IUPAC is the world authority on chemical nomenclature and terminology, including the naming of new elements in the periodic table and standardised analytical methods for measurement. The RSC oversees IUPAC membership and its activities throughout the UK.
As an IUPAC Young Observer, Dr Durndell participated in the World Chemistry Leadership Meeting (WCLM) on Catalyzing Innovation for Sustainable Development, and more closely in the meetings of the various IUPAC Divisions and Standing Committees.
This included committees focused on Chemistry Education, Green Chemistry for Sustainable Development, and Analytical Chemistry, and he plans to use lessons learned from the discussions to guide his future teaching practices, research endeavours, policy documents, and sustainability initiatives.
Dr Durndell is currently among the co-investigators on a number of high profile research projects, in fields from clean maritime to microplastics.
His research is focused around nanomaterials and catalysis science, in particular the conversion of waste materials to value-added chemicals and fuels.
He and his team are developing routes for the production of next-generation materials and processes, which mimic the precision and complexity of nature’s biological machinery.
Through careful design and experimentation, these nanomaterials have already demonstrated great promise in biodiesel and fuel production, and provide a small stepping stone in addressing the larger grand challenges of society.
Dr Durndell added:
“Catalysts and designer nanomaterials are essential for realising a net zero society as they enable faster reactions, lower energy consumption, and reduce waste generation in chemical production. By facilitating the efficient conversion of waste materials into desired products, catalysts promote resource conservation and minimise environmental impact. Embracing catalyst technology is a crucial step towards achieving a more sustainable and environmentally friendly industry.”