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The University of Southampton
Chemistry

Our impact

The University of Southampton is one of the UK’s top research universities, ranking 11th for the volume of its high quality research in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

Our researchers are at the cutting-edge of knowledge, working on solutions to some of today's toughest challenges. While much of our research begins with concepts at a fundamental level, we are passionate about using the findings to make a real impact on the world around us.

Transforming research into answers to real world problems produces business opportunities, enhances quality of life, creates jobs, boosts the economy and helps make our world safer and more rewarding. Our REF success demonstrates that our research has a significant impact on society, industry, Government, and public service.

Chemistry performed exceptionally well, with 94 per cent of our overall submission judged as world-leading or internationally excellent, placing Southampton’s submission for Chemistry in 8th position for research power.

Find out more about our REF 2014 results

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Fundamental research leads to benefits in our daily lives

Bringing chemistry to life for new audiences

Chemistry researchers at Southampton are sharing their passion for science with a wider audience through a series of innovative hands-on activities, helping the public to learn more about electrochemical processes and the impact of scientific research on everyday life. The activities have led to more than 6,000 face-to-face interactions at large-scale events, and to the installation of a permanent exhibit at Winchester Science Centre that has been visited by more than 35,000 people. 

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Ilika plc

Ilika plc: Driving Global Innovation in Next Generation Materials

Research into sustainable technologies by academics in Chemistry is helping to transform the automotive and energy industries. University of Southampton spin out company Ilika, founded by leading researchers, has established strong links with major manufacturers including Toyota, Shell, Asahi Kasei and NXP. The company uses the ‘clean technologies' of combinatorial chemistry within materials science to create new functional materials with specific and highly desirable properties for use in the next generation of batteries and fuel cells.

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Helping clinicians prescribe the most effective treatment for cancer patients
Helping clinicians prescribe the most effective treatment for cancer patients

Improving targeted cancer treatments and infectious disease diagnosis

Southampton research into nucleic acids (the components of all genomes) has helped clinicians to prescribe the most effective treatments for cancer patients and enabled rapid and precise diagnosis of diseases such as Ebola, swine flu and COVID-19.

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Scorpion Primers

Scorpion Primers and the Advance of Medical Diagnostics

Research led by Tom Brown, Professor of Biological Chemistry and his team has been instrumental in making drugs work better. Sophisticated DNA analysis techniques pioneered at Southampton are now being used by the pharmaceutical industry to tailor cancer treatments for individuals to enable the most effective drugs can be used.

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Using ONETEP to help create highly accurate simulations of chemical systems

Solving industry challenges through quantum chemistry modelling

Researchers at Southampton have increased the capabilities of a powerful quantum chemistry computer modelling tool, contributing to innovation across a range of industry sectors. The tool, known as ONETEP, enables highly accurate simulations of chemical systems with thousands of atoms, making the development of materials more efficient and cost effective. It has accelerated improvements in areas such as solar, battery and high-voltage electrical power, and medical drug optimisation.

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