Innovation and Technology Transfer
The module will provide you with a clear understanding of the importance of innovation in the exploitation of new scientific and technological developments and the transfer process for this technology to enable commercialisation.
There is a strong focus on technology transfer from universities and research institutes out to industry and between industrial partners. The political and sociological debates about the significance of technology transfer from universities will be considered. The importance of intellectual property and patenting as a key element of commercialisation will also figure strongly in the module.
You will get 'hands-on' experience by researching technology transfer strategies in universities, by working through real patents, patent searching, the approach to patenting indifferent industrial sectors and the processes involved in patent exploitation eg licensing deals, collaborations and company start-ups.
Practitioners in the area, including members of the Business Development Network in the University, will assist with the module at appropriate points.
Introduction to Sustainability
This module provides an introduction to the philosophical framework of sustainability and green chemistry. It should include a discussion of the framework and modus operandi of future chemicals development. The triple bottom line should be discussed as a concept and unpacked to show how wide the net should be thrown in assessing any process. It will speak of the context of LCA, metrics, and the impact that legislation and social policy can have on the economics of a process.
The module should discuss efficiencies in terms of mass, atoms, effort and energy. Only with a full handle on each of these input driven metrics can be a quotient for greenness be truly developed.
You will aim to develop experience in the concepts used to assess processes (socio-economic, sustainability metrics, cost/benefit analysis). You will be taught by doing real examples, integrated with projects or industrial case studies. Cost/Benefit analysis and development of a broader vision for a larger system are crucial such that unforeseen circumstances.
Energy and Feedstocks
This module will increase your knowledge and understanding of the importance of materials in energy generation, storage and transport, and the challenges of identifying feedstock material. This will include a review of:
- energy-related gas storage in nanostructured carbons, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and related coordination polymers, including the use of these organic/inorganic materials for capture and purification of hydrogen and for storage other fuel gases such as methane, acetylene and CO2
- energy storage and conversion in fuel cells, batteries and photovoltaic devices; recent developments in the application of electrochemical methods for energy conversion and storage and the use of novel metal-based catalysts for fuel cells will be explored. Insights into the development of new materials for high-energy batteries will also be discussed, as will the development of materials and devices for the conversion of solar energy into electricity and solar fuels
Sustainable Synthesis: Biological Approaches
This module outlines how sustainable synthesis can be achieved by enzymes and whole cells, both on their own and in combination with other synthetic methods.
Sustainable Synthesis: Chemical Approaches
You will be given a detailed appreciation of the major challenges facing the chemical-using community. The module will cover sustainable methods for the construction of C-C bonds and C-Heteroatom bonds, in order to access high-value materials, and the best available methods for changes in oxidation level (both oxidation and reduction), as well as routine functional group interconversions.
Emphasis will be placed upon catalytic methods (where appropriate). The need to adopt alternative ‘green’ solvents will be covered, and a range of new and emerging reaction media will be discussed. The use of metrics (eg process mass intensity, E-factor, atom efficiency) will be discussed, and these will be applied to a variety of chemical processes to assess the strengths and merits of each.
Examples from the chemical industry will be used to show how the use of metrics can lead to the development of ‘greener’ pharmaceutical manufacturing routes.
From Bench to the Bank
The ability to convert novel ideas into successful business opportunities (new products and processes) is key to the long term profitability of the UK chemicals and related industries.
You will explore this commercialisation process, which will cover topics such as idea generation and selection, intellectual property, sources of finance, technology licensing and business planning from the perspective of both university researchers and industrial research and development scientists.
Sustainability in Action
In this module, invited lectures from industrial speakers will teach real examples of greener processes in the chemical industry.
Modern approaches to chemistry in-silico will be introduced including quantum chemistry and molecules mechanics.
Key concepts in quantum chemistry including the wavefunction, electron density, electron correlation, basis sets, potential energy surfaces and molecular properties, will be introduced.
These will be discussed qualitatively and in the context of the application of quantum chemistry to problems in molecular modelling. The discussion of molecular mechanics will include empirical force fields and molecular dynamics simulations.
Some emphasis will be placed on appreciating the merits and limitations of the different approaches. A hands-on approach to molecular modelling will be provided.
Sustainability Research Project
This module will give you the opportunity to undertake a research project in chemistry. A wide range of projects will be available and you will be offered a selection of research areas.
All projects will require a review of relevant published work and the planning and execution of a research topic under the guidance of a supervisor and an assessor. You will present your findings orally and in a written report.
Research Planning and Management
Techniques for searching the chemical literature, retrieving and organising references, and how to effectively write a literature review will be outlined. You will then work with academic supervisors to explore the current literature and develop a scientific hypothesis that will be investigated during their research project.
Project proposals, including, literature reviews, proposed work packages and experimental plans will be prepared and assessed. Particular attention will be drawn to the importance of a robust framework to ensure efficient management of experimental time and delivery of the project report.