Month: August 2018

“It’s satisfying to know that something I’m working on will have an impact”: Completing a UROP in Chemical Engineering

This summer the department is hosting several Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP) placements, which enable students to take part in research activities at Imperial College London. As well as providing practical research experience, undertaking a UROP can help students develop their interest in specialised subjects, or get a sense of whether a particular career path is right for them.

Henry and Aniket are two Chemical Engineering undergraduates who will spend ten weeks over the summer with the department’s Analytical Services creating a series of videos which will teach new staff and students how to use equipment correctly and safely.

They spoke to us at the beginning of their placement to tell us why they chose to complete a UROP this summer and what their experience has been like so far.


The value of gold in chemical engineering

Gold can make things happen. This has been true since it was first discovered; it looks precious, it’s relatively rare, and it can be easily transformed into items for trade. A symbol of wealth and status for thousands of years, it was originally made into coins in 550BC, and has a history of being used to create valuable items such as jewellery. 

Research published by Chemical Engineering PhD student Motaz Khawaji and Professor David Chadwick has demonstrated how gold can make things happen on a chemical level, by using gold particles to create reactions. Their work has recently been featured on the covers of two academic journals, Catalysis Science & Technology and ChemCatChem. Here we take a look at how they use gold nanoparticles and how they could be utilised by industry.


Why does the UK need to invest in carbon capture and storage?

The CCUS (Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage) Cost Challenge Taskforce recently delivered their report to the Government which puts forward a strategy to develop large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the UK. The key message outlined in the report, Delivering clean growth, is that the Government needs to act urgently to invest in CCS if it is to meet its goal of having projects delivered and operational from the mid-2030s. Without this, the UK will not meet its emissions reduction target, as set out in the Climate Change Act 2008.

Geoff Maitland, Professor of Energy Engineering at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London, and Director of the Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre (QCCSRC), is a member of the CCUS Cost Challenge Taskforce. He explains what carbon capture and storage means, and why it’s so vital in tackling climate change.