News & Events

Three project students win prizes

Congratulations to Joe McManus, Becky Martin and Ben Carwithen who all won School of Chemistry prizes for their achievements in the final year of their degree programmes.  Joe (left) was awarded the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Project Prize and received a Head of School Commendation Letter.  Becky (centre) received the Peter Cox Prize and a Head of School Commendation Letter.  Ben (right) was awarded the Richard Dixon Prize.

Faraday Discussion 217 on Ultrafast Photoinduced Energy and Charge Transfer, Ventura, CA, Apr 8-10, 2019

The Scientific Committee for Faraday Discussion 217, the first ever to be held in California, comprised Mike Ashfold and recent Benjamin Meaker Fellow Steve Bradforth (Univ. S. California), Tom Oliver, Jennifer Ogilvie (Michigan), Naomi Ginsberg (U.C. Berkeley) and Vas Stavros (Warwick). The Discussion, which was very well attended, featured Introductory and Closing Remarks lectures by, respectively, Majed Chergui (EPFL) and Bern Kohler (Ohio State), 23 other papers for discussion and about 60 posters (including one from group member Marta Duchi, who is pictured with Mike on the beach in Malibu).

Andrew Orr-Ewing delivers the 2019 Burton Lecture at King’s College London

Andrew was invited to give the 2019 Burton Lecture at King’s College London on 20 March, and spoke about his research group’s work on the use of transient absorption spectroscopy to study photochemical reaction mechanisms.  Professor Harold Burton was Head of the Department of Chemistry from 1947 until 1966, and the series of annual lectures to commemorate his contributions began in 1970.

Poster Prize for Luke Lewis-Borrell

Congratulations to Luke Lewis-Borrell who won a poster prize at the SCI Spotlight on Photoredox Catalysis and Photochemistry meeting in London on 26th Feb.  Luke’s poster highlighted how ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy methods can be used to characterize the excited state lifetimes and electron transfer rates of organic molecules designed for use as photoredox catalysts, and hence how photoredox-catalysed reaction mechanisms can be unravelled.  The work will lead to new design principles for future generations of catalysts.

Andrew Orr-Ewing is the 2019 Davidson Lecturer at the University of Kansas

Andrew Orr-Ewing travelled to the University of Kansas in February 2019 to deliver the annual Arthur William Davidson Lecturer.  This lecture series in Physical Chemistry has run since 1987 and Andrew was the first scientist based outside the USA to be invited to deliver the Davidson Lecture.

Ryan Phelps wins poster prize

Congratulations to Ryan Phelps who won a prize at the RSC Spectroscopy and Dynamics Group’s annual conference for his poster entitled “Observing the fate of keto carbenes using ultrafast spectroscopy”.  The poster describes Ryan’s studies of short-lived reactive intermediates in solution using transient infra-red spectroscopy on femtosecond to picosecond timescales.  The SDG annual meeting was held at the University of Nottingham from 7-9 January 2019 and was attended by almost 150 delegates.

Outreach to Secondary School Students in Nepal

Dr Rabi Chhanytal-Pun has recently returned from a trip to Nepal in which he established links with the Department of Chemical Science and Engineering at Kathmandu University, and visited Loyola Secondary School in Kathmandu to lead outreach activities.   The outreach was supported by Bristol ChemLabs colleagues who provided Rabi with colorimeter equipment to take to Nepal for hands-on experiments by the school students.  About 80 students and two school teachers participated in the outreach activities.

Oral presentation prize for Dr Ravi Kumar Venkatraman

Congratulations to Dr Ravi Kumar Venkatraman who was awarded the Elsevier Prize for Best Oral Presentation at the 2018 International Conference on Perspectives in Vibrational Spectroscopy, held at BARC, Mumbai in Nov 2018.  Ravi’s talk was entitled “Novel Insights into the Photophysics and Photochemistry of Benzophenone: A Tale of Two Different Solvent Environments”.  Part of his presented work was reported in a recent paper in J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 9, 1642−1648 (2018). DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.8b00345.

Dr Tom Swift awarded EPSRC doctoral prize

Congratulations to Tom Swift who has been awarded a prestigious EPSRC doctoral prize fellowship to work with Tom Oliver. His research will investigate the dynamics of photosynthesis in crop species.

Dr Sohail Mushtaq secures position with MSI Ltd

Congratulations to Sohail who will start as a senior application scientist with Mass Spectrometry Instruments Ltd in January 2019. MSI specialises in the design and application of high performance magnetic sector double focusing mass spectrometers. 

Welcome to Georgia Thornton

Georgia joins us from the University of Warwick as a new PhD student.  She will be working on the study of mechanisms of photoredox catalysed reactions in solution using ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy.

Welcome to two new group members

Fabiola Cardoso Delgado and Teo Garcia Millan are Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials Centre for Doctoral Training students, and will study for PhDs with Tom Oliver, jointly supervised by Heather Whitney and Carmen Galan, respectively.

Andrew Orr-Ewing elected to Membership of the Academia Europaea

Academia Europaea was founded in 1988, on the initiative of the Royal Society and other National Academies in Europe.  Academia Europaea is the only Europe-wide Academy with individual membership from Council of Europe states and other nations across the world.

Poster prize for Matt Bain

Congratulations to Matt Bain who won a prize for his poster at the RSC Photophysics and Photochemistry Interest Group Meeting, held in Swansea from 20 – 21 September 2018.  Matt’s poster was entitled “‘Coulomb Explosion Imaging: watching molecular structure on a femtosecond timescale”.

Visit by Prof Stephen Bradforth (USC)

Professor Stephen Bradforth (University of Southern California, USA) was a Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor at Bristol during September 2018. Steve uses ultrafast spectroscopic techniques to explore a range of topics including DNA photodamage and protection, light harvesting and solar energy conversion. Tom hosted his scientifically rewarding visit. Andrew and Mike are pictured here with Steve at Golden Cap on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset.

Welcome to Stuart Crane

Welcome to Stuart Crane who joins the Bristol group as a postdoctoral research associate.  Stuart studied for his PhD in ultrafast chemical dynamics with Prof David Townsend at Heriot-Watt University, and will work on a project in Bristol to study photochemical dynamics using ultrafast laser spectroscopy and velocity map imaging with PImMS camera detection.

Welcome to Dr Xu-Dong Wang

We are delighted to welcome Dr Xu-Dong Wang to the Bristol group as a postdoctoral research fellow.  Xu-Dong obtained his PhD from the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, where he used velocity map imaging to study the dynamics of dissociative electron attachment to molecules, under the guidance of Professor Shan Xi Tian.  In Bristol, Xu-Dong will be working on VMI studies of reactive scattering and photodissociation dynamics.

Marta Duchi wins poster prize

Congratulations to Marta, who won a poster prize at the Celebration of Bristol Chemistry V, held on 3rd July 2018.  Her poster, entitled “Charge transfer dynamics and vibrational wavepackets explored with ultrafast techniques” described recent work she has carried out in Tom Oliver’s ultrafast laser laboratory.  The event brought together postgraduate students and postdocs from across the School of Chemistry to present their wide-ranging research achievements.

Welcome to Dr Patrick Robertson

Welcome to Dr Patrick Robertson, who has joined the group as a postdoctoral research fellow working on velocity map imaging of chemical dynamics.  Patrick joins us from La Trobe University in Melbourne, where he obtained his PhD with Dr Evan Robertson studying the the effects of hydrogen bonding in organic molecules and their clusters using laser spectroscopy techniques.

Welcome to Dr Chu Fenghong

We are delighted to welcome Dr Chu Fenghong as a China Scholarship Council Visiting Scholar.  Chu is visiting from the Shanghai University of Electric Power, and will be working on the study of optical properties of single, trapped aerosol particles using cavity ring-down spectroscopy.