The Department of Chemistry at Loughborough University currently comprises 24 research active members of academic staff, together with additional chemistry researchers from the Departments of Materials and Mathematics and the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS). The Department also has a number of visiting/Emeritus academics and some 20 members of technical, secretarial and support staff.
The Department is located in brand new facilities in the west park area of the Loughborough campus. Chemistry at Loughborough has been a major beneficiary of a more than £59M investment in infrastructure. This investment includes ‘STEMLab’ a state-of-the-art laboratory space (Opened in 2017) – and a new home for Chemistry Research with world-class research facilities which opened in April 2018.
The Department is very well equipped to carry out research spanning all the traditional branches of chemistry (analytical, inorganic, organic, bioorganic and physical) and the recent appointment of computational chemists all of which contribute to the newly formed Centres for Materials, Imaging Science and “Lab-to-Fab”.
Major research equipment includes excellent nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy facilities including a successful EPSRC grant to fund a brand new Jeol liquids/solid state 500 MHz NMR spectrometer to add to our existing Jeol 400 MHz NMR spectrometer, overseen by a full-time experimental officer. Mass spectrometry includes QToF, quadrupole GC-MS, LC-ToF, LC-MS and IPC-MS.
Other equipment includes excellent facilities for HPLC, supercritical fluid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis. Equipment pertinent to work in areas related to physical chemistry includes a quartz crystal microbalance, two nanosecond laser flash photolysis systems, near-IR detectors for singlet oxygen measurements, and time-correlated single photon counting apparatus. X-ray diffraction equipment includes a Bruker APEX 2 single crystal diffractometer equipped with an Oxford Cryostream and a Rigaku four circle machine equipped with Cu radiation.
In addition, the strong inter-departmental links across campus means we have a large range of additional, state of the art, techniques at our disposal. For example, Loughborough is a pioneer of the equipment sharing agenda, developing the open-source equipment database system Kit-Catalogue™ (www.kit-catalogue.com) to facilitate efficient use of equipment internally and externally. Relevant items are automatically uploaded to the equipment.data.ac.uk database, and we recently led a two-year JISC-funded project with 10 other UK HEIs to pilot this. We are a founder member of the Midlands Innovation initiative, the consortium of the Midlands’ 6 research intensive universities established to facilitate greater collaboration, including the sharing of resources, in order to deliver world-class research and greater regional economic benefit across the disciplinary breadth of the partners.