In 2017, I 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).
I led the bid to establish the Materials Innovation Factory (MIF) via the UK Research Partnerships Infrastructure Fund and I am its first Academic Director. I am also the Director of the £10 M Leverhulme Centre for Functional Materials Design. My 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 my 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.
I was elected to the Royal Society in 2015. I have 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), and the American Chemical Society Doolittle Award (2014). I was also the 2015 MIT-Georgia Pacific Lecturer in Organic Chemistry.
In both 2011 and 2014, I was named in a Thomson Reuters list as one of the Top 100 materials scientists of the last decade. I was also named in the more recent 2017 Clarivate Highly Cited list in the field of chemistry. I was awarded an ERC Advanced Investigators grant in 2012 (RobOT). In 2015, I was appointed as a Consultant Professor inHauzhong University of Science & Technology, China. I was also appointed as an Honorary Professor at East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, in 2017.