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This workshop will introduce key concepts in sustainable materials design, including the evolution of materials, current material classes and consumption, life cycle analysis, and eco audits. Following the introduction to theory and several examples of applying eco audits to frequently debated problems, students will take apart modern electronic devices (tools provided). The workshop will close with a critical examination of the devices, material and design choices, as well as end-of-life options.

AO1 Molecular Orbitals in Organic Chemistry new Tue 4 Jul 2017   12:00 Finished

AO1 is a 3 part series, which runs over the course of three years in rotation and sees Molecular Orbitals in Organic Chemistry (the first part) being given this year. These lectures do not need to be taken in order. The series is as follows:

AO1 Part 1. Molecular Orbitals in Organic Chemistry (4L, current) These lectures introduce molecular orbitals – the fundamental description of electron distribution that chemists use to explain chemical bonding and chemical reactivity. There is no mathematics, only the basic physics. Topics include s-bonding, p-conjugation using the Hückel picture, hard and soft acids and bases, and reactivity using, with some circumspection, frontier orbital theory and the Salem-Klopman equation.

AO1 Part 2. Stereospecific Reactions in Organic Synthesis (4L, 2018) These lectures describe how the sense and degree of stereospecificity in several fundamental chemical reactions – substitution, elimination and addition – and the sense and degree of stereoselectivity in others – nucleophilic and electrophilic attack on double bonds with diastereotopic surfaces – can be explained by considering the molecular orbitals involved.

AO1 Part 3. Pericyclic Reactions (4L, 2019) These lectures continue the subject of stereospecificity, which is seen in its most powerful form in pericyclic reactions. The four classes of pericyclic reaction are described, and their allowedness and stereochemistry explained. The Woodward-Hoffmann rule is illustrated with the most telling examples.

AthenaSWAN Event new Thu 25 May 2017   12:30 Finished

Following our recent straw poll on how members of the Department would like to meet up and discuss issues relating to gender equality in our Department, this mixed gender meeting invites you to come and contribute to a discussion session over lunch.

The questions and issues to be discussed will be generated through people filling out this Anonymous Survey and all ideas/suggestions produced during the meeting will be taken to the AthenaSWAN Committee for discussion, potential approval and implementation.

BIO1 Alkaloids: Biosynthesis and Medicinal Importance Wed 22 Feb 2017   13:00 Finished

Alkaloids are nitrogen-containing natural products produced primarily by plants but also by all other types of organism. They have a wide range of biological and medicinal properties, e.g. stimulants, toxins, hallucinogens, anti-cancer, anti-malaria, etc. In this lecture we will look at ways in which we can discover how an organism makes a particular natural product and then look at the biosynthetic pathways to one or two of the huge number of known alkaloids. Finally we will look at ways in which people have exploited existing biosynthetic pathways to make altered natural products or to transfer production to more amenable organisms.

BIO2 Terpenes: Biosynthesis and Medicinal Importance Fri 24 Feb 2017   13:00 Finished

Terpenes (isoprenoids) are the largest class of natural product. They all share a common biosynthetic pathway in which a linear hydrocarbon diphosphate undergoes cationic cyclisation followed by a seies of rearrangements, oxidations, cleavages etc. to generate the vast array of known structures. In this lecture we will look at the biosynthetic pathways to some of the more well-known terpenes, at engineering readily grown organisms to make medicinal terpenes or biofuels, and at organic synthetic reactions inspired by the terpene biosynthetic pathway.

BIO3 Multidomain Biosynthetic Enzymes: PKS & NRPS Mon 27 Feb 2017   13:00 Finished

Polyketides, made by polyketide synthases (PKS), and non-ribosomal peptides, made by non-ribosomal peptide synthases (NRPS) are futher large classes of natural products containing very important medicinal compounds, including antibiotics erthyromycin (PKS), penicillins and vancomycin (NRPS). Unlike the alkaloids and terpenes, which are made by a succession of steps catalysed by monofunctional enzymes, polyketides and non-ribosomal peptides are generally made by huge multifunctional proteins, to which the starting material is tethered at the start of the process and then extended and modified by a series of domains in the protein, before finally being released at the end of the chain. This lecture will look at the mechanisms involved and the organisation of these "molecular production lines".

Naturally produced polyketides and non-ribosomal peptides possess a broad range of important biological activities and have the potential to be developed into potent pharmacological drugs. The assembly of these natural products has been the subject of intensive protein engineering efforts to produce tailored and improved analogues that perform desired biological activities. In this lecture a researcher from Isomerase Therapeutics Ltd will discuss strategies to modify the production lines of modular biosynthetic systems introduced in the previous lecture, and will present the concepts used to create 'designer' natural products that act as pharmacological agents, using real-life examples from Isomerase's portfolio.

BIO5 Biocatalysis in Organic Synthesis Fri 3 Mar 2017   13:00 Finished

Enzymes, which essentially catalyse all the reactions that occur in nature, generally show exquisite enantioselectivity. This has made them very useful in synthetic processes where the target molecule is a single enantiomer (as is often the case for pharmaceuticals). In this lecture we will look at some of the advantages and issues involved in using enzymes in synthesis. Some enzymes carry out reactions with other types of selectivity that is hard to achieve synthetically, and elucidating biosynthetic pathways provides a vast resource of potential enzymes for synthesis. Some examples of this will be described.

Biological RIG Seminars Self-taught Not bookable

To see a list of all upcoming Biological Chemistry Seminars please visit

You can also subscribe to these talks and download them to your calendar from

The Masterclass is an intensive programme of talks from experts working in the broad areas of energy supply and demand, both in industry and the university. The focus is on technology challenges and opportunities, including examples of the use of science and engineering in the energy industry. The Masterclass covers a very broad range of themes, from conventional supplies, renewable supplies to energy efficiency, and it provides new insights about both long and short term challenges for the energy infrastructure. An important aspect of the Masterclass is the opportunity to learn about and debate some of the important questions concerning different energy sources, about energy efficiency and climate change. All undergraduates and graduate students may apply to attend the Masterclass, especially those in engineering, physical science or chemical engineering. To register please go to

Chemical Reactions promoted by Visible Light new Thu 24 May 2018   17:00 Finished

The session aims to show how visible light can be used to promote chemical transformations in various fields of research. It will be divided in three subunits. The principles of photochemistry (how light interacts with matter), photoredox catalysis and some milestones achievements in organic photochemistry will be the topics of the first section. In the second section, novel organic reactions from the literature will be highlighted to underline the power of photochemistry/photoredox catalysis. Selected applications in other areas including materials and chemical biology will also be illustrated. In the third section, the focus will lie on energy-related light driven transformations such as water splitting and CO2 reduction.

Catering will be provided in the Todd Hamied after this session - booking is essential

This session introduces new undergraduate Chemistry students to the Department of Chemistry Library and its place within the wider Cambridge University Library system. It provides general information on what is available, where it is, and how to get it. Print and online resources are included.

Chemistry Networks Event Thu 29 Sep 2016   14:30 Finished

A special department networking with industry event. Places are very limited so please make sure that you attend if you book a place.

  • 2.30pm Overview of the Department - Prof. John Pyle | Head of Department
  • 2.50pm The Biological RIG - Dr.Finian Leeper | Chair of the Biological RIG
  • 3.10pm The Materials RIG - Prof. Oren Scherman | Director of the Melville Laboratory
  • 3.30pm Tea & Coffee (Todd-Hamied Room)
  • 4.00pm The Physical RIG - Prof. Rod Jones | Chair of the Physical RIG
  • 4.20pm The Synthesis RIG - Prof. Matthew Gaunt | Chair of the Synthesis RIG
  • 4.40pm The Theory RIG - Prof. David Wales | Chair of the Theory RIG
  • 5.00pm Reception and Poster session (Cybercafé)
CP10 Entrepreneurship and Innovation new Wed 21 Feb 2018   13:00 Finished

Simon Turner and Tim Guilliams have a wealth of experience in many different areas of entrepreneurship and innovation. If you feel that this might be the direction for you to head in, hearing them speak and being able to discuss with them the options available in this area will be extremely useful.

See how SciFinder can help you narrow the job search during this presentation. You’ll see the research discovery application as never before – an effective tool for finding industries and companies aligned with your research and professional interests

Get essential tips for getting your research published with the ACS Editors. You’ll learn how to prepare a strong manuscript, choose the best journal for your research, and prepare a cover letter that will get the attention of the Editors.

Have you ever taken the time to consider your social media footprint? In this session, we look at popular platforms Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and show how you can manage your personal brand and promote your research to the scientific community in a way that’s effective and ethical.

In this session, we take a critical look at the peer review process and what the editors are looking for when they send a manuscript out for review. You’ll also get tips for crafting a first-rate review and see how you can become an ACS reviewer.

CP11 The Energy Industry Wed 26 Oct 2016   16:00 Finished

A brief overview of the different divisions of the ‘downstream’ sector of an oil company and the ways in which chemistry can be applied. John Redshaw of BP will be giving this talk

CP12 Oil & Chemical Spill Response new Fri 9 Mar 2018   11:00 Finished

ITOPF is a not-for-profit marine ship pollution response advisory service providing impartial advice worldwide on effective response to spills of oil & chemicals. Annabelle is sent across the world to advise people on how to clean any oil or chemical spill occurring at sea. She also advises on pollution damage caused by spills (environmental and economic) and assesses the technical merits of claims for compensation. She will explain the wide variety of backgrounds of people working in this industry and their role in an incident.

CP13 Science Policy Development & Government new Wed 28 Feb 2018   13:00 Finished

How do Government and Parliament make decisions? What can you do to make sure that the decisions that are made are sensible, and take account of the evidence available? In this session, Julian will discuss the mechanisms that are available to input into policy making, whether you want to do this as a full time career or just provide occasional advice.

CP14 Careers in the Service Industry new Thu 3 May 2018   11:30 Finished

RSSL is a contract analytical sciences company serving the food, pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Having Mondelēz International as a parent company means that a portion of the work involves fascinating products such as Cadburys chocolate and Philadelphia cream cheese. In this session the presenter will explain the work of a contract analytical company through the lens of RSSL and explain how analytical chemistry adds intellectual and financial value to organisations.

CP15 Teaching in a Range of School Environments new Mon 12 Feb 2018   13:00 Finished

This session will look at various pathways leading from academic research background into secondary school teaching and what the job is like in different environments. There will be short presentations and plenty of time for questions.

CP16 Teaching in Higher Education (UK & USA) new Thu 17 May 2018   12:00 Finished

In this session, Deborah will outline the opportunities that exist in both the US and the UK respectively for University jobs that are teaching-focused. She will highlight the differences which exist between the countries and explain how to prepare and apply for these positions.

CP17 Individual CV Advice Appointments new Mon 5 Mar 2018   15:30 Finished

Drs. Chorghade and Scott will make themselves available for individual discussions regarding your CVs and aim to help you produce a good CV or even tailor what you have towards the job you are interested in applying for. Please book to register your interest, individual appointments will be made when we have an idea of how many people will require them.

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