“UoB Chemistry is pleased to support, host and contribute to WMCTC’s annual schools’ programme to fuel curiosity and excitement about chemistry!”

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We are glad to announce that the WMCTC lectures for this year will be back at the University of Birmingham. The lectures will be held in the Haworth Lecture Theatre and will start at 7.00pm. All lectures are held on Tuesdays. The format gives 6th form students a better insight into life at university: having lectures in a university setting with real academics delivering the lectures; being able to see students and university facilities (both academic and non-academic) in everyday use. The lectures are ticketed. They are free, the tickets allow us to make sure that we do not exceed the seating in the lecture theatre; the tickets are also used for a ‘door prize’ given at the end of the lecture.

To apply for tickets contact the WMCTC Chair

Sixth Form Lectures

04 Oct 2022 - Colourful Chemistry – Dr Peter Hoare, University of Newcastle

Tuesday 4th October 2022

Colourful Chemistry – Dr Peter Hoare, University of Newcastle

Light is fundamental to life on our planet and the IYL aimed to showcase not only this but how scientists are developing new and more efficient ways of harnessing the energy from sunlight in a sustainable way for the benefit of mankind.

Similarly, our perception and recognition of colours are also fundamental to both our survival and our enjoyment of modern life.

This lecture will explore some processes in chemistry which either produce or use light energy under three themes of “reactions”, “combustion” and “rates” with lots of colourful and sometimes dramatic demonstrations – with the occasional whoosh and even a bang!

18 Oct 2022 - Nuclear Energy and Chemistry - Dr Mark Read, Nuclear Waste Services and University of Birmingham

Tuesday 18th October 2022

Nuclear Energy and Chemistry – Dr Mark Read, Nuclear Waste Services and University of Birmingham

Dr Mark Read will give an overview of Electricity Generation from Nuclear Energy and the fundamental links with the University of Birmingham’s Physics Department. A brief history of the UK Nuclear Industry will lead to the current climate and thoughts for the future as the UK Government commits to reducing CO2 emissions 80% by 2050 whilst electrifying our transportation!

This lecture will also explore the important role that chemistry has to play throughout the nuclear fuel cycle, from purifying UO2 and fabricating fuel pellets to reprocessing, recycling spent fuel and the safe immobilisation of High Level Waste. The second part will show how computational chemistry is employed to simulate the nuclear fuel crystal lattice and how the fuel performance and ageing effects may be predicted. So for those that thought that Nuclear Energy was only in the realm of Physics and Engineering – Dr Read is here to dispel those and other myths!

08 Nov 2022 - Chirality, Smells, Drugs and Chemistry - Dr Simon Cotton, University of Birmingham

Tuesday 8th November 2022

Chirality, Smells, Drugs and Chemistry – Dr Simon Cotton, University of Birmingham

Many carbon compounds contain a chiral carbon. This leads to the existence of two “mirror-image” forms (enantiomers) of the same compound. Chemically they are identical, but they may behave differently in the human body, most tragically in the case of the sedative thalidomide. One form of thalidomide leads to birth the defects of babies with defective  limbs when administered to pregnant women; the other form does not. This talk will examine examples of how the presence of a chiral carbon may affect the properties of a drug.

The difference smells of the two isomers of carvone are also familiar to A-Level students; we will look at how the brain processes the information that comes from the receptors in the nose, and examine a number of cases where enantiomers have different smells, including the true story of the isomers of limonene.

 
06 Dec 2022 - Christmas Lecture Mark Read (University of Birmingham) and Steve O'Malley (King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys)

Tuesday 6th December 2022

Christmas Lecture Mark Read (University of Birmingham) and Steve O’Malley (King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys)

A festive Christmas (chemistry) lecture will be given jointly by Mark Read and Steve O’Malley, ending the term with some festive themed chemistry.
 
31 Jan 2023 - Fireworks – Dr Tom Smith, Managing Director, CarnDu Limited

Tuesday 31st January 2023

Fireworks – Dr Tom Smith, Managing Director, CarnDu Limited

“Remember, Remember the 5th of November ….” A pyrotechnical extravaganza of colour, light and sound, bangs, whistles, explosions and sparks.
 
21 Mar 2023 - A-level Revision Session (Electrochemistry) – Dr Peter Hoare, University of Newcastle

Tuesday 4th October 2022

21 Mar 2023 – A-level Revision Session (Electrochemistry) – Dr Peter Hoare, University of Newcastle

 

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Recordings of previous lectures ...

22 Sep 2020

Prof. Andrew Dove, University of Birmingham

“A Sustainable Future with Plastic”

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22 Sep 2020

Elizabeth Driscoll, University of Birmingham.

“Battery Research”

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29 Sep 2020

Dr John Snaith, University of Birmingham

“Discovering New Medicines: The Role Of The Chemist”

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03 Nov 2020

Professor Richard Tuckett, University of Birmingham

“The Climate Emergency:
What’s The Science And What Should We Do?”

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17 Nov 2020

Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff (University of Nottingham)

“The Elements Of Chemistry”

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01 Dec 2020

Dr Tom Smith, CarnDu Limited

“Fireworks”

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19 Jan 2021

Prof. Julie MacPherson, University of Warwick

“The Wonders of Element 6 Carbon”

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02 Feb 2021

Dr Mark S. D. Read, National Nuclear Laboratory

“Nuclear Energy: Modelling the Chemistry”

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09 Mar 2021

Dr Maryjane Tremayne, University of Birmingham

“A-Level Revision: Mathematics In Sixth Form Chemistry: Building Confidence”

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23 Mar 2021

Dr Peter Hoare, Newcastle University

“Advanced Level Revision: Transition Metal Chemistry And Aqueous Ions”

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25 May 2021

Dr Adrian Wright, Senior Admissions Tutor, School of Chemistry, University of Birmingham.

“University Applications – Writing Personal Statements and Preparing For Interviews”

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15 June 2021

Drs Maria Velasco, Mike Batham and Rob Janes. The Open University

“Magic Molecules: The Magic of Oxygen”

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22 June 2021

Dr Adrian Wright, Senior Admissions Tutor, School of Chemistry, University of Birmingham.

“University Applications – Writing Personal Statements and Preparing For Interviews”

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28 Sep 2021

Bob Worley, Chemistry Adviser with CLEAPSS

“Microscale Chemistry Practical Work For The New Normal: “Madam! Sir! Your Experiment Is Served!”
(Chemistry On A Tray)”

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19 Oct 2021

Professor Rachel O’Reilly, University of Birmingham

“Redesigning the World of Plastics”

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09 Nov 2021

Professor Stephen T. Liddle, Head of Inorganic Chemistry and Co-Director of the Centre for Radiochemistry Research at the University of Manchester

“Uranium: The Bogeyman of the Periodic Table: A Case of Dr Jekyll or Mr Hyde”

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23 Nov 2021

Dr Simon Cotton, University of Birmingham

“Drugs in Sport”

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07 Dec 2021

Dr Ray Plevey and Mrs Rosemary Plevey, University of Birmingham

“Chemical Magic”

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18 Jan 2022

Dr June McCombie, University of Nottingham

“Astrochemistry – The Chemical Cosmos”

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15 Mar 2022

Professor Peter Fryer, University of Birmingham

“Chemical Engineering of Chocolate”

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22 Mar 2022

Dr Peter Hoare, Newcastle University

“A Level Revision: Transition Metals and Associated Topics”

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