20 Dec 2012
On 12 December 2012, the University of Huddersfield hosted the Yorkshire and Humberside Group's Annual Awards Ceremony. The event began with a reception and poster session on 'Novel reactions and catalysts with the potential to produce new drugs' where postgraduates from the University of York, University of Leeds and University of Huddersfield showed off their current research.
The poster session provided an excellent chance to chat with postgraduates from chemistry to chemical engineering backgrounds doing new and exciting research. Each student gave a summary of their work, relating specifically to the potential commercialisation of their work. All the students had excellent posters and were clearly passionate about their work. There can only be one winner, however, and this was Mary Gunn from the Marsden group at the University of Leeds. Her outstanding poster was on 'Substituted Pyridines: A Modular, Catalytic Approach' and was on the one-pot preparation of substituted pyridines using catalytic aza-Wittig and Diels–Alder reactions.
Following the poster session, there was a public lecture on 'Reactions, Catalysts and New Medicines: the Impact of Modern Chemistry' by Prof Joe Sweeney. This was his inaugural professorial lecture and was very well attended. Joe demonstrated to the public that making new drugs is extremely difficult and will require new ideas and new chemical reactions. His lecture was both informative and poignant and, of course, fun.
The 2012 Awards Ceremony began after the lecture. Dr Brian Iddon presented the group's Chemistry for Industry Award to a very deserving Prof Philip Kocienski from the University of Leeds, and the Research and Development for Society Award went to Prof Sir John Holman from the University of York for his exceptional work with STEM and the Salters' Advanced Chemistry Course.