Introducing the RCE Emerging Investigators Series

Since the first issue of Reaction Chemistry & Engineering in 2016, the journal has showcased two special issues dedicated to work carried out by researchers in the earlier stages of their research careers:

We hope the reaction engineering community has found these issues to be valuable, both in the high quality of the articles and in drawing attention to newer voices in the community. The journal editors and Editorial Board consider these issues in particular to have been highly successful.

In light of the disruption to research programmes worldwide in 2020 we have taken the opportunity to reassess the format of this initiative.

We are now excited to announce the launch of the Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Emerging Investigators Series.

What is changing?

In place of a dedicated journal issue, Emerging Investigators papers will be published throughout each year. We anticipate the following benefits to this change:

  • No fixed submission deadlines allowing more flexibility for authors
  • Continual exposure of exciting work from early-career members of the community
  • Greater emphasis and focus on individual authors and research groups

We hope for this to help address the immediate concern of disrupted research schedules, while also offering a better service to our authors and readers well into the future.

What is not changing?

While we will no longer dedicate a specific journal issue to our Emerging Investigators, all other aspects of this initiative will remain the same. This includes:

  • Eligibility criteria (see below)
  • A dedicated web page for published articles alongside our other collections
  • Rigour and speed in peer review
  • An overall objective to showcase the full diversity of cutting-edge research carried out by newer voices in the reaction engineering community worldwide.

The Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Emerging Investigators Series will also remain an invitation-only initiative, with nominations curated by our Editorial and Advisory Board members. We will however consider additional applications and nominations on their own merit.

What happens now?

The Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Editorial Office will contact nominated Emerging Investigators throughout the year.

Regarding eligibility, contributors must:

  • Publish research within the journal scope
  • Currently be an independent research leader
  • Have not been featured as an Emerging Investigator in a previous Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Emerging Investigators issue or series article.
  • Have either a) received their PhD no earlier than 01 January of the year 12 years prior to the year of submission, or b) have no more than 12 years of post-PhD research experience on 01 January in the year of submission when taking into account any career breaks.

(For example: for submission in 2021 an eligible contributor must have either a) a PhD awarded on or after 01 January 2009, or b) no more than 12 years of post-PhD research experience by 01 January 2021)

Authors previously featured as Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Emerging Investigators may with no restriction be co-authors on subsequent papers in the Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Emerging Investigators Series, but they may not be the sole eligible corresponding author, and will not be featured as Emerging Investigators more than once.

Contributors will be required to confirm their eligibility by sending their CV to the journal editors.

Footnote on our Outstanding Early-Career Paper Award

You may note that the eligibility criteria for the Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Emerging Investigators Series are the same as for the annual journal Outstanding Early-Career Paper Award.

Read more about the 2019 winner Prof. Heidrun Gruber-Woelfler

All papers published as part of the Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Emerging Investigators Series will automatically be considered for this award, unless the featured author is a previous winner of this award.

Subsequent papers published in the journal by previously-featured Emerging Investigators will still qualify for consideration for the Outstanding Early-Career Paper Award if they meet the Award criteria, unless the featured author is a previous winner of this award. Their subsequent papers will however not be eligible for inclusion in the Emerging Investigators Series. For authors in this situation we repeat the following guidance:

To have your paper considered for the annual Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Outstanding Early-Career Paper Award, indicate when prompted upon submission of your revised manuscript if a corresponding author of the paper fulfils these criteria. Multiple eligible authors of a winning paper will share the prize fund equally. You can contact the editors at reactionchemeng-rsc@rsc.org if you have any queries.

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2019 RCE Outstanding Early-Career Paper Award Winner: Heidrun Gruber-Woelfler

It is our great pleasure to announce Professor Heidrun Gruber-Woelfler (TU Graz, Austria) as the winner of the inaugural (2019) Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Outstanding Early-Career Paper Award.

This is in recognition of her leadership of the paper

Development of customized 3D printed stainless steel reactors with inline oxygen sensors for aerobic oxidation of Grignard reagents in continuous flow
by Manuel C. Maier, René Lebl, Philipp Sulzer, Josef Lechner, Torsten Mayr, Matej Zadravec, Eyke Slama, Stefan Pfanner, Christoph Schmölzer, Peter Pöchlauer, C. Oliver Kappe and Heidrun Gruber-Woelfler
React. Chem. Eng., 2019, 4, 393-401
DOI: 10.1039/C8RE00278A

Part of the special issue Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Emerging Investigators 2019

This paper is free to access until 31 December 2020.

Please join us in congratulating Professor Gruber-Woelfler!

 

About the winner

Assoc. Prof. Heidrun Gruber-WoelflerAssoc. Prof. Heidrun Gruber-Woelfler studied technical chemistry at Graz University of Technology, Austria with a focus on chemical engineering. After her PhD dealing with organometallic catalysis, she did her Post-Doc in the area of continuous processes for the synthesis and purification of active pharmaceutical ingredients and finished her habilitation (venia docendi) in the field of Pharmaceutical Engineering in 2018.

Since 2007 she is the head of the research group “Continuous Processes” at the Institute of Process and Particle Engineering, Graz University of Technology and since July 2017 Deputy Director of the Center of Continuous Flow Synthesis and Processing (CCFlow) in Graz. Her current projects deal with heterogeneous (bio)catalysis for API synthesis, design and optimization of continuous processes, reactor design including additive manufacturing as well as real-time analyses.

 

An interview with Professor Gruber-Woelfler

Can you briefly summarise this paper?

In this paper our concept for the development of different customized 3D printed stainless steel reactors is presented. Starting with a 3D printed micro CSTR cascade as a tool to determine the reaction rate and in combination with computational fluid dynamics simulations, a split-and-recombine reactor was designed with novel 3D printed three-dimensional structures and adapted exactly to the requirements of aerobic oxidations of Grignard reagents.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

Although these are currently definitely challenging times, I am really excited about technologies such as additive manufacturing and computer aided design and optimization. In combination with a genius and interdisciplinary team, there are currently so many fascinating possibilities to improve and redesign traditional approaches.

Where do you see the field of reactor engineering in five years?

As already mentioned, the fields of continuous processing, computer aided design and optimization, additive manufacturing and real-time analyses will get even more important in chemical reactor engineering. Currently, modern reactor manufacturing is often compared with the LEGO® technology. However, 3D printing is even better because you have almost unlimited possibilities to design your own LEGO® bricks or the complete set-up.

How do you feel about Reaction Chemistry & Engineering as a place to publish research on this topic?

The journal of Reaction Chemistry & Engineering is definitely an open-minded place where the mentioned topics are published and shared with a large readership.

How do you like to spend your time when not doing research?

When not doing research or teaching, I try to spend maximum time with our kids outdoors.

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom for those beginning their research career?

Every single project as well as every phase in life has its ups and downs. Even if others tell you that your way might not be the direct one, keep your track and continue walking and you will soon enjoy the view from the top.

 

About the award

The aim of the Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Outstanding Early-Career Paper Award is to recognise a researcher in the earlier stages of their research career for their leadership in reporting original research published in the journal.

The journal Editorial Board award this prize annually, selecting the paper which they find to demonstrate the highest quality of research, as well as importance to the advancement of the field of reaction engineering, out of all qualifying papers published in the journal each year.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for this award, the candidate must:

  • Be listed as a corresponding author on the paper
  • Currently be an independent research leader
  • Have either a) received their PhD on or after 1st January of the year 12 years prior to the award year (2007 for prize year 2019) or b) spent no more than an equivalent amount of time in research when taking into account any career breaks.
  • Not be a previous winner of this award

Selection Process

In order to choose the winner of the 2019 Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Outstanding Early-Career Paper Award, a shortlist of articles that were published throughout the year were selected by the editorial office and then subsequently assessed by the journal’s Editorial Board members. The winner was selected based upon the significance, impact and quality of the research.

Prize

The winner of the Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Outstanding Early-Career Paper Award will receive an engraved plaque and a travel bursary of £500 to use towards a meeting (or meetings) of their choice.

To have your paper considered for the 2020 Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Outstanding Early-Career Paper Award, indicate when prompted upon submission of your revised manuscript if a corresponding author of the paper fulfils these criteria. Multiple eligible authors of a winning paper will share the prize fund equally. You can contact the editors at reactionchemeng-rsc@rsc.org if you have any queries.

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Flow Chemistry Webinar

Learnings from Developing a Multistage Flow API Process, a Chemists Perspective

22nd June 2020 3pm

Biography of the speaker

Mark HughesMark Hughes obtained his degree and D.Phil on Natural Product Total Synthesis from Oxford University.  After a brief spell as a Medicinal Chemist at Wyeth pharmaceuticals he joined Smith Kline and French as a Synthetic Chemist.  Mergers and site moves took him into process chemistry and reaction modelling and eventually continuous processing.

 

Synopsis
Flow chemistry offers a number of potential advantages for pharmaceutical synthesis:
• Enabling chemistry that is difficult to scale in batch.
• Improved process control leading to better reproducibility.
• Increased process velocity.

 

The webinar will present the “obvious in hindsight” challenges encountered in developing multistage continuous processes from the perspective of an organic chemist, whilst highlighting some of the benefits and engineering solutions! No assumptions of prior experience of continuous reactors will be made! This webinar will not directly address regulatory implications.

Registration for the webinar
Guests can register for the free webinar using the following link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7096888368596983823

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Outstanding Reviewers for Reaction Chemistry & Engineering in 2019

We would like to highlight the Outstanding Reviewers for Reaction Chemistry & Engineering in 2019, as selected by the editorial team, for their significant contribution to the journal. The reviewers have been chosen based on the number, timeliness and quality of the reports completed over the last 12 months.

We would like to say a big thank you to those individuals listed here as well as to all of the reviewers that have supported the journal. Each Outstanding Reviewer will receive a certificate to give recognition for their significant contribution.

Dr Milad Abolhasani, NC State University, ORCID: 0000-0002-8863-3085

Dr, Marcus Baumann, University College Dublin, ORCID: 0000-0002-6996-5893

Prof. C. Oliver Kappe, Karl-Franzens-Universitat Graz, ORCID: 0000-0003-2983-6007

Dr Matthew O’Brien, Keele University, ORCID: 0000-0002-1943-2351

Dr Regis Philippe, Laboratoire de genie des procedes catalytiques, ORCID: 0000-0001-5228-9510

Dr Thomas Helge Rehm, Fraunhofer Institute for Microtechnology and Microsystems IMM, ORCID: 0000-0001-6437-8465

Dr Brandon Reizman, Eli Lilly and Company, ORCID: 0000-0002-9122-221X

Dr Karen Robertson, University of Nottingham, ORCID: 0000-0002-0719-5854

Dr Kehua Yin, University of Virginia, ORCID: 0000-0003-2391-5329

We would also like to thank the Reaction Chemistry & Engineering board and the ChemEng community for their continued support of the journal, as authors, reviewers and readers.

 

If you would like to become a reviewer for our journal, just email us with details of your research interests and an up-to-date CV or résumé.  You can find more details in our author and reviewer resource centre.

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2018 Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Hot Articles

This collection of articles highlights the hottest articles published in Reaction Chemistry & Engineering in 2018, as selected by the editors. Congratulations to all the authors whose outstanding articles are featured, and we hope you enjoy reading them.

Integrated plug flow synthesis and crystallisation of pyrazinamide
C. Daniel Scott, Ricardo Labes, Martin Depardieu, Claudio Battilocchio, Matthew G. Davidson, Steven V. Ley, Chick C. Wilson and Karen Robertson
React. Chem. Eng., 2018, 3, 631-634
DOI:10.1039/C8RE00087E

Batch–flow hybrid synthesis of the antipsychotic clozapine
N. C. Neyt and D. L. Riley
React. Chem. Eng., 2018, 3, 17-24
DOI:10.1039/C7RE00146K

A hierarchical approach to chemical reactor engineering: an application to micro packed bed reactors
Stefano Rebughini, Mauro Bracconi, Anthony G. Dixon and Matteo Maestri
React. Chem. Eng., 2018, 3, 25-33
DOI:10.1039/C7RE00195A

OpenFlowChem – a platform for quick, robust and flexible automation and self-optimisation of flow chemistry
Nikolay Cherkasov, Yang Bai, Antonio José Expósito and Evgeny V. Rebrov
React. Chem. Eng., 2018, 3, 769-780
DOI:10.1039/C8RE00046H

Metal-based heterogeneous electrocatalysts for reduction of carbon dioxide and nitrogen: mechanisms, recent advances and perspective
Jun-Hao Zhou and Ya-Wen Zhang
React. Chem. Eng., 2018, 3, 591-625
DOI:10.1039/C8RE00111A

Efficient kinetic experiments in continuous flow microreactors
Kosi C. Aroh and Klavs F. Jensen
React. Chem. Eng., 2018, 3, 94-101
DOI:10.1039/C7RE00163K

Laser irradiated vortex fluidic mediated synthesis of luminescent carbon nanodots under continuous flow
Xuan Luo, Ahmed Hussein Mohammed Al-Antaki, Kasturi Vimalanathan, Jillian Moffatt, Kun Zheng, Yichao Zou, Jin Zou, Xiaofei Duan, Robert N. Lamb, Shujun Wang, Qin Li, Wei Zhang and Colin L. Raston
React. Chem. Eng., 2018, 3, 164-170
DOI:10.1039/C7RE00197E

Optimum catalyst selection over continuous and discrete process variables with a single droplet microfluidic reaction platform
Lorenz M. Baumgartner, Connor W. Coley, Brandon J. Reizman, Kevin W. Gao and Klavs F. Jensen
React. Chem. Eng., 2018, 3, 301-311
DOI:10.1039/C8RE00032H

Optimization of the high-throughput synthesis of multiblock copolymer nanoparticles in aqueous media via polymerization-induced self-assembly
Amy A. Cockram, Robert D. Bradley, Sylvie A. Lynch, Patricia C. D. Fleming, Neal S. J. Williams, Martin W. Murray, Simon N. Emmett and Steven P. Armes
React. Chem. Eng., 2018, 3, 645-657
DOI:10.1039/C8RE00066B

Rapid, selective and stable HaloTag-LbADH immobilization directly from crude cell extract for the continuous biocatalytic production of chiral alcohols and epoxides
J. Döbber, M. Pohl, S. V. Ley and B. Musio
React. Chem. Eng., 2018, 3, 8-12
DOI:10.1039/C7RE00173H

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Welcoming Anita Maguire to the Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Editorial Board

We are delighted to welcome Professor Anita Maguire to the Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Editorial Board.

Anita is Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Director of the Analytical & Biological Chemistry Research Facility, and Vice President for Research & Innovation, at University College Cork, Ireland.

Anita’s research interests are within synthetic organic chemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry, and a key feature of her research team is extensive interaction with the pharmaceutical industry both within Ireland and internationally.

Anita undertook undergraduate and postgraduate studies at University College Cork (B.Sc., 1985; Ph.D., 1989), focusing during her studies on asymmetric catalysis in reactions of α-diazoketones. Following postdoctoral research in the Facultes Universitaires, Namur, Belgium, and subsequently at the University of Exeter, she returned to Cork in 1991 initially as a Lecturer in Organic Chemistry, then as Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry in 2002, and then as the first Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry in 2004. In 2011 she was appointed as Vice President for Research and Innovation at University College Cork. She was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Bergen from 2011-16. Her research interests include asymmetric synthesis, including transition-metal catalysis and biocatalysis, the development of novel synthetic methodology employing α-diazocarbonyl compounds, organosulfur chemistry, and continuous flow chemistry, and the design and synthesis of bioactive compounds with potential pharmaceutical applications. Anita is a co-PI in the Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC). She is the inaugural Chair of the National Forum on Research Integrity and was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2014.

Please join us in warmly welcoming Anita to the Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Editorial Board!

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Top 10 most-read Reaction Chemistry & Engineering articles – Q1 2019

This month sees the following articles from the last 12 months in Reaction Chemistry & Engineering that are in the top ten most read during January- March 2019.

Continuous flow synthesis of a pharmaceutical intermediate: a computational fluid dynamics approach
Cameron T. Armstrong, Cailean Q. Pritchard, Daniel W. Cook, Mariam Ibrahim, Bimbisar K. Desai, Patrick J. Whitham, Brian J. Marquardt, Yizheng Chen, Jeremie T. Zoueu, Michael J. Bortner and Thomas D. Roper
React. Chem. Eng., 2019,4, 634-642
DOI10.1039/C8RE00252E

Continuous low temperature synthesis of MAPbX3perovskite nanocrystals in a flow reactor
Xinxing Liang, Robert W. Baker, Kejun Wu, Wentao Deng, Dominic Ferdani, Peter S. Kubiak, Frank Marken, Laura Torrente-Murciano and Petra J. Cameron
React. Chem. Eng., 2018,3, 640-644
DOI10.1039/C8RE00098K

Coupling CFD–DEM and microkinetic modeling of surface chemistry for the simulation of catalytic fluidized systems

Enhancing selectivity and efficiency in the electrochemical synthesis of adiponitrile

Detailed kinetics of substituted phenolic species in pyrolysis bio-oils

Metal-based heterogeneous electrocatalysts for reduction of carbon dioxide and nitrogen: mechanisms, recent advances and perspective

Integrated plug flow synthesis and crystallisation of pyrazinamide

Optimum catalyst selection over continuous and discrete process variables with a single droplet microfluidic reaction platform

Continuous-flow liquid-phase dehydrogenation of 1,4-cyclohexanedione in a structured multichannel reactor

Revealing quantum mechanical effects in enzyme catalysis with large-scale electronic structure simulation

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Outstanding Reviewers for Reaction Chemistry & Engineering in 2018

Outstanding Reviewers for Reaction Chemistry & Engineering in 2018

We would like to highlight the Outstanding Reviewers for Reaction Chemistry & Engineering in 2018, as selected by the editorial team, for their significant contribution to the journal. The reviewers have been chosen based on the number, timeliness and quality of the reports completed over the last 12 months.

We would like to say a big thank you to those individuals listed here as well as to all of the reviewers that have supported the journal. Each Outstanding Reviewer will receive a certificate to give recognition for their significant contribution.

Professor Marcus Baumann, University College Dublin ORCiD: 0000-0002-6996-5893

Professor Geoffrey Bond, Brunel University

Professor Richard Bourne, University of Leeds ORCiD: 0000-0001-7107-6297

Professor Rajamani Gounder, Purdue University ORCiD: 0000-0003-1347-534X

Professor Heidrun Gruber-Woelfler, Graz University of Technology ORCiD: 0000-0002-6917-4442

Professor Ryan Hartman, New York University ORCiD: 0000-0002-5364-9933

Professor C. Oliver Kappe, University of Graz ORCiD: 0000-0003-2983-6007

Dr Matthew O’Brien, Keele University ORCiD: 0000-0002-1943-2351

Professor Victor Sans, University of Nottingham ORCiD: 0000-0001-7045-5244

Dr Kehua Yin, GlaxoSmithKline ORCiD: 0000-0003-2391-5329

We would also like to thank the Reaction Chemistry & Engineering board and the reaction engineering community for their continued support of the journal, as authors, reviewers and readers.

If you would like to become a reviewer for our journal, just email us with details of your research interests and an up-to-date CV or résumé.  You can find more details in our author and reviewer resource centre

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Top 10 most-read Reaction Chemistry & Engineering articles – Q4 2018

The following articles in Reaction Chemistry & Engineering from the last 12 months are in the top ten most read during October – December 2018.

Why not take a look today and blog your thoughts and comments below.

Integrated plug flow synthesis and crystallisation of pyrazinamide
C. Daniel Scott, Ricardo Labes, Martin Depardieu, Claudio Battilocchio, Matthew G. Davidson, Steven V. Ley, Chick C. Wilson and Karen Robertson
React. Chem. Eng., 2018,3, 631-634
DOI: 10.1039/C8RE00087E

Continuous low temperature synthesis of MAPbX3perovskite nanocrystals in a flow reactor
Xinxing Liang, Robert W. Baker, Kejun Wu, Wentao Deng, Dominic Ferdani, Peter S. Kubiak, Frank Marken, Laura Torrente-Murciano and Petra J. Cameron
React. Chem. Eng., 2018,3, 640-644
DOI: 10.1039/C8RE00098K

Coupling CFD–DEM and microkinetic modeling of surface chemistry for the simulation of catalytic fluidized systems
Riccardo Uglietti, Mauro Bracconi and Matteo Maestri
React. Chem. Eng., 2018,3, 527-539
DOI: 10.1039/C8RE00050F

Efficient kinetic experiments in continuous flow microreactors
Kosi C. Aroh and Klavs F. Jensen
React. Chem. Eng., 2018,3, 94-101
DOI: 10.1039/C7RE00163K

Optimum catalyst selection over continuous and discrete process variables with a single droplet microfluidic reaction platform
Lorenz M. Baumgartner, Connor W. Coley, Brandon J. Reizman, Kevin W. Gao and Klavs F. Jensen
React. Chem. Eng., 2018,3, 301-311
DOI: 10.1039/C8RE00032H

Metal-based heterogeneous electrocatalysts for reduction of carbon dioxide and nitrogen: mechanisms, recent advances and perspective
Jun-Hao Zhou and Ya-Wen Zhang
React. Chem. Eng., 2018,3, 591-625
DOI: 10.1039/C8RE00111A

Automated separation of immiscible liquids using an optically monitored porous capillary
James H. Bannock, Tsz Yin (Martin) Lui, Simon T. Turner and John C. deMello
React. Chem. Eng., 2018,3, 467-477
DOI: 10.1039/C8RE00023A

Optimization of the high-throughput synthesis of multiblock copolymer nanoparticles in aqueous media via polymerization-induced self-assembly
Amy A. Cockram, Robert D. Bradley, Sylvie A. Lynch, Patricia C. D. Fleming, Neal S. J. Williams, Martin W. Murray, Simon N. Emmett and Steven P. Armes
React. Chem. Eng., 2018,3, 645-657
DOI: 10.1039/C8RE00066B

In-line separation of multicomponent reaction mixtures using a new semi-continuous supercritical fluid chromatography system
Daniel E. Fitzpatrick, Robbie J. Mutton and Steven V. Ley
React. Chem. Eng., 2018,3, 799-806
DOI: 10.1039/C8RE00107C

Statistics of the network of organic chemistry
Philipp-Maximilian Jacob and Alexei Lapkin
React. Chem. Eng., 2018,3, 102-118
DOI: 10.1039/C7RE00129K

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Profile: Timothy Noël, 2017 Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Emerging Investigator

To celebrate the publication of the Reaction Chemistry & Engineering 2019 Emerging Investigators special issue, the editors caught up with 2017 Emerging Investigator Professor Timothy Noël.

Timothy Noël received in 2004 his MSc degree (Industrial Chemical Engineering) from the KaHo Sint-Lieven in Ghent. He then moved to Ghent University to obtain a PhD at the Laboratory for Organic and Bioorganic Synthesis (2005-2009). Next, he moved to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor Stephen L. Buchwald. He currently holds a position as an associate professor and he chairs the Micro Flow Chemistry & Synthetic Methodology group at Eindhoven University of Technology. His research interests are flow chemistry, homogeneous catalysis and organic synthesis. His research on photochemistry in microfluidic reactors was awarded the DECHEMA award 2017.

Read Professor Noël’s 2017 Emerging Investigator papers A sensitivity analysis of a numbered-up photomicroreactor system and Safety assessment in development and operation of modular continuous-flow processes.

 

Your 2017 Emerging Investigator research paper focuses on numbering-up a photomicroreactor system. How has your research evolved from this article to your most recent work?

The numbering-up papers that we published both appeared in Reaction Chemistry & Engineering and these publications represent work that we are still proud off. The solution we developed was really easy and it comprised only components that were commercially available and inexpensive. That is a deliberate strategy in our group as we hope that this facilitates uptake of our technology in academia and industry. In this specific case, it was very encouraging to see that the technology was rapidly picked up by quite a number of colleagues to scale their chemistry.

In recent years, we focused more on the harvesting of solar energy with our luminescent solar concentrator-based photomicroreactors and we will publish in the near future some exciting updates on that work. Also we got involved into automation to develop e.g. automated platforms to carry out reaction screening or to cope with specific issues such as variable light conditions due to passing clouds.

 

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

We started about three years ago with electrochemistry in flow and this is something that we will work on more in the near future. We have some upcoming work that we are very excited about and I believe that electrochemistry can become as important as photochemistry. It is my firm belief that also electrochemistry requires a technological impetus to make it scalable and widely applicable.

 

What do you find most challenging about your research?

I think one challenging aspect of our research is the interdisciplinarity as we combine organic chemistry and homogeneous catalysis with chemical engineering and flow chemistry. If you want to excel in all these fields, it is quite a challenge to keep track of everything and make sure we have the right people in the group that can take on this challenge. Actually, I am super-proud of my team, they really embrace these challenges and they surprise me every day with their creative solutions.

 

In which upcoming conferences or events may our readers meet you?

I will attend the yearly flow chemistry conference in Cambridge, organized by the Flow Chemistry Society, which is a must-go-to meeting if you work on Flow Chemistry. I am also going to the ACS meeting in Orlando, where I intend to speak during both flow and non-flow sessions. I am also attending the Beilstein meeting on Electrochemistry and the Lab on a Chip meeting in Amsterdam. Besides that, I also give quite a few seminars at academic institutions and in companies. Discussing our work with colleagues in the field is one of the things I really love about my job.

 

How do you spend your spare time?

I have three kids so I spend quite some time with my family. If I have some “Me-time”, I really love to do sports as my job is most of the time quite static. In addition, I also want to learn something about things that I am not an expert in, so I read lots of books and listen to podcasts which deal with history, politics, philosophy, psychology, etc.

 

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

A psychologist, I really love to listen and talk to people. Also in my daily job, I really want to know the person behind the researcher.

 

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

Do something that you are passionate about and try to be different in your approach. Science nowadays is getting increasingly more competitive and the struggle for financial funding is extremely fierce. If you do not truly love what you are doing, you will rapidly lose interest and confidence and eventually you will probably give up. Therefore, it is important to use a different approach that sets you and your team apart. This allows you to really investigate thoroughly what you are doing without being scared of getting scooped. But it is important to never give up and to keep working hard every single day, even if grants get rejected and the results are not as great as you hoped for. Sooner or later you will find something really cool and you will realize it was all worth it.

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