A PROFESSOR at Huddersfield University has been invited to join a key chemistry industry body.
Joe Sweeney, Professor of Catalysis and Chemical Biology at the university, has been appointed to the Northern Sustainable Chemistry Consortium.
Prof Sweeney and other scientists from the university have now teamed up with colleagues across the North of England for research which will help firms make drugs and other products more economically, efficiently and sustainably.
Prof Sweeney has wide experience of the chemical industry, including collaborations with multi-nationals AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer.
The universities of Durham, Leeds, Newcastle and York are the other members of the consortium. They will pool expertise and resources to investigate catalysis, a process which can enable the production of higher-value chemicals and lead to lower levels of waste in manufacture.
Prof Sweeney said the consortium’s goals included achieving greater sustainability by finding ways to use less energy in the production of chemicals and developing synthetic replacements for petrochemical-based compounds.
“Chemistry and chemistry-related research contribute something like 20% of the UK’s GDP,” said Prof Sweeney.
“Therefore, more sustainable and smarter processes – to make both low and high-value chemicals – are excellent candidates for funding from the Government and research councils.”
Although it is Prof Sweeney who has been invited to join the consortium, many other Huddersfield University scientists will take part in the research, including a team of PhD researchers working in the catalysis field.
They include Prof Rob Brown, director of the university’s Materials and Catalysis Research Centre. A big role will also be played by the university’s Innovative Physical Organic Solutions team, based at the £2.3m Page Laboratories.