Previous Events 2011

A list of previous events held in the Thames Valley local section in 2011.


Science for Smarties (15th December 2011)

John Schollar (University of Reading) gave an enjoyable lecture on chocolate (with practical parts!).  The event was organised and held at Science Oxford, for over 50 people of all ages.

Science for Smarties - held at Science Oxford

Pretty Pretty Bang Bang (8th December 2011)

Professor Jacqueline Akhavan (Cranfield University) gave a fantastic lecture with live firework demonstatrations at the University of Reading's Great Hall.  Over 120 people of all ages enjoyed the lecture, which was preceded by mince pies and fizzy drinks.

Prof. Jackie Akhavan (inset) - Pretty Pretty Bang Bang.

Related Products

The Chemistry of Explosives

The Chemistry of Explosives

Copyright: 2011
Jacqueline Akhavan

A unique text which introduces difficult subjects in a readable manner, covering all aspects of explosive chemistry from history to manufacturing techniques and formulation.

CCFE Tour (19th October 2011)

CCFE, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, is based in Culham 6 miles south of Oxford.   CCFE is the one of the world's leading fusion research labs, and is the UK's national laboratory for fusion research.  The UK fusion programme is centred around the MAST (Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak) experiment; in addition the site also hosts JET (Joint European Torus).  10 RSC members attended this free evening tour along with 7 other groups - for information on attending one of the future tours, please visit the link below.  The 3 hour evening included a welcome tea & coffee, a short lecture on fusion energy, and two 1 hour tours of the JET and MAST experiments.

Tour of the model JET reactor at CCFE

Related Links

Link icon CCFE (Culham Center for Fusion Energy)
All about fusion, the MAST and JET experiments, and how to visit CCFE.

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Chemistry in the Gardens (October to December 2011)

For the International Year of Chemistry, the Oxford Botanic Gardens were host to chemistry related exhibits, workshops and posters relating to plants, including how compounds from plants can be found in everyday live - such as in medicines.  This grand event was opened by the Lord Mayor of Oxford, Elise Benjamin; the Chairman of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, Prof. Tim Softley; and the Director of the University of Oxford Botanic Gardens, Timothy Walker.

Chemistry in the Oxford Botanic Gardens

Mixer Meeting - Holiday Inn, Oxford (27th September 2011)

A mixer meeting was held for members at the Holiday Inn in Oxford, which included an 'industry hour' where speakers talked about their careers in industry, to increase awareness of local companies to local members as well as consultations.

Annual Dinner 2011 (23rd September 2011)

This years annual dinner was held at St. John's College at the University of Oxford.  The evening included a tour of the College led by Dr Angela Russell (RCUK Fellow in Medicinal Chemistry, CRL, Oxford), which was followed by a drinks reception and three course meal.  After dinner was our guest speaker - Professor Malcolm L. H. Green (Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, ICL, Oxford).

St. Johns College, Univeristy of Oxford

Evening Boat Trip (9th September 2011)

An enjoyable evening boat trip held with members from Chiltern & Middlesex local section.  Four hours were spend cruising the River Thames, with a buffet, dancing and even some nice weather!

Members enjoying the boat trip.

Retired Members Pub Lunches (Summer 2011)

The following pub lunches were enjoyed by all:

- The Rose Revived, Newbridge (6 July 2011)
- Longbridge Mill, Sherfield on Loddon (3 August 2011)
- Old Anchor Inn, Abingdon (25 August 2011)

Retired Members Pub Lunches

Highclere Castle Visit (28th July 2011)

A sell-out event with fifty one section members and guests visiting Highclere Castle on a sunny July day.  We started with a tour of the Castle rooms then descended into the cellars to see the Tutankhamun Exhibition.  The room guides were very knowledgeable and we learnt a lot about the history of the building, its occupants and Lord Carnarvon's involvement with Howard Carter and the 'Tut' discoveries and excavation.  The Castle is also the setting for the 'Downton Abbey' TV series and so followers of the series were able to see rooms used in the filming including the bedroom where the Turkish ambassador died!  The fine weather meant that we could take lunch outside and tour the gardens.  The event was enjoyed by all and subsequently the organiser was pleased to receive a number of congratulatory emails!

Highclere Castle

The Phil Smith Trophy - Prize Giving (18th-21st July 2011)

This year's competition to win The Phil Smith Trophy was 'Molecule Model Madness'.  For more details of the competition and to view the entries, please navigate to 'The Phil Smith Trophy' page.  1st, 2nd and 3rd place students each won their own professional model set and certificate. 1st place also received The Phil Smith Trophy, and a large class sized model set (supplied through Cochranes of Oxford Ltd).

First place winners from Fitzharrys School being awarded the Phil Smith Trophy

1st place winners  - Joanne McCabe and Helen Wiggins (science teacher: Dr. Esther Garcia-Rodriguez), pictured with their headteacher Jonathan Dennett (Fitzharrys School, Abingdon).  


Second and third place winners from Didcot Girls' School

2nd place winners - Chloe Winterbourne, Sharon Gaffka, Rebecca Mathews, Liane Wilson; 3rd place winners - Jenna Field and Amy Mock (science club coordinator: Lynn Nickerson); pictured with their headteacher  (Didcot Girls' School, Didcot).

Prizes supplied through:

Cochranes of Oxford

Sponsored Seminar - Prof. Adrian Mulholland (16th May 2011)

Prof. Adrian Mulholland


Prof. Adrian Mulholland (University of Bristol) presented a talk titled 'Computational Enzymology: Modelling Biological Catalysts'.  The seminar was organised by the Oxford University Biochemical Society, and sponsored by the RSC Thames Valley Local Section.  This enjoyable talk was well attended by 25-30 attendees at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford.


Society of Biology and RSC Annual Joint Lecture (12th May 2011)

Dr Lisa Methaven


This year's joint lecture with the Society of Biology was kindly given by Dr Lisa Methven, Lecturer in Food and Sensory Science, University of Reading.  This enjoyable and enlightening talk was titled 'Do we eat what we sense? Can our perception of food affect our health?', and was held at the University of Reading.



Annual Guest Evening 2011 - Colin Dexter OBE (6th May 2011)

Colin Dexter OBE

The 2011 Annual Guest Evening was held at Johnson Matthey Technology Centre, Blount's Court, Sonning Common, Reading. 

Following drinks on arrival, our guest speaker Colin Dexter OBE (the award winning crime novelist) regaled us with amusing anecdotes about Inspector Morse, and it was clear that quite a few present were admirers of that series of novels.  This relaxed evening even included a crossword with the winner being rewarded with a signed book from Colin.  Following this entertaining talk, a hot buffet was provided.

Annual Guest Evening 2011