Happy New Year!
Congratulations are in order for three reasons:
(1) We survived another year and are all super excited for 2015. This semester brings a lot of travel, with Mike giving talks at Heriot-Watt and Lancaster (UK), Mainz and TUM (Germany), Ghent and Liege (Belgium) and three research centres in India. Coupled with the wife’s new job with Novartis in Dundee (and our pending house move), it will be a busy four months!
(2) Jarret’s paper has been published in Polymer Chemistry. Both he and I are really proud of this work – it reports the synthesis and characterisation of a series of ABA triblock copolymers. Variation of the mid-block with different substituted propiolactones has neat effects on the thermal properties of the end products. It is Open Access so the world can read it for free. Click here.
(3) Emily’s review on high refractive index polymers has been published in Polymer International. This is the first such review that has comprehensively captured the research in intrinsic HRIPs, and is an important foundation for future research in the area. Click here for access.
Our paper on the intricacies of diimine supported iron complexes in styrene polymerisation has been published in Chemistry: A European Journal. Check it out: It’s free to access this week. The article even got tweeted by Chem. Eur. J.’s feed!
September always brings new things, but it is especially true this year. I’ve taken over the role of Head of Graduate School for the University of Edinburgh School of Chemistry, I’m now in charge of the 3rd Year Inorganic Programme, and my lab continues to grow. This September we’ve had two new starters join the team.
Stefan Cairns joins us after completing his undergraduate degree at University College Dublin. He’s Irish and is exploring both new monomers and new catalysts for the preparation of biodegradable polymers.
Dr Ben Lake joins us after completing his PhD at the University of Leeds. He is working on an EPSRC-funded project on Fe and Ti mediated controlled radical polymerisation. His expertise in inorganic coordination chemistry will serve him well on this applied project.
The “People” pages should be updated soon with photos of the new lab faces, but in the meantime:
(2) Have fun!
(3) Get to work!
This week Mike was inducted into the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Young Academy of Scotland. This is a prestigious honour, and also an interesting opportunity. The Young Academy was started by the Royal Society of Edinburgh as a youthful model of their own activities, bringing together emerging leaders in science, humanities, arts, business and civil society. Importantly, as in the RSE, it brings together a diverse set of perspectives. Non-homogeneity is key to out-of-the-box solutions, after all!
Despite the teasing from colleagues about having the “young” designation attached to a 37-year old, this is actually the average age of participants. Mike personally hopes to get involved in the Research the Headlines and Industry Working Group pillars of the YAS to address some of the most challenging issues facing society in Scotland (either in an independent form or as part of a strong UK).
Well the Green Materials Laboratory has yet another new member…
And although her tag may read “Tootsie”, this is not Dustin Hoffman’s dog. Callie is 2-year old rescued greyhound who joined our team from the Greyhound Rescue Fife organisation.
Good news: Our paper on the mechanistic understanding of ATRP and OMRP interplay in amine-bis(phenolate) iron complexes has been published in Inorganic Chemistry. This paper was driven forward by our excellent mechanistic collaborator, Rinaldo Poli, so all credit and kudos go to him!
Click here to link through to the manuscript!
It was as summer as it gets in Scotland. Sun, cool breeze, no rain. You could even wear shorts, if you were so inclined. A lovely night had by all. Team Chef Richie W and Sous Chef Kevin manned the barbecue. Even though Batman attended the party, he refused to engage in the group photo shenanigans to protect his secret identity. Everyone ate too much food.
Winners: Argentina, Netherlands, Hungry People.
Losers: Belgium, Costa Rica.
Are you in search of an awesome place to do a post-doc?
Great! Because I’m in search of an awesome post-doc.
Details on the “Join the GML” page.
Fern has published a paper on some work she did in her undergraduate project with Stephen Thomas at the University of Edinburgh. Steve’s group develops simple iron catalysts as alternatives to expensive platinum group metals. In this instance, they’ve applied their work to the synthesis of that ubiquitous drug ibuprofen. Congrats Fern!
Click here to read the Organometallics paper!