved in the project, the leading vision, the commitment and the prestige of the University and the possibility to participate in a project that will make a difference not only in research, but also in the education of a new generation of scientists committed to a sustainable society.”

Professor Hon Wai Lam (GSK Professor of Sustainable Chemistry)

Professor Hon Wai Lam works in the development of new catalytic reactions for organic synthesis. He received his M.Chem degree in chemistry from The University of Oxford in 1998 and his PhD from The University of Nottingham in 2001. Hon then moved to Harvard University as a GlaxoSmithKline Postdoctoral Fellow in 2002.

In October 2003 he joined the School of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh as a lecturer.Recognition of Hon's work has come in the form of the RSC Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize (2008), the RSC Hickinbottom Award (2011) and an AstraZeneca Excellence in Chemistry Award 2011.

Professor Lam said: “I am thrilled to be part of this exciting initiative to establish a new centre of excellence for sustainable chemistry. It is a fantastic opportunity to work in a brand new state-of-the-art research laboratory which is being built to the highest environmental standards. I am also looking forward to the opportunity to work in a strategic partnership with GSK on a variety of scientific problems.”

Professor David Amabilino (EPSRC/GSK Professor of Sustainable Chemistry)

Professor Amabilino received his PhD at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College (University of London), then did postdocs at the University of Birmingham and the Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg before settling in Barcelona in 1996 at the Materials Science Institute (ICMAB), part of the CSIC (the Spanish Research Council), first as a postdoc and then working up to research professor. He was awarded the Hermanos Elhuyar-Hans Goldschmidt prize (given jointly by the Spanish and the German Chemical Societies) in 2011.

Professor Amabilino’s research focuses on the potential of organic materials to be used for more sustainable products and processes.

Professor Amabilino said: “It's clear that the Carbon Neutral Laboratory will have an impact on the research we do on a day to day basis, and the projects carried out there will develop processes and materials that help make chemistry more sustainable. But beyond that I'm convinced that the initiative will raise awareness across society at all levels of the need for tackling sustainability in science and the opportunities that we have for achieving great things in this area that is so important for our future.”

Delivering world-class research

In their new roles, the team will contribute to the strategy and delivery of world-class research and scholarships in sustainable chemistry, particularly with relevance to the fine chemicals and pharmaceutical sectors.

Professor Peter Licence, Director of the GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry, said: “To recruit not one, but three leading experts in the field of sustainable chemistry is fantastic news for Nottingham. Their individual expertise and experience will allow them to lead innovative teams that will deliver changes to the way we currently approach chemical challenges and processing.”


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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university among graduate employers, the world’s greenest university, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World's Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

For more information please contact Charlotte Anscombe in the Communications Office at The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 7484 417,

Charlotte Anscombe – Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)

Email:  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

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