The Jon Weaver PhD Prize, sponsored by Synthomer, rewards the best PhD students in the field of Polymer Science in the UK. The prize is awarded to a PhD student who has displayed an out- standing ability across a range of criteria throughout their PhD.
The 2013 Macro Group PhD Prize has been awarded to Dr. Joseph Patterson from the University of Warwick. His thesis was enti- tled “The synthesis, self-assembly and analysis of amphiphilic polymers: Developing microscopy techniques using graphene oxide and building catalytic palladium nanostructures” and his PhD supervisor was Prof. Rachel O’Reilly. Joseph’s re- search initially involved the synthesis and aqueous self-assembly of palladium con- taining amphiphilic polymers for increasing catalytic efficiency in cross coupling reactions; work that was published in Polymer Chemistry. Due to frustrations with the analysis of the assembled structures, his research changed direction to focus on new and improved characterization techniques. Focusing on multi-technique imaging using novel graphene oxide substrates and complimentary scattering analysis, he showed that the new techniques result in a deeper understanding of the materials and greater confidence in the analysis. This work was published in Soft Matter and Macromolecules and Joseph received the Domino MarcoGroup UK young polymer scientist of the year award in 2011. This led to many collabora- tions with researchers in the UK and internationally, resulting in papers published in Nature Chemistry, ACS Nano, Advanced Functional Materials and other journals. During this time, Joseph collaborated with research groups in France, Holland and the USA. On one of his trips he secured a position as a postdoctoral scholar in the Gianneschi lab and the Center for Aerosol Impacts on Climate and the Environment (CAICE) at UC San Diego. His current research focuses on developing liquid/gas in situ- and cryo-TEM techniques for dynamic marine and synthetic nanomaterials.