8 April 2022

Rideal Lecture and Symposium on Polymer Colloids

Organised by:

SCI's Colloid and Surface Chemistry Group and RSC's Colloid & Interface Science Group

SCI, London, UK

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The Sir Eric Rideal Lecture honours an individual who has made a sustained and distinguished contribution to colloid and interface science in the UK and a one-day scientific meeting is organised around the winner. The 2021 awardee is Professor Steve Armes from the University of Sheffield. The one-day symposium, to be held in 2022 because of the pandemic, will feature seven invited lectures by his colleagues and collaborators to talk on both their past and more recent research related to Synthesis, Characterisation and Applications of Polymer Colloids. The meeting will conclude with Professor Armes’ award lecture.  

This meeting should bring together chemists, chemical engineers and physicists interested in the fundamentals of polymer colloids research, as well as those interested in the preparation, analysis and application of these materials. One of the aims of the meeting is to allow young researchers and students a unique platform to get first-hand information from world-renowned scientists on topics of prime importance in colloid science.  Attendees can have their work featured in the lunchtime poster session.

Call for posters

An abstract of maximum one A4 page or 300 words indicating title and authors should be sent to conferences@soci.org by Thursday 17 March 2022 with the subject line “Steve Armes Rideal lecture - poster abstract submission". Please find a template for the abstract here.


Prof Alex Routh

University of Cambridge

Alex Routh is Professor of Colloid Science at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Cambridge. He holds a joint appointment at the BP Institute for Multiphase Flow, a multidisciplinary research center spanning five physical science departments within the University. Alex holds undergraduate and masters’ degrees from Cambridge and a PhD from Princeton University. After postdoctoral work in Bristol he returned to Cambridge in 2006 as lecturer, becoming professor in 2017. Alex’s research covers encapsulation, lubrication, neutron scattering and reflectivity as well as drying of dispersions.

Brian Saunders

Brian Saunders obtained his PhD at Monash University (Australia) in 1994 and worked as a post-doc with Prof. Brian Vincent at the University of Bristol between 1994 and 1997. He is a Professor of Polymer and Colloid Chemistry at the School of Materials, University of Manchester. His research involves the application of polymer and colloid chemistry principles to healthcare and solar energy research. He has an international reputation for microgel research. He is co-founder of a University of Manchester spin-out, Gelexir Healthcare (now Gelmetix). Our solar group has recently achieved a published perovskite solar cell efficiency of 20.98%.

Dr David Growney


Dave began his career in Industry at Lubrizol Ltd in 2015. Beginning as a Chemist, he was promoted to Research Chemist in 2016 and works on Strategic Research projects for the company. He practices in the area of colloid science and the focus of his current work is in and around engine lubricant degradation, including particle dispersion, surfactant self-assembly, emulsion fundamentals and fluid aeration. Prior to this he completed a Ph.D in Chemistry under Prof. Steve Armes FRS at the University of Sheffield, which was also where he carried out his Masters in Chemistry. The focus of his BP sponsored Ph.D was the investigation of diesel soot dispersion in engine lubricant.

Dr Fiona Hatton

Loughborough University

Dr Fiona Hatton obtained her PhD from the University of Liverpool in 2014, which focused on the preparation of highly branched dendritic polymers using ATRP for biomedical applications. After her PhD she joined the Division of Coating Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm as a postdoctoral researcher and in 2016 she returned to the UK to work as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Sheffield. In 2018, Fiona became a lecturer in Polymer Chemistry in the Department of Materials at Loughborough University. Her research interests include renewable polymer synthesis and block copolymer self-assembly.

Dr Nick Warren

University of Leeds

Dr Nick Warren graduated from the University of Bristol in 2005 with an MSci in Chemistry, he subsequently worked in industry for two years before starting a PhD in Polymer Chemistry at the University of Sheffield which he completed in 2012. He continued as a post-doctoral research associate in Sheffield, where he focussed on the use of polymerisation-induced self-assembly for the preparation of a range of block copolymer nanomaterials. This included several multi-disciplinary collaborative projects which developed wholly synthetic biocompatible hydrogels for use as synthetic matrices for stem-cell storage. In 2016 he was appointed as a University Academic Fellow at the University of Leeds and was subsequently promoted to Associate Professor in 2021. His research group focusses on using new ‘enabling’ technologies for enhancing precision of controlled polymer synthesis, including development and application of artificially intelligent flow reactor platforms.

Dr Oleksandr Mykhaylyk

University of Sheffield

Oleksandr Mykhaylyk graduated in Physics (optics and spectroscopy) from Kyiv State University (Ukraine) in 1991. After receiving his PhD in solid state physics and crystallography from the Institute for Problems of Materials Science (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) in 1996, he was appointed as a Senior Scientist at the same institute and carried out his research on structure of carbon-based materials, including superhard carbides, nanodiamond, carbon onions and graphene. After holding Royal Society/NATO Fellowship at the University of Cambridge in 2000-2001 he joined the Department of Chemistry at Leeds University as a research associate working on block-copolymers self-assembled structures and fat crystallisation. In 2004 he moved to the University of Sheffield where he has established Soft Matter Analytical Laboratory, specialising in X-ray scattering techniques and rheology, and currently holds a post of Senior Research Fellow. His research interest is in structural characterisation of soft matter materials, especially polymers, biopolymers, colloids and lipids.

Professor Fiona Meldrum

University of Leeds

Fiona holds a Chair in Inorganic Chemistry at the School of Chemistry, University of Leeds, UK. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Cambridge and her doctorate in bio-inspired crystallization from the University of Bath. Following a postdoctoral position at the University of Syracuse, USA she carried out further postdoctoral work at the Max Plank Institute of Polymerforschung, Mainz, before joining the Australian National University as a Research Fellow. She then returned to the UK to take up a lectureship at Queen Mary, University of London in 1998, and moved to the School of Chemistry, University of Bristol in 2003. She joined the University of Leeds in 2009. Her research focuses on crystallization, with particular emphasis on biomineralization and bio-inspired crystal growth, where natural systems are used as an inspiration for the design and synthesis of crystalline and amorphous minerals. Fiona was awarded an RSC Interdisciplinary prize in 2017 and an ERC Advanced Grant in 2018.

Prof Steve Armes

University of Sheffield

Prof Armes studied for his BSc (1983) and PhD (1987) at the University of Bristol. He then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico for two years before taking up a lectureship at the University of Sussex. He was promoted to Professor in 2000 and moved to the University of Sheffield in 2004. His research interests are focused on polymer colloids and he has published 680 peer-reviewed papers (H-index = 118). His research has been recognised by the award of six RSC medals and he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014.


Friday 8 April

Welcome and opening remarks
RAFT polymerisation of monomers derived from renewable resources
Dr Fiona Hatton, University of Loughborough
Engine Lubricant Formulation – Employing Polymer and Colloid Science to Drive Performance
Dr David Growney, Lubrizol
Enabling Technologies in Polymer Synthesis
Dr Nick Warren, University of Leeds
Doped-Up: Bio-Inspired Synthesis of Single Crystal Nanocomposites
Prof Fiona Meldrum, University of Leeds
Diffusiophoresis: Motion in bidisperse colloidal particle mixtures
Prof Alex Routh, University of Cambridge
Refreshment break
Structural characterisation of colloids and particles by small-angle scattering
Dr Oleksandr Mykhaylyk, University of Sheffield
Hydrogels constructed with nanogels: from programmed actuation to strain sensing
Prof Brian Saunders, University of Manchester
A Career in Polymer Colloids
Prof Steve Armes, University of Sheffield
Award conferral
Networking reception
Due to the uncertainty and ever changing situation regarding the pandemic and company travel policies, it may be necessary for some speakers to present remotely at short notice.
Venue and Contact


14/15 Belgrave Square

Conference Team

Tel: +44 (0)20 7598 1561

Email: conferences@soci.org

Before early bird - ends 7 Mar 2022
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Organising committee

Dr Dwaipayan Chakrabarti, University of Birmingham
Dr Lee Fielding, University of Manchester

Conference team
Tel: +44 (0)20 7598 1561
Email: conferences@soci.org