13 Dec 2011
The Colloid and Surface Chemistry Group and the RSC Colloid and Interface Chemistry Group have awarded the 2011 McBain Medal to Prof Adam Lee. The McBain Medal is an annual award honouring a scientist who, early in his or her career, has already made a meritorious contribution to colloid and interface science.
This area of science underpins many important commercial technologies around the world today, including medical therapies, paints, corrosion prevention and catalysis. Adam Lee is a professor of physical chemistry at Cardiff University, and an EPSRC Leadership Fellow. He obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge, where he studied with R M Lambert. After a postdoc in Cambridge, Professor Lee was appointed to lectureships at Hull (1997), and York (2003), where he co-founded the surface chemistry and catalysis group, before moving to Cardiff in 2009.
His research spans the breadth of colloid and surface chemistry - he uses advanced thin-film synthetic and surface analytical techniques to obtain molecular level insight into important surface phenomena, including alloying, adsorption and catalytic chemistry.
Highlighting the importance of surface chemistry in everyday life, his research group's output has such varied applications as designer catalysts for clean chemical synthesis, improved magnetic materials for high-density data storage, and novel antibacterial wound dressings. A particular focus of Professor Lee's research is the rational design of new heterogeneous catalysts and the associated development of high-power instrumental techniques for investigating dynamic structural and chemical changes within such catalytically-active materials.
The McBain Medal was presented at a one-day meeting on 12 December 2011 at SCI headquarters in London. Prof Lee delivered a lecture entitled Faster, cheaper, greener: nanoengineering the active site in clean catalytic technologies. The meeting's other talks kers focussed on current research in topics related to precious metals used in catalysis and novel materials.