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The University of Southampton

Southampton professor joins the Standing Committee for the Heads of Chemistry UK

Published: 17 January 2019
Professor Gill Reid
Professor Gill Reid

Highly skilled graduate chemists and innovative research will be vital to tackling major societal and industrial challenges, a Southampton professor has said on her election within the Standing Committee for the Heads of Chemistry UK (HCUK).

Professor Gill Reid, Head of Chemistry at the University of Southampton, emphasized chemistry’s potential to create a sustainable future as she joined the influential higher education body.

HCUK is an independent body that represents the interests of over 70 departments across the UK and Ireland, with an elected committee that identifies and pursues strategic priorities. This can include working with industry to provide skills required for business needs and influencing policy around funding for research.

“I am delighted to be elected to the Standing Committee for HCUK,” she says. “Chemistry-using industries are estimated to be responsible for over 22% of the UK's GDP. By attracting the brightest minds amongst both our staff and students, we will continue to be able to break new ground in our research, create innovative solutions for a sustainable world and bring this expertise into our education portfolio to develop highly employable and successful graduates and future leaders.

 “Chemistry is a fascinating and dynamic subject that is critical to the UK's industrial strategy and to tackling many of the world's major societal challenges - such as climate change, improving healthcare, sustainable energy production and sustainable use of natural resources,” Gill explains. “It is really important that the UK continues to invest in both research in chemistry and in attracting and training of the next generation of chemists.

“However, Chemistry is also a resource-intensive discipline due to the need for specialist facilities and the importance of practical training. It is essential that UK chemistry departments work closely together with the Royal Society of Chemistry and with industries and businesses that employ chemistry graduates to champion the importance of chemistry both now and for the future.”

The University of Southampton is building upon its strength and reputation in the Schools of Chemistry and Engineering to launch a new Department of Chemical Engineering, drawing on innovative research in areas such as low-carbon technology, fine chemicals, green energy and water/wastewater engineering. A taught MSc programme in Advanced Chemical Engineering will begin this autumn, with plans in motion for an undergraduate MEng programme to start in 2020.

Gill joined the University of Southampton in 1991 for a lectureship in Inorganic Chemistry. She was promoted to Professor in 2006 and appointed Head of Chemistry in 2016. Gill is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Chemistry, has published over 300 papers across a distinguished career and has an active interest in outreach and public engagement.


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