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Vice Chancellor's Visit

last modified Dec 21, 2017 12:39 PM
Vice Chancellor's Visit

Prof John Dennis and Prof Stephen Toope (click on image for larger version)

The Vice Chancellor, Prof Stephen Toope, visited the department on Friday 15 December 2017.

He was met by Head of Department Prof John Dennis and Deputy Head (Research) Prof Lisa Hall, then shown around the laboratories and given mini presentations of some of our exciting multi-disciplinary research projects.

Prof Stephen Toope became the 346th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge in October 2017, succeeding Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz.

He said of the visit, "It's been fascinating to see the breadth of multidisciplinary research that is happening in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology – I look forward to seeing more world-changing discoveries and innovations from the department in the future."

Antonina Kerbs from the BioNano Engineering group talked to the Vice Chancellor about their collaboration project with Addenbrooke's. She showed him a solution of functionalised gold nanoparticles (which she had synthesised) and described how the surface-localised hyperthermia of gold nanoparticles can be used to enable mild thawing of cryopreserved cells.

Martin Chan (centre), from the Combustion Group, demonstrated a lab scale model of a fluidised bed, to show the phenomenon of fluidisation and how bubbles can form and behave. Matthias Schnellmann (right) then talked about their application in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies such as Chemical Looping Combustion.

Sam Aworinde, a final year PhD student in the Sustainable Reaction Engineering group, talked about his collaborative research with ExxonMobil and showed the experimental unit for his work, which concerns the selective oxidation of low-cost and low-value light alkanes into more commercially valuable petrochemicals such as alcohols and ketones. Sam discussed how the new concept investigated in his research has resulted in much improved selectivity to alcohols over conventional processes, and the patent being filed for the process through Cambridge Enterprise.