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The University of Southampton

Professor Gill Reid will be the next Head of Chemistry

Published: 28 July 2016
Professor Gill Reid
Professor Gill Reid

Gill Reid, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry has been appointed Head of Chemistry at the University of Southampton. “I’ve been excited and inspired by the subject ever since I was at school and I’m looking forward to working with staff and students from across the department to achieve even more in terms of internationally renowned research and top quality education,” she says. She takes over in August 2016 from Professor Phil Gale.

“Chemistry at Southampton is thriving,” she says. “The last national assessment of research quality (REF 2014) reflected our strengths across the subject and ranked us eighth in the UK for research power. Over the last few years, many world-leading academic staff have joined us, student recruitment is healthy and we have invested millions of pounds in essential infrastructure and laboratory facilities to maintain our position as one of the country’s leading chemistry departments.”

A specialist in inorganic chemistry, Gill combined her former role as Director of Research with her passion for teaching; she especially enjoys outreach work with local schools and the wider community: “Chemistry affects everyone and has a vital role in everyday life. There are still so many things for us to discover and we have many fascinating research opportunities at Southampton. In terms of my own group’s research, we are working with GE Healthcare on developing new and improved medical imaging agents to detect and understand more about diseased tissue and organs, while we are also collaborating with colleagues in electronics and physics, carrying out research at the nanoscale into semiconductors, thermoelectric devices and solid state memory.”

“Almost all of the important innovations in science and engineering start off in the lab with basic science. You really need ‘blue skies thinking’ before you can come up with something entirely new with real potential to make a difference in people’s lives. Exploring new molecules and materials is exciting for undergradate students as well as researchers and it’s a great time for young people to embark on their career in Chemistry at Southampton.”

When Gill arrived at Southampton as a lecturer in 1991, she was one of only two female academics in Chemistry. Now, there are many women in senior positions and the department has been awarded a coveted Athena SWAN silver award to recognise its continuing efforts to support female academics in their careers, eliminate gender bias and promote equal opportunities for all. “While there is still more to do, I am proud of our progress so far. I look forward to working with our colleagues to achieve even more in future.”

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