01 February 2013

Belfast professor scoops catalysis prize

catalysis 2013

Chris Hardacre, head of chemistry and chemical engineering at Queen’s University Belfast, UK has been awarded the inaugural IChemE Andrew Medal in recognition of his contribution to the field of heterogeneous catalysis.

Hardacre will be presented with the prize, introduced in memory of the late Syd Andrew, a distinguished professor in the field, at the Institution’s first Chemical Engineering and Catalysis conference in London in June. Hardacre’s research is recognised as world-leading and brings together chemical engineers and chemists.

Examples of the application of the research include new catalysts for low temperature hydrogenation of acids and amides, increased efficiency of liquid phase dehydrogenations and higher activity emission control systems.

“I am honoured by the award of the Andrew medal that has recognised our work in the field of catalysis,” says Hardacre.

“We study the fundamental mechanisms of heterogeneously catalysed reactions in both liquid and gas phases via conventional and new in-situ techniques developed in Queen's.  These methods provide information on both the catalyst structure and kinetics of the surface processes under realistic conditions.  

“This experimental data coupled with the understanding obtained through strong interactions with theoreticians have led to step changes in both catalyst activity and selectivity, which our industrial partners have been able to further develop.”

IChemE chief executive officer David Brown commented: “We’re delighted that, through the generosity of Professor Andrew, we are able to do more to recognise this important area of chemical engineering. Professor Hardacre was selected by an international panel of experts and this is a great way of demonstrating awareness and understanding of the role catalysis plays in our profession.”

Visit the Chemical Engineering and Catalysis 2013 website for more information about the Andrew Medal and presentation event.

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IChemE is a registered charity in England & Wales (214379), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 039661).