2009 Distinguished Service Award Peter Griffiths

Dr Peter Charles Griffiths was born in Plymouth, Devon in 1967.

Since 1995 he has been a lecturer at Cardiff University. He was awarded D.Sc. (University of Bristol) and docent (Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm) in 2007; currently Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (CChem, F.R.S.C.) and Fellow of Institute of Teaching and Learning.

He is currently chair of the SCI element of the combined SCI/RSC Colloid and Surface Chemistry Technical Interest Group, and from April 2009, joint Chair of the combined groups; the purpose of this Technical Interest Group is to represent the UK community in the area of colloid science/nanotechnology, primarily through the organisation of conferences; provision of travel bursaries and expert opinion to companies and learned bodies. He was previously the awards officer who championed the introduction of the McBain Medal, a new award to recognise someone in the early stages of their career.

He is chair of the Rideal Trust Committee, again a joint venture between the SCI and RSC; its key role is to coordinate the Rideal Travel Bursary scheme and support for the triannual Rideal Conference.

He is chair of the south east Wales local section of the RSC; responsible for the coordination of activities promoting and furthering chemistry-related activities in south east Wales, especially in relation to the education sector, via seminar series, schools outreach events, interaction with organisations that popularise science eg Techniquest, providing a focal point for retired members.

He is a member of the SCI Awards Committee; responsible for the selection of individuals to receive the recently re-launched SCI Major Awards, long-standing service awards, and other SCI related medals and prizes; previously conducted a review of the number and nature of the various awards offered by SCI.

He is also an advisory board member for the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science; consultant for Dow Corning, external advisor for EPSRC Grant (EP/E019323/1) Structure-Kinetics Relationships in Micellar Solutions (Colin Bain, Durham); member of the ISIS Faculty Access Panel that peer-reviews neutron proposals in the area of large scale structures; and member of the Instrument Advisory Panel associated with the Target station II developments.

He is a member of International Scientific Committees for the following conferences: 7th International Conference on Polymer Therapeutics, Valencia May 2008; Macro2010 IUPAC World Polymer Congress, Glasgow, July 2010; 2nd ESF Summer School in Nanomedicine, Lisbon 2009; 1st ESF Summer School in Nanomedicine, Cardiff, June 2007; Polymers at Interfaces, Bristol 1993; Diffusion in Heterogeneous Media, SCI London, 1998; IACIS2000, Bristol, 2000; Resonance Techniques in Colloid Science, Manchester, 2003; Colloids in the Body, SCI London, 2007.

He is a frequent referee for EPSRC & BBSRC, and numerous scientific journals (Macromolecules, J. Phys. Chem, Langmuir, Biomacromolecules, Polymer, J. Coll. Int. Sci, Soft Matter, Colloids and Surfaces, etc.), as well as neutron proposals submitted to NIST (USA).

Peter is an examiner for MSc and PhD students in a number of UK Universities – Bristol (1999, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006), Cardiff, Greenwich (2002, 2007), NEWI (2008) and East Anglia (2003); as well as Melbourne, Australia (1999), Lund (2005) and Stockholm (2006).
He took part in a Radio Wales Science Café Interview – Nanotechnology & ISIS 21s Nov. 2008-11-25.

Peter is a Chemistry Admissions Tutor – solely responsible for arranging and coordinating all aspects of the admissions process; preparation of UG brochures and publicity material, arranging visit days, overseeing the interviewing of all suitably qualified applicants, making all formal offers to applicants and ensuring intake targets are met, supervising the award of chemistry bursaries (nine at £3,000 2007/8 entry).

Under his stewardship over the last seven years, the number of applications to chemistry schemes at Cardiff has risen by over 50%, significantly greater than the national average; last year alone Cardiff saw a 1% increase in applications whereas the national trend was a 10% downturn. Over the same period, there has been a 10% increase in the average UCAS point tariff of these applicants.

He is a module convenor, responsible for maintaining academic quality on four modules: one core Foundation Year module (Thermodynamics, Kinetics and Structure), one core level two physical chemistry module (Kinetics – from enzymes to polymers) and two optional level three modules (Soft Solids; Polymers); setting exam papers; collating module marks; and reporting to the exam board.

Peter is also a nanosciences committee member, contributing to the pilot theme based university-wide restructuring of research grouping; to promote a forum to facilitate interdisciplinary research; to position the university to react more quickly to larger funding opportunities.

Peter Griffiths interview

Colloid and Surface Chemistry Group

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