Dr Nicholas Chilton MRSC
Winner: 2021 Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize
The University of Manchester
For contributions in applying experimental and advanced computational methods to understand the magnetic and electronic properties of molecules.
Celebrate Dr Nicholas Chilton
Dr Chilton's research aims to understand the magnetic and optical properties of molecules. Studying how molecular structure leads to certain physical properties is vital to develop designs for new molecules with improved function. His group is particularly interested in determining how to make data storage with molecules possible, how to process quantum information with molecules, and how to improve the efficiency of molecular imaging agents, such as those used in magnetic resonance imaging or in light emitting applications.Read winner biography
Dr Nicholas Chilton completed his BSc degree at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia in 2011, and his PhD at the University of Manchester (UoM) in 2015 under the supervision of Professor Richard Winpenny and Professor Eric McInnes. In 2015 he was awarded the Dalton Young Researchers award by the Royal Society of Chemistry, and from 2016 to 2018 he held a Ramsay Memorial Research Fellowship. In 2018 he became a UoM Presidential Fellow. In 2019 he won the 7th Olivier Kahn International Award (European Institute for Molecular Magnetism) and became a Royal Society University Research Fellow. His group is currently funded by the ERC (Starting Grant), EPSRC and the Royal Society.
How did you first become interested in chemistry?
My high school chemistry teacher was incredibly engaging, and I thoroughly enjoyed the classes. This enjoyment never waned.
What advice would you give to a young person considering a career in chemistry?
Chemistry really is the 'central science', and you can move in many different areas with chemistry. For instance, to materials including plastics and coatings to pharmacy, medical chemistry and biochemistry to physical chemistry and molecular physics to catalysis and process chemistry, or theoretical and computational chemistry.
What does good research culture look like/mean to you?
Good research culture is clear communication and a willingness to help out one another. Working in a supportive environment requires everyone to provide someone else with support when they need it – kindness and understanding are key.
What is your favourite element?
Dysprosium! The most magnetic and computationally challenging!