8 December 2020

Mcbain Medal 2020

Organised by:

SCI's Colloid & Surface Chemistry Group and RSC's Colloid & Interface Science Group

Online Webinar: 14:00-16:40 GMT

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The SCI and RSC respective Colloids Groups are delighted to announce that Prof Jerry Heng of Imperial College London is the 2020 recipient of the McBain Medal.

Prof Heng’s research programme focuses on surfaces and interfaces for the control of nucleation and crystallisation. His research group demonstrated how the interface can be engineered to control nucleation and crystallisation of organic polymorphs and proteins.
More recently, the group introduced soft templating approaches based on molecular interactions for nucleation control and the development of continuous biocrystallisation platform for downstream purification.

The McBain Medal is presented annually to an early career researcher (within 15 years of the award of a PhD) for outstanding achievement in colloid and interface science.


This event will be of interest to researchers in surface science, crystallisation and chemical engineering working in functional, responsive, and self-healing materials; controlled release; tuneable soft materials and soft actuation. The meeting will focus on aspects that underpin crystallisation with applications in colloidal stabilisation in foods, electronics, renewable energy, healthcare and more. 


Dr Elena Simone

University of Leeds

Elena Simone graduated with an MSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pisa (Italy) and then moved to Loughborough University (UK) to study for a PhD in the Department of Chemical Engineering. After obtaining her doctorate degree she stayed in the same institution for a postdoc. Elena joined the School of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Leeds in September 2016 as Lecturer in Food Crystal Engineering.

Gianluca Di Profio

National Research Council of Italy – Institute on Membrane Technology (CNR-ITM)

He is a physical chemist, appointed as senior researcher at the CNR-ITM. Gianluca is the Coordinator of the H2020 FET-OPEN project AMECRYS - Revolutionising Downstream Processing of Monoclonal Antibodies by Continuous Template-Assisted Membrane Crystallization (2016-2021), funded by the EC. Gianluca is co-founder and chief scientific director of the Seligenda Membrane Technologies S.r.l., a joint spin-off company of CNR and UNICAL, registered as an innovative start-up in 2020. He is co-author of around 100 scientific papers, 15 chapters in books, 1 book and 1 patent.

Prof Jerry Heng

Imperial College London

Professor in Particle Technology at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London. The Heng group’s research studies the surface properties of crystalline solids (impact of processing, manufacturability and formulation). He is currently an EPSRC Manufacturing the Futures Fellow and serves as Editor-in-Chief (elect) for Chemical Engineering Research and Design, Thematic Editor of Particuology and an Editorial Board Member of Proceedings of the Royal Society of London A.

Dr Karen Robertson

University of Nottingham

Dr Robertson completed her PhD on metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) at Imperial College London in 2012. Since then her work has spanned synthetic and physical chemistry, materials science and engineering through positions at Clariant Oil Services, the University of Bath and the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces. This year she was awarded the Young Crystallographer of the Year Award by the British Crystallographic Association for her work on in situ monitoring of crystallisation processes, uncovering polymorphic transitions during the flow crystallisation of pharmaceuticals through Raman spectroscopy and powder and single crystal X-ray diffraction.

Dr C Malla Reddy

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata

Professor and Head at the Department of Chemical Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata. His research work focuses on building strong capability in interdisciplinary areas of fundamental and applied Crystal Engineering. His group is credited for the pioneering work on mechanically flexible molecular crystals and structure - mechanical property relationships. Dr Reddy has graduated in Crystal Engineering from University of Hyderabad and took up Post-doctoral Research at the Institute of Nanotechnology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany (2007 – 2008).

Prof Ying Diao

University of Chicago Urbana-Champaign

Professor Diao is a Beckman Fellow, Dow Chemical Company Faculty Scholar, Lincoln Excellence for Assistant Professor (LEAP) Scholar at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Diao group, started in 2015 at Illinois, focuses on understanding assembly of organic functional materials and innovating printing approaches that enable structural control down to the molecular and nanoscale. For her work on printed electronics, Ying Diao was named to the MIT Technology Review’s annual list of Innovators Under 35 as a pioneer in nanotechnology and materials. She is also a recipient of NSF CAREER Award and NASA Early Career Faculty Award.


14:00 Welcome and acknowledgements
 Chairs of SCI/RSC respective Colloid groups

14:10 Mechanically Flexible Molecular Crystals
Prof C Malla Reddy, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, India

14:30 Crystal engineering particles for interfacial stabilization and novel sustainable formulations
            Dr Elena Simone, University of Leeds, UK

14:50  Surface-directed crystallization of semiconducting polymers
Prof Ying Diao, University of Chicago Urbana-Champaign, USA

15:10 Crystallisation control through millifluidics
           Dr Karen Robertson, University of Nottingham, UK

15:30 Engineered membrane surfaces as powerful tools for the crystallization of organic materials
           Dr Gianluca Di Profio, Istituto per la Tecnologia delle Membrane, CNR Italy 

15:50 Mcbain Medal winner 2020
Prof Jerry Heng, Imperial College London and winner of the McBain Medal 2020

16:40 Closing remarks


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