Faraday joint interest group conference 2021

29 - 31 March 2021, Sheffield, United Kingdom



This conference has been rescheduled from 6-8 April 2020 to 29-31 March 2021 and we are looking forward to seeing you at the conference on the new dates. We fully understand that it is difficult for delegates to make travel and conference plans at this time, however we encourage delegates to continue to register for the conference without risk as we are happy to refund registration fees at a later date if the conference plans change. We will contact all registered delegates as soon as possible with any changes to planned events, and the latest information on the conference schedule, registration details and any programme changes will be announced on these web pages. If you have any questions please contact us. We remain grateful for your support.

Showcasing UK physical chemistry research


You are warmly invited to join us in Sheffield in April 2021. This Faraday Division joint interest group conference is the second in the series, the first in 2017 being a big success, it is set to be a highlight for the physical chemistry community in 2021 - and you can be a part of it.
The first meeting of this conference series was held in Warwick in 2017, and we are excited to bring the second edition to Sheffield. 
Organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry and their Faraday Division, this meeting will host some of the leading physical chemistry researchers from the UK. It promises to be a great forum for researchers to network with and build strong collaborations within their community and related disciplines.

I look forward to welcoming you to Sheffield on behalf of the Scientific Committee.
Anthony Meijer, University of Sheffield
Scientific Chair


The Royal Society of Chemistry is keen to encourage and enable as many people as possible to attend our events, to benefit from the networking opportunities and the chance to hear talks from leaders in the field. If you would like to discuss accessibility, or have childcare, caring responsibilities or other care needs, please contact us to discuss your requirements so that we can enable your attendance. Please refer also to our Grants for carers fund, for more information please see the ‘bursaries’ section on this page.


The programme will explore various aspects of physical chemistry:

Advances in materials
Current advancement of materials suitable for solving global challenges in the area of energy generation and storage, materials for information technology and materials for environment

Biophysics and imaging
Advanced imaging techniques for understanding biology

Chemistry at cold temperatures
Study of molecules and reactions at cold to ultracold temperatures. From rate measurements to formation of ultra-cold molecules

Chemistry at surfaces
Investigation of chemistry on surfaces including catalysis, photocatalysis and thin films

Excited state processes
Developing experimental and computational probes of light-induced chemical dynamics and reactivity

Machine learning methods in material property prediction
Recent developments in the application of machine-learning tools to predict and interrogate the properties of molecules, liquids and solids

Magnetic Materials
Investigations of magnetic and spintronic materials using theory and experiments focusing on analysis and new generation applications

Neutron spectroscopy and allied techniques
Neutron spectroscopy and related techniques, such as IR, Raman and NMR, highlighting current status and future perspectives

Next-generation quantum chemical methods: From development to applications
Recent developments in quantum chemical methods for calculating the properties of molecules, liquids and solids. Applications to model important chemical systems such as catalysts, batteries and enzymes

Observational Astrochemistry
Using observations to find evidence molecules in space. These can be obtained using both space and terrestial telescopes

Theory and applications. Understanding how photocatalysts, be it molecular or solid, can accelerate or initiate chemical reactions when illuminated, including the discovery of new photocatalysts and new photocatalysed reactions

Photophysics of functional and solar cell materials
Light-induced processes in materials ranging from photoactive proteins to transition metal oxides, perovskites, nanoparticles and organic semiconductors with applications in artificial photosynthesis, solar cells and devices

Simulation and Modelling of astrochemical and atmospheric processes
Chemical networks, large scale modelling

Structure of Molecules
Developments in the determination of electronic and geometric structure of molecules and intermolecular interactions using spectroscopic and computational methods

Recent Appointees in Physical Chemistry 2021

The Recent Appointees in Physical Chemistry (RAPC) meeting is an opportunity for recently appointed researchers in the field of physical chemistry to form a collaborative community, share experiences, and create a network of support. RAPC 2021 will be held as part of the Faraday joint interest group conference in Sheffield.
There will be an RAPC session on the afternoon of Wednesday 8 April. Participants will have an opportunity to present a lightning presentation of their research, and to share and discuss their experiences of becoming a research leader with peer-to-peer support and advice. There will also be opportunities to network throughout the conference, including an RAPC dinner.

RAPC attendance is included as part of the conference registration fee, so please select the option at registration if you would like to take part. There will also be opportunities to submit questions for the group discussion at registration and during the conference.

Arantxa Arbe, CSIC-UPV, Spain

The scientific carrier of Arantxa Arbe (Research Professor of the Spanish National Research Council, CSIC, since 2009) has been closely linked to the Group of Polymers and Soft Matter in San Sebastian (Spain). There she carried out her PhD (1990-1994), under the supervision of Prof. Colmenero, combining dielectric spectroscopy with neutron scattering techniques for the investigation of the dynamics of linear homopolymers. In her post-doctoral stay in the Forschungszentrum Jülich (Germany) (1994-1996), she acquired a solid background in the use of scattering techniques. Her achievements during that period were recognized with the Young Scientists Award of the European Neutron Scattering Association (1996). Later, she translated her experience to the San Sebastian group, in which she integrated as responsible for the application of scattering techniques (first, neutrons, and later, also X-rays). These methods constitute one of the main pillars of the well-known methodology developed in this group, that combines experimental techniques (relaxation, calorimetry, microscopy and scattering) and computer simulations (coarse grained and fully atomistic). Along her carrier, she has investigated structural and dynamical properties of polymers systems of increasing complexity (homopolymers, polymer blends, solutions, nano-composites, nano-structured systems, polymeric nano-particles, etc). Her scientific achievements have given rise to 175 publications in international journals, including five reviews. She has also participated as a member in the Scientific Advisory Committee of prestigious neutron scattering research centers (like the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum in Garching, the European Spallation Source, ESS, in Lund, and the Institute Laue-Langevin in Grenoble), and in diverse proposal selection panels in neutron facilities, sometimes as chairperson.

Paola Caselli, Max Planck Institute, Germany

Paola Caselli studied Astronomy at the University of Bologna, where she graduated in 1990. In 1994 she obtained the PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Bologna, after spending nine months as visiting student at the Ohio State University with Professor Eric Herbst and two years at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) as a pre-doctoral fellow with Professor Phil Myers. After a Postdoctoral Fellowship at CfA, in 1996 she became Researcher at the Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory in Florence, where she remained until 2005.  In 2006 and 2007 she was Visiting Scholar in the Department of Astronomy, Harvard University, and in 2007 she became Professor of Astronomy at the School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leeds. Since 2014, she is Director of the Centre for Astrochemical Studies at the Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and Honorary Professor at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.

Jenny Clark, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

Research Interests
I am interested in understanding the physics of carbon-based pi-conjugated materials from organic semiconductors to biological materials using a range of spectroscopic techniques.
Current Position
2015-present part-time VC Research Fellow, University of Sheffield, UK.
Research Experience
2009-2013 Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow, Cambridge University, UK.
2009 Visiting Scholar, Hyderabad University, India.
2007-2009 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Supervisor: Prof. Guglielmo Lanzani
2003-2007 PhD in Physics, Cambridge University. Supervisor: Prof. C. Silva.
Career Breaks
2012-2015 Maternity leave (2 children)

Andy Cooper, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom

Andy is a Nottingham graduate (1991), also obtaining his Ph.D there in 1994. After his Ph.D, he held a 1851 Fellowship and a Royal Society NATO Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, and then a Ramsay Memorial Research Fellowship at the University of Cambridge. In 1999, he was appointed as a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in Liverpool.  In 2007, he was the founding Director of the Centre for Materials Discovery—the forerunner of the MIF—which cemented a long-term strategic collaboration between Unilever and the University of Liverpool. He was Head of Chemistry and then the first Head of the School of Physical Sciences in the period 2007-2012, during which time he served on the University Council.  In 2017, he co-founded a spin-out company, Porous Liquid Technologies, with collaborators at Queens University Belfast, based on an entirely new class of material, porous liquids, invented in the UK as part of an EPSRC-funded project (Nature, 2015, 527, 216).
Andy led the bid to establish the Materials Innovation Factory (MIF) via the UK Research Partnerships Infrastructure Fund and he is its first Academic Director. He is also the Director of the £10 M Leverhulme Centre for Functional Materials Design. His main research interests are organic materials, supramolecular chemistry, and materials for energy production and molecular separation. This is underpinned by a strong technical interest in high-throughput methods and robotics.  A unifying theme in his research is the close fusion of computational prediction and experiment to discover new materials with step-change properties (Nature, 2011, 474, 367; Nature, 2017, 543, 657). This has involved close collaboration with Graeme Day, Professor of Chemical Modelling at the University of Southampton.
Andy was elected to the Royal Society in 2015.  He has been awarded the Macro Group Young Researchers Award (2002), the RSC Award in Environmentally Friendly Polymers (2005), the McBain Medal (2007), the Corday-Morgan Prize (2009), the Macro Group Award (2010), a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, the Tilden Prize (2014), the American Chemical Society Doolittle Award (2014) and the Hughes Medal (2019).  He was also the 2015 MIT-Georgia Pacific Lecturer in Organic Chemistry. In both 2011 and 2014, Andy was named in a Thomson Reuters list as one of the Top 100 materials scientists of the last decade. He was also named in the more recent 2017 Clarivate Highly Cited list in the field of chemistry. He was awarded an ERC Advanced Investigators grant in 2012 (RobOT). In 2015, he was appointed as a Consultant Professor in Hauzhong University of Science & Technology, China. He was also appointed as an Honorary Professor at East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, in 2017

Hazel Cox, University of Sussex, United Kingdom

Hazel Cox is a Professor of Computational and Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Sussex. She obtained a BSc in Mathematics from the University College of North Wales and a D.Phil. in Mathematics/Chemistry from the University of York, before joining the Chemistry department at the University of Sussex as a postdoctoral fellow. After the award of two research fellowships: a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellowship and an EPSRC University Research Fellowship, she took up a position as Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer, and in 2018 was appointed Professor. Her research interests involve using quantum chemistry to determine the underlying chemical and physical properties responsible for the structure, reactivity and spectroscopy of few-particle Coulomb systems and inorganic complexes. She served as Associate Editor (Chemistry) for the Royal Society Open Science journal (2014-2019) and is editorial board member of Advances in Quantum Chemistry. She is the elected UK representative and a member of the Board of Directors for the International Society for Theoretical Chemical Physics, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Gábor Csányi, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Gábor Csányi studied mathematics in Cambridge, graduating in 1994. He obtained a doctorate in computational physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001, after which he returned to Cambridge as a postdoc in the Cavendish Laboratory, working with Mike Payne. He joined the faculty of the Engineering Laboratory in 2007, where he is now Professor of Molecular Modelling. He is interested in computer simulation of materials on the atomic scale, particularly fitting interatomic potentials using machine learning techniques, but also molecular dynamics, statistical mechanics, optimisation and sampling.

Basile Curchod, Durham University, United Kingdom

Basile F. E. Curchod was born in Vevey (Switzerland). He received his PhD in 2013 from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland), under the direction of Dr. Ivano Tavernelli and co-direction of Prof. Ursula Roethlisberger. After a short stay in the laboratory of Prof. Clémence Corminboeuf (EPFL), he was awarded a Swiss Early.PostDoc grant to join in 2014 the group of Prof. Todd J. Martínez at Stanford University (USA). In December 2015, he began a short postdoctoral stay in the Theory Group directed by Prof. Eberhard K. U. Gross, at the Max Planck Institute in Halle (Germany).
In May 2016, he joined the Centre for Computational Chemistry at the University of Bristol (UK) as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow, working with Dr. David R. Glowacki. In November 2017, he became Assistant Professor in Theoretical Chemistry at Durham University (UK) and secured an ERC Starting Grant in September 2018.Basile's research focuses on the development and application of theoretical methods to simulate the dynamics of molecules beyond the Born-Oppenheimer approximation (www.in-silico-photochem.com).

Roman Fasel, EMPA, Switzerland

Roman Fasel obtained his PhD in Physics in 1996 from the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) and joined Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, after post-doctoral research fellowships at La Trobe University (Melbourne) and the Fritz-Haber-Institute (Berlin). He is the head of the nanotech@surfaces Laboratory of Empa, and adjunct professor at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry of the University of Bern. His group’s research covers a wide range of topics at the interface of materials science, surface physics and chemistry. Roman Fasel and his team are among the pioneers of the novel and rapidly evolving field of on-surface synthesis. They have pioneered the bottom-up approach to the synthesis of graphene nanoribbons which yields atomically precise nanoribbon structures with widely tunable (opto)electronic properties.

William Gannon, University of Kentucky, United States

Dr. William J Gannon is originally from Alexandria, Virginia near Washington DC in the United States.  He has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan in Physics, awarded in 2005 and a PhD in Physics from Northwestern University, awarded in 2013 after working for Professor Bill Halperin.  Dr. Gannon became a postdoc with Professor Meigan Aronson from 2013 through 2019, first at Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory, then at Texas A&M University, and finally at the Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  Dr. Gannon joined the faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kentucky as an Assistant Professor in August, 2019.  His research interests include neutron scattering, low dimensional magnetism, correlated electron physics, and crystal growth of novel magnetic materials.

Dwayne Heard, University of Leeds, United Kingdom

Dwayne Heard is Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of Leeds. He received his B.A. in Chemistry (1986) and D. Phil. in Physical Chemistry (1990) from the University of Oxford, undertook postdoctoral research at SRI International, California, and was a lecturer in the School of Chemistry at Macquarie University, Sydney. He moved to Leeds in 1994 where he held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship and was Head of the School of Chemistry from 2009-2013. He was a Visiting Fellow at JILA, University of Colorado in 2000. His research interests include quantitative field measurements of the hydroxyl radical in the atmosphere, laboratory and chamber studies of the kinetics and photochemistry of gas phase and aerosol processes, and the use of a pulsed Laval nozzle apparatus to study the kinetics of reactions at very low temperatures relevant to the interstellar medium and planetary atmospheres. He received the Environment Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2017.

Philipp Kukura, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Philipp Kukura is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, leading an interdisciplinary research group supported by ERC Starting and Consolidator grants that focusses on the development and application of new optical methodologies to study biomolecular structure, dynamics and interactions. Recent awards include those by the RSC (Harrison-Meldola 2011 and Marlow 2015), the European Biophysical Society Association (Young Investigator Medal 2017), a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (2018), the Klung-Wilhemy Award (2018) and a UK Blavatnik Award Laureate (2019).

Gail McConnell, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom

Professor Gail McConnell is Chair of Biophotonics at the Department of Physics at the University of Strathclyde. Following a first degree in Laser Physics and Optoelectronics (1998) and PhD in Physics from the University of Strathclyde (2002), she obtained a Personal Research Fellowship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2003) and a Research Councils UK Academic Fellowship (2005), securing a readership in 2008.  The work in Gail’s group involves the design, development and application of linear and nonlinear optical instrumentation for biomedical imaging, from the nanoscale to the whole organism. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, and a Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society, where she is also Chair of the Light Microscopy Committee since August 2019.

Günther Rupprechter, TU Wien, Austria

Prof. Dr. Günther Rupprechter received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry in 1996 from the University Innsbruck, Austria. After being a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) till 1998 (with Gabor A. Somorjai), he was group leader for Laser Spectroscopy and Catalysis at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin (Germany) from 1999 to 2005 (with HaJo Freund). In 2005 he accepted a Full Professorship in Surface and Interface Chemistry at Technische Universität Wien.
He is the Vice-Chair of the Austrian Catalysis Society, Speaker of the Special Research Program (SFB) “Functional Oxide Surfaces and Interfaces (FOXSI)” of the Austrian Science Foundation (FWF), as well as Editorial Board Member of “Catalysis Letters” and “Topics in Catalysis”.
His research emphasis is on heterogeneous catalysis, particularly in situ (operando) spectroscopy/microscopy on model and technological catalysts (about 200 articles). In 2005 he received the Jochen Block Award of the German Catalysis Society for “the application of surface science methods to heterogeneous catalysis” and became corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in 2012. In 2018 and 2019 he was appointed “Renowned Overseas Professor” of Shanghai University of Engineering Science.
In the last 5 years, Prof.Rupprechter’s group published over 70 papers, including 3 research articles in the Nature family and 3 in ACS Catalysis. His papers have been cited ~ 6,400 times and his h-index is 49 (Google Scholar)

Maria Sanz, King's College London, United Kingdom

María Eugenia Sanz obtained her PhD in Chemistry from University of Valladolid under the supervision of Prof. J. C. López and Prof. J. L. Alonso. After being a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics with Prof. P. Thaddeus, she secured a Ramon y Cajal Fellowship and moved back to University of Valladolid, where she was later appointed Profesor Titular. During this period she also spent a year as an academic visitor in the group of Prof. H. Fielding at UCL with a Jose Castillejo Fellowship. She moved to King’s College London in 2012, as part of the relaunch of the Chemistry department, where she is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Chemistry. Her research interests focus on the structural and conformational characterization of molecules of biological and environmental interest and their non-covalent interactions using rotational spectroscopy.

Serena Viti, University College London, United Kingdom

Serena Viti is a Professor of Astrophysics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University College London. She obtained her PhD in 1997 from UCL in the area of molecular astrophysics applied to low mass stars. After her PhD she started working in the field of star formation and astrochemistry. After a couple of postdoctoral fellowships in UK and abroad, she obtained an STFC Advanced Fellowship and moved back to UCL in 2003, where she is now the Head of the Astrophysics Group.  
She has been a Royal Astronomical Society council member,  
the secretary of the European Astronomical Society and has served on several international and national panels and committees. She has recently being awarded an Advanced ERC.  Her research interests span a wide range of topics but are all centred around the role of molecules in space, especially in the dense gas of the interstellar medium and star forming regions. Her recent work concentrates on the interpretation of molecular observations in extragalactic regions, and on devising novel techniques for astrochemistry involving machine learning.

Abstract Submission


Poster abstract submission is now open.

Additional Information

Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 4 weeks of the submission deadline. The abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page in portrait layout. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting author and indicate whether you are submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation.
Please read the registration information before registering.
You can register by clicking on the online registration link on this page.
Please note accommodation is not included in the registration fee.

Registration includes:
  • Attendance at the sessions
  • Refreshments throughout the meeting
  • Lunch on all three days
  • Attendance at the poster session
  • Attendance at the conference dinner on Tuesday 30 March 2021
  • For non-member registrants, membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2021.      

Registration Fees

All fees are sbuject to VAT at the prevailing rate
Earlybird (15 February 2021) Standard (8 March 2021)
Member* £200 £225
Non-member** £225 £250
Student member* £91.67 £108.33
Student non-member** £125 £141.67

* If you are an Royal Society of Chemistry member and wish to register for this meeting, please select the member option on the online registration page. You will need to enter your membership number.

**For non-member registrants, affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2021, the affiliate membership application will be processed and commence once the registrant has attended the event. 

Members of the IOP or RAS can register for the conference at the RSC member rate. IOP or RAS members should contact us at events@rsc.org for a discount code.

Conference Dinner

The conference dinner on Tuesday 30 March 2021 and is included in the regsitration fee.

Travel and Health Insurance

Delegates are advised to ensure that they have appropriate travel and health insurance.

Terms and Conditions for Events run by the Royal Society of Chemistry

In light of COVID-19, we are not currently accepting applications to our Travel Grant for PhD Students and Early Career Scientists. We will update our Travel Grants website with more information as it becomes available.

We have two types of grants available to attend this meeting:
  • A limited number of non-competitive travel grants of up to £200 are available for PhD students and early career scientists. These are assigned on a first come, first served basis. Applicants must be Royal Society of Chemistry members of any level at the time of making their application.
  • Competitive grants of up to £800 are available to assist with international travel expenses for PhD students, postdocs within 10 years of completing their PhD and early career scientists (including technicians and industrialists) within 10 years of leaving full time education.  In addition, applicants must be Royal Society of Chemistry members of any level at the time of making their application.
To take advantage of these grants and many other benefits, become a member. Follow the link on the right hand side to find out more and join today!

Applications for either grant should be submitted as early as possible, but at least 8 weeks in advance of the start of the meeting. Please see respective terms & conditions for full eligibility information.

Grants for Carers

You can apply for up to a maximum of £1000/year to assist with additional financial costs that you incur for care usually provided by you whilst you attend a chemistry related meeting, conference or workshop or a professional development event.
Caring responsibilities are wide and varied, and so each application will be individually assessed, examples of applications that we will consider include:
  • paying for extra home help or nursing care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • additional medical/respite care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • travel expenses for a relative to travel with you to care for dependents whilst you attend a meeting or event
  • paying for extended hours with a care worker/childminder/play scheme to cover time when you will arrive home later than normal.
You are eligible to apply if:
  • you are a chemist
  • you will incur additional caring expenses whilst attending a chemistry-related meeting, conference, event or workshop or a professional development event
  • you will use these funds to cover the cost of care that you usually provide
  • you are based in the UK or Ireland or if not, you will normally have held three years RSC membership (past or current).
These grants for carers have been introduced following the Royal Society of Chemistry Breaking the barriers report where 78% of chemists working in UK academia felt that managing parenting and/or caring responsibilities has an impact on women’s retention and progression. This fund is not limited to women scientists and welcomes applications from anyone with caring responsibilities.

These grants have been supported by The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemists’ Community Fund.
Sponsorship & supporting organisations
A selection of sponsorship opportunities are available for companies who would like to promote their activities at the Faraday joint interest group conference 2021.

As well as booking a table top exhibition space, there are opportunities to sponsor social events, advertise in the abstract book or place a promotional item in delegate packs. A sponsorship menu document is available to download from this page with more details and prices.

If you would like more information about sponsoring the Faraday joint interest group conference 2021, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry on solutions@rsc.org Sponsorship document
The Diamond Building

The Diamond Building, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S3 7RD, United Kingdom

We are working with Marketing Sheffield to offer you some accommodation options for the conference. 

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