29 Apr 2014
The Scottish regional meeting of the 25th SCI Regional Postgraduate Symposium took place at Heriot-Watt University on 9 April 2014. A total of 11 speakers from university chemistry departments in Scotland and Northern Ireland presented a mixture of exciting cutting-edge research ranging from methodology to total synthesis, the use of enzymes in the synthesis of PET ligands and solvent and isotope effects in non-covalent interactions.
The meeting was held in the beautiful Cairn Auditorium in the University Postgraduate Centre, recently used by 2011 Nobel Prize winner Prof Dan Shechtman to describe his work on quasicrystals.
The standard of talks was excellent, from the level of science presented to the clarity of the slides and the oral deliveries, making the task of identifying a winner and runner-up quite challenging. However, after much discussion Mark Greenhalgh from the University of Edinburgh was awarded first prize for his work on 'Iron-catalysed hydrofunctionalisation of alkenes and alkynes' and Emily Robinson from the University of St Andrews was awarded second prize for her talk on 'Anhydrides as α,β-unsaturated acyl ammonium precursors: Isothiourea-promoted catalytic asymmetric annulation processes'.
Following a wine reception at the University, the speakers and local organising team (Dr Magnus Bebbington and Dr Ai-Lan Lee) retired to dinner in the city centre to postulate future directions for Scottish postgraduate research.
SCI would like to thank Heriot-Watt University for the use of its wonderful facilities and Takeda Cambridge Ltd for co-sponsorship.