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The mission of the Next Generation Synthesis & Reaction Technology CDT is to educate a critical mass of researchers equipped to respond to future research challenges and opportunities created by the data-revolution. The aim is to train highly qualified researchers with the ability to collect data using automated, high-throughput reaction platforms, and to apply quantitative and statistical approaches to data analysis and utilisation. This will be achieved by incorporating cross-disciplinary skills from engineering, as well as computing, statistics, and informatics into a chemistry graduate programme, which are largely lacking from existing doctoral training in synthetic chemistry.

The CDT assembles a multi-disciplinary team of internationally-leading researchers at Imperial College and benefits from significant strategic infrastructural and capital investment on cutting edge, state-of-the-art technology and facilities such as ROAR, Agilent Advanced Measurement SuiteIn addition to this, the CDT aims to engage with the Centres of Excellence in the US and Europe, to deliver a unique multi-faceted training programme to improve the skills, employability and productivity of the graduates to produce well-rounded individuals who can tackle challenges of synthesis in the coming decades to equip them for future academic and industrial roles.  

The CDT is a joint venture between the Athena Swan Gold holding Department of Chemistry and the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London.

Profile of the researcher produced by the CDT

  1. Multidisciplinary: Competency in core topics of synthetic chemistry, engineering and data science, with interdisciplinary research expertise in at least two of these areas.
  2. Technical proficiency: Able to make, measure and model reactions by using the latest synthesis and analytical tools, including automated reactors in combination with process/data analytical tools.
  3. Creative and collaborative: Effective team member, able to apply creative approaches to problem-solving.

The Programme

Avaialable Projects 2021 Intake

Facilities and Training

Graduate School
A key feature of this CDT is the accessibility of centralised and managed facilities such as ROAR, and the Agilent Advanced Measurement Suite to provide access to a range of automated reactors, ideal for delivering cohort-based practical workshops. The workshops will be given by technical experts from the hardware and software suppliers. Certificates of attendance will be issued and recorded on the students’ skill training record.

Throughout the programme, the students will also be expected to undertake professional and personal development courses, offered by the award-winning Graduate School. Our students are registered on to the Membership Accreditation and Recognition Scheme (MARS), whereby postgraduate students can achieve Registered Scientist status, full Membership of a Professional Body or Chartered status.

MRes Course (Year 1)

MRes year imageThe first year of the 4-year programme comprises of an MRes in Advanced Molecular Synthesis. The first year is structured as a standalone course, where CDT students will progress through a common academic program of lectures and workshops on three core modules aimed at underpinning the fundamentals in synthetic chemistry, engineering and statistical sciences. Each student will also undertake a 9-month individual research project in a chosen area.

The MRes is also complimented with elective workshops such as Design of Experiments, Kinetics and the ELN systems to equip students for their PhD years.

PhD (Years 2 - 4)

Phd ImageFollowing the successful completion of the MRes, students will pursue their independent project in subsequent years. In addition to their projects, the PhD years will also include summer schools, additional workshops (from technical experts) and student led cohort events, along with further professional and development courses offered by the award-winning Graduate School and the Computational Methods Hub at Imperial College London.

Each research project will involve at least two academic supervisors with complementary expertise, and may include an additional industrial sponsor/advisor.

Placements and Internships

The CDT students benefit from the CDT's partnership with various industry partners. Therefore, as part of the programme all students will be encouraged to undertake a period of placement and internship, in an industrial or an academic collaborator’s lab abroad, during or immediately after their PhD.

Please vist our page for Research Partners to view a list of all our external and industry partners.