2014 Jon Weaver PhD Prize

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 outstanding ability across a range of criteria throughout their PhD.

athina-anastasakiThe 2014 Macro Group PhD Prize has been awarded to Dr Athina Anastasaki from the University of Warwick. Her thesis was entitled “Shining a Light on Copper Mediated Living Radical Polymerisation: Maximising End Group Fidelity”. Athina worked under the supervision of Prof. D. Haddleton and used copper mediated polymerisation techniques to obtain sequence-controlled multiblock copolymers. During her PhD, she also spent two months at the University of Pennsylvania (USA), working in the group of Prof. V. Percec. Her work has been published in leading chemical and polymer journals including JACS, Angewandte Chemie, Chemical Science, and Macromolecules. Athina presented her research at various international conferences and collaborated with several researchers around the globe, including Prof. Barner-Kowollik (Germany), Prof. Davis, Prof. Zetterlund (Australia), and Prof. Nunes (Saudi Arabia). She is currently working as a Monash-Warwick Alliance Research Fellow. Her research interests include controlled living radical polymerisation methods, mechanistic studies, photochemistry, sequence-controlled polymers, glycochemistry and polymer-protein conjugates. In January 2016, she will start a prestigious Elings Fellowship (USCB University) to join Prof. C. Hawker’s group in Santa Barbara. Athina will receive her award in September at the YRM in Warwick.

2014 Macro Group UK Medal

The Macro Group UK Medal is awarded annually to a UK based scientist who has made a signifi-cant and substantial contribution to the development of polymer science through his/her scientific achievements and/or services to the UK polymer science community.

cameron-alexanderThis year the award has been made to Professor Cameron Alexander (School of Pharmacy, The University of Nottingham).

Professor Alexander received his PhD from the University of Durham in 1990 and has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry since 2008. His work has focused mainly on the synthesis of polymers for bio-medical applications, especially drug, gene and cell delivery. Most recent-ly he has held an EPSRC Leadership Fellowship (2009 -14) to develop synthetic biopolymer complexes and conjugates, bioresponsive polymers for gene therapy, and smart materials for biomolecular recognition in solu-tion and at surfaces. He has published extensively in leading journals including Nature Materials and Nature Chemistry, providing seminal contributions on the use of polymers in a range of bio-logical environments, and for synthetic biology. Cameron has successfully established the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Therapeutics and Nanomedicine and is the UK PI for ‘NanoFar’, the first European Erasmus Mundus joint doctorate in Nanomedicine.

2014 Macro Group UK Young Researchers Medal

The Macro Group UK Young Researchers Medal is awarded annually to a UK-based scientist, normally under the age of 36 on December 31st of the preceding year, whose contributions to polymer science show outstanding promise for the future.

PaulTophamThis year award has been made to Dr. Paul D. Topham (Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, Aston University).
Dr. Topham obtained his PhD in 2006 from the University of Sheffield. Following this he undertook a post-doctoral research position, working for Uni-lever. He was appointment as a Lecturer at the University of Aston in 2008 and was recently promoted to a Reader position (2013). His research focuses on the synthesis, development and application of well-defined polymer systems to address issues of both fundamental and industrial importance. His current re-search interests include organic solar cells, rubber technology, electrospinning, microphase separation, click chemistry, tissue engineering, cell therapy, drug delivery, polymer fibres and water purification. Paul’s work has led to numerous papers and some collaborations with companies such as Robinson Brothers Ltd and Belectric OPV GmbH and with a Chinese University. Paul is an Associate Editor of Wiley journal, Polymer International and has been Treasurer/Co-organiser of Recent Appointees in Polymer Science (RAPS).

2014 Macro Group UK Medal for Outstanding Achievement

The Macro Group UK Medal for Outstanding Achievement is awarded biannually to a scientist based anywhere in the world that has made outstanding contributions to the field of polymer science.

Ezio RizzardoDr. Rizzardo has co-invented two of the three living radical polymerization methods that have revolutionized polymer chemistry over the last 20 years. Namely, the nitroxide-mediated polymerization (NMP) and the Reversible Addition Fragmentation chain Transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The impact of these discoveries on polymer chemistry worldwide has been enormous. The techniques, especially RAFT, are used widely in polymer science laboratories across the world, to produce macromolecules for use in applications including healthcare, energy and nanotechnology. Dr Rizzardo’s achievements have been recognized by many inter- national awards. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2002 and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2010. In 2011 he was awarded the Australian Prime Minister’s Prize for Science, and he has numerous other awards and medals for his research achievements throughout his career.

(Ezio Rizzardo Web Pages)

2013 Macro Group UK Medal

The Macro Group UK Medal is awarded annually to a UK-based scientist who has made a significant and substantial contribution to the development of polymer science through his/her scientific achievements and/or services to the UK polymer science community.

Ullrich SteinerThis year the award has been made to Professor Ullrich  Steiner (University of Cambridge).

Prof Steiner has over the past 15 years focussed extensively on the assembly of structures in soft matter, using principles derived from polymer science to develop and understand a wide range of materials systems. He uses molecular self assembly of soft matter to provide templates that can dictate the assembly of materials that are usually not amenable to self assembly processes (e.g. metals, metal oxides, conjugated polymers). He has pioneered a range of strategies that replicate organic moulds or structure directed inorganic synthesis into design structures with control on the 10 nm length scale. In particular, over the last 5 years, he has shown that controlled nanostructured materials have excellent potential in im- proving the efficiency of energy materials ranging from solar cells to batteries. Moreover he has delivered unique new insights into the mechanism by which Nature utilises polymer self assembly and controls colour.
(Ullrich Steiner Web Pages)

2013 Macro Group UK Young Researchers Medal

The Macro Group UK Young Researchers Medal is awarded annually to a UK-based scientist, normally under the age of 36 on December 31st of the preceding year, whose contributions to polymer science show outstanding promise for the future.

douganThis year award has been made to Dr Lorna  Dougan  (School of Physics  &  Astronomy,  University  of Leeds).

Dr Dougan is working in a very interesting area at the interface of polymers, biology and physics. She has developed novel single molecule force spectroscopy methods to mechanically manipulate polymers and proteins, including the development of tem- perature variability. This approach uncovers features of the molecular architecture and mechanical function of naturally occurring biological molecules and novel, synthetic components and provides insight into polymer collapse, protein folding, mechano-chemical reactions, enzyme catalysis and solvent mediation in biological systems. Lorna has also developed an independent research program of neutron diffraction activity at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories (RAL)

(Lorna Dougan Web Pages)

2013 Jon Weaver PhD Prize

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.

patterson.fwThe 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.