A GIFTED city scientist has been named winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry Tilden Prize for 2014.
Professor Guy Lloyd-Jones, the Forbes Professor of Organic Chemistry at Edinburgh University, has been awarded the honour for his research work focusing on catalysts – substances that speed up the rate of chemical change.
The Tilden Prize is one of a number of annual prizes awarded by the Royal Society of Chemistry to recognise the contribution of individuals, teams and organisations to the advancement of the chemical sciences.
The prize was named in 1939 in honour of the British chemist and former president of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Sir William Tilden.
The 2013 Tilden Prize was also awarded to a researcher at Edinburgh, Professor Eleanor Campbell, herself an alumnus of the institution.
An elected fellow of the prestigious Royal Society, Prof Lloyd-Jones gained his PhD from Oxford University in 1992.
He went on to win the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award in 2008 and held the position of head of organic and biological chemistry at Bristol University before joining Edinburgh in 2013.
Prof Lloyd-Jones heads up the Lloyd-Jones Research Group in the organic chemistry department at Edinburgh, funded by the European Research Council.
His research focuses upon understanding the mechanism of catalysts used to produce organic compounds.
The ground-breaking research being carried out in Edinburgh will ultimately help Prof Lloyd-Jones and his team to design new catalysts and reactions which are more efficient and produce less waste.
Commenting upon the Royal Society of Chemistry’s recognition of his research achievements, Prof Lloyd-Jones said: “It is hard to overstate the importance of catalysts for our economic and environmental well being.
“Catalysts can provide modern society with much more efficient industrial processes, that consume fewer materials and less energy, and generate less waste and pollution – they also allow new routes to prepare materials pivotal for developments in other scientific, medical and technological disciplines.”
Dr Robert Parker, Royal Society of Chemistry chief executive, said: “Our winners can be very proud to follow in the footsteps of some of the most influential and important chemical scientists in history.”
Dozens of previous winners of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s awards have gone on to win Nobel Prizes for their pioneering work, including Harry Kroto, Fred Sanger and Linus Pauling.
Indeed, one of the 2012 Royal Society of Chemistry Prize winners, Israeli-American Arieh Warshel, was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry last year.