9 December 2022

Mcbain Medal 2022: Stimuli-Responsive Soft Matter and Interfaces

Organised by:

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

SCI, London, UK

Registration Closed

This event is no longer available for registration.


SCI's Colloid & Surface Chemistry Group and RSC's Colloid & Interface Science Group are delighted to announce that Prof Rachel Evans of the University of Cambridge is the 2022 recipient of the McBain Medal. Rachel’s research programme focuses on the design of light-responsive soft materials and interfaces for energy and sensing technologies

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 full day meeting will honour Prof Rachel Evans and at the same time the Medal will be presented.

The electronic delegate pack for this event is now available and can be downloaded here.


This event will be of interest to researchers working on colloid and polymer chemistry, soft matter physics, drug delivery, materials science, and biointerfaces. The meeting will focus on fundamental aspects that underpin applications in cell preservation, sensing, nanomedicine, and diagnostics.

Call for posters

Opportunities are available for a limited number of posters. Interested applicants should send an abstract of maximum one A4 page or 300 words, indicating title and authors to, conferences@soci.org by Wednesday 30 November 2022 with the subject line “McBain medal 2022 – poster submission”. An abstract template can be downloaded here.


For further information and prices, please email conferences@soci.org


Prof Rachel Evans

University of Cambridge

Rachel is a Professor of Materials Chemistry in the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge. She received her MChem and PhD from Swansea University, before undertaking postdoctoral positions at the Université Paris-Sud, France and the Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal. Before moving to Cambridge, she was Associate Professor at Trinity College Dublin, where she co-founded Senoptica Technologies to commercialise a sensor platform developed in her lab. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute for Materials, Minerals and Mining. Rachel leads the Photoactive Materials research group which focusses on the design and characterisation of light-responsive soft and hybrid materials and their implementation in solar energy, encapsulation and communication technologies.

Dr Emily Draper

University of Glasgow

Emily is currently a Senior Lecturer in Chemistry and a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow in the School of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow. Dr Draper's interests are the characterisation and control of supramolecular structures. She enjoys using small angle neutron scattering, rheology and electrochemistry, trying to combine them all to monitor changes in situ, with the aim to understand and control what processes can occur in these organic supramolecular systems. Dr Emily Draper received her PhD from the University of Liverpool’s School of Chemistry and received the 'Best Thesis' award in 2016 from the RSC Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry group. She carried out two PDRA positions, one in Liverpool and then at the University of Glasgow working on multi-component gels. In September 2017 Emily was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship and a Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Leadership Award from the University of Glasgow. Emily then set up her own research group working on flexible electronic materials made from supramolecular self-assembled materials. This has now expanded into chromic devices, ophthalmic devices, and materials for specialised cell culture and differentiation. In 2018, Emily became a Lecturer in the School of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow and in 2020 received the BTM Willis prize in neutron scattering from the U.K. neutron scattering users group for her work on characterisation on supramolecular materials using neutrons. Emily was awarded a Future Leaders Fellowship from the UKRI in 2021 and then Emily was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2022.

Prof Gianmarco Griffini

Politecnico di Milano

Gianmarco Griffini is an Associate Professor of Science and Technology of Materials at the Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta” of Politecnico di Milano (Italy). He received his MSc degree in Chemical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano in 2005 and his PhD degree in Materials Engineering from the same institution in 2012, after spending a few years in the private sector working as process engineer. He has held visiting positions at Norwegian University of Science and Technology, at University College London, at University of California at Berkeley, and at University of Castilla-La Mancha. His current research interests are mainly focused on the development and characterization of polymer-based materials and on the study of their structure-property relationships. Areas of major interest are: materials and devices for solar energy and light harvesting, management and conversion; materials and devices for energy storage; stimuli-responsive polymeric materials for advanced manufacturing technologies; bio-derived and biodegradable polymers and related applications.

Dr Gemma-Louise Davies

University College London

Gemma gained a BA Mod Chem and PhD from Trinity College Dublin (TCD) in Ireland. She carried out a brief Industry-supported Post-Doc in TCD before moving to the University of Oxford as a Post-Doc. In 2013, she joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Warwick as a Senior Research Fellow supported by an Institute of Advanced Study Global Research Fellowship, where she began her independent research career. She joined UCL Chemistry in July 2017 and is now an Associate Professor of Materials Chemistry. Gemma is also an associate editor for the RSC’s Journal of Materials Chemistry B and Materials Advances. The team’s research designs and develops nanostructured devices to understand and solve current healthcare challenges, overcome obstacles in important industrial processes and assess the fate of nanomaterials in the environment.

Dr Judith Houston

European Spallation Source

Judith Houston is an instrument scientist at the European Spallation Source, which is currently under construction in Lund, Sweden. She got her first degree at the University of Newcastle, and went on to complete her PhD in Physical Chemistry at Trinity College Dublin under the supervision of Prof. Rachel Evans. In 2016, she moved to Munich, Germany, to work as an instrument scientist/post-doc at the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science. She moved to Lund, as second scientist on the LOKI small-angle neutron scattering instrument, which she now leads. Her research is focused on probing the nanostructure of soft materials, including colloids, food and biological compounds. The aim of her work is to shed light on the relationship between a material’s structure at the nanoscale, and its properties at the macroscale.

Prof Matthew Fuchter

Imperial College London

Matthew Fuchter is a Professor of Chemistry and co-Director of the Centre for Drug Discovery Science in the Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London. He is also a Founder, NED and the chemistry lead for a new immunotherapy NK:IO Ltd. He is involved in multiple multidisciplinary centres of excellence at Imperial including the Institute of Chemical Biology, the Imperial College Network of Excellence in Malaria, the Centre for Processable Electronics and the London Centre for Nanotechnology. His research concerns the development of chemistry-led approaches to interrogate function in chemistry, materials and medicine. Professor Fuchter has been awarded a number of prizes in recognition of his work, most recently a Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists in the United Kingdom (2020), conferred by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Corday-Morgan Prize (2021), and a RSC 2022 Materials Chemistry Division Horizon Prize: Stephanie L Kwolek Award.


Friday 9 December 2022

Registration and refreshments
Opening remarks
Self-assembled electrochromic small molecules
Dr Emily Draper, University of Glasgow, UK
Developing light-addressable soft materials using next-generation photoswitches
Prof Matthew Fuchter, Imperial College, UK
Refreshment break
Responsive materials for MRI theranostics
Dr Gemma-Louise Davies, UCL, UK
Lunch and posters
Probing structure and softness of super soft colloids
Dr Judith Houston, ESS, Sweden
Stimuli-responsiveness at different scales: from thin surfaces and interfaces to bulk engineering materials
Prof Gianmarco Griffini, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Refreshment break
Photoresponsive colloids, droplets and crystals: from bottom-up design to emerging applications
Prof Rachel Evans, University of Cambridge, UK
Final remarks
Conference close

Venue and Contact


14/15 Belgrave Square

Conference Team

Tel: +44 (0)20 7598 1561

Email: conferences@soci.org

Before early bird - ends 28 Oct 2022
SCI/RSC* Member - £60
Non-member - £75
SCI/RSC* Student member - £30
After early bird
SCI/RSC* Member - £80
Non-member - £95
SCI/RSC* Student member - £40

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Organising committee
Dr Beatrice Cattoz, Infineum, UK
Dr Lee Fielding, University of Manchester, UK
Dr Sarah Rogers, STFC UKRI, UK