After a busy week of settling in, we have finally managed to get (most) of the group together for a new mega-group photo!
Welcome to all new members – both graduate and undergraduate (EJ, Tom, Callum, and Angus (not on the photo!)) students, including those working with Sebastien (Stella and James)!
Here Charl with all graduate students who started since May – Basiram, Safa, Xue, Dauren and Sam, with Prof Hugh Brady (Vice Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol – not a new PhD student), at a recent PGR welcome event!
A new study, where Charl contributed to on-going collaborative activities with former postdoc (and now professor at Donghua) Yaozu Liao, was published in Chemical Engineering Journal. This study explored modified tetraphenylmethane (TPM)-based POPs i.e. mPTPMs (synthesized via Buchwald-Hartwig cross-coupling of a tetrakis(4-bromophenyl) methane core and selected aryl diamine linkers, followed by a crosslinking alkylation strategy using diiodomethane as a crosslinker).
This new strategy offers mPTPMs with high surface areas, uniform ultramicropores where porous properties are readily controlled by the substitutions of linkers and the crosslinker. More details on the paper entitled “A crosslinking alkylation strategy to construct nitrogen-enriched tetraphenylmethane-based porous organic polymers as efficient carbon dioxide and iodine adsorbents” to follow soon!
Well done to all involved!
Charl was privileged to be invited to attend the Royal Society and African Academy of Sciences‘ Connecting Minds Africa 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya.It was a great opportunity to meet a large number of bright and ambitious young academics from all over Africa, including Future Leader-African Independent Researcher (FLAIR) Fellows.
Charl also had the chance to meet his mentee, FLAIR Fellow and up-and-coming academic Professor Balla Diop Ngom from Dakar, Senegal!
It was a busy week in the Faul Research Group – we hosted a mini symposium with a large number of research groups based in the South West (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff) and active in the broad area of porous materials on Wednesday.
Sebastien did a great job in organising the symposium – thank you! We also received support from the Cabot Institute! The next meeting already planned for early next year!
The group took a break from the lab last week, and spent some time at “Locked in a Room” on the Bristol harbour side!
Glad to report that both the groups solved the riddles and escaped from their rooms within the allotted time! See if you can identify all of the mad scientists! We wrapped up the morning’s activities with a great lunch!
A group of students from the BCFN, including various Faul Research Group members, travelled to the State Key Laboratory for Supramolecular Materials and Structures at the College of Chemistry at Jilin University (Changchun), and then on to the State Key Laboratory for Polymers and Textile Fibers at Donghua University (Shanghai).
It was, in addition, great to have a mini Faul Research Group China reunion, with Yaozu, Wei (both now at Donghua), Robert, Esther, Henry, Christian and Charl!
Maha successfully passed her viva, with external examiner Cecile Dreiss from King’s College London. This fantastic achievement was celebrated in the appropriate fashion – with some home-made cake (by Veronica)!
Congratulations Dr Maha! Well done!
We had the pleasure of hosting two collaborators from the Department of Chemistry, IIT Kharagpur in Bristol for a week! It was great to have Professors Sanjib Patra (who spent 4 years in Bristol as postdoc in our close collaborator Ian Manners‘ group) and Sabyashachi Mishra here interacting with colleagues, exploring new opportunities and giving talks!
This visit, funded by the University of Bristol’s International Strategic Fund, is part of a much larger collaboration (Manners/Faul – Patra/Misha) funded by the Indian government’s SPARC initiative. We also had the chance, with our local collaborator Dr Natalie Fey, to meet with the UoB’s International Office to discuss further interactions!
We look forward to many further future interactions and exchanges!
Christian, a BCFN PhD student jointly supervised by close collaborator Jonathan Rossiter and Charl, won the prize for the best talk at the M4 Colloids Symposium. This annual one-day conference, sponsored by the RSC, is an excellent platform for the exchange of scientific ideas between research groups from the Universities of Bristol, Bath and Cardiff, along with others from the UK and abroad.
Well done Christian!
Charl spent a few days in Changchun, China, continuing to strengthen ties to Jilin University‘s College of Chemistry. He gave a short introductory course on soft matter and liquid crystals to a group of early career graduate students.
Great to visit again, and looking forward to the next visit in August!