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Professor Tom Welton

Professor Tom Welton

Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences,
Imperial College London

Professor Tom Welton, Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Imperial College London and the world’s first Professor of Sustainable Chemistry, began his academic career with a B.Sc. at the University of Sussex followed by a D.Phil., in the Chemistry and Spectroscopy of Ionic Liquids.   After research positions at the University of Sussex and the University of Exeter he joined the Chemistry Department at Imperial College London in 1993 as a Lloyd’s of London Tercentenary Fellow. In 2002 he was awarded a Readership in Catalysis and undertook the role of Director of Undergraduate Studies in Chemistry.  In 2004 he was promoted to Professor in Sustainable Chemistry.  He was Head of the Chemistry Department from August 2007 to December 2014, during which time the Department achieved an Athena Swan Gold Award. He became Dean of the Faculty in January 2015.   Tom uses solvents to improve chemical processes. He has worked with ionic liquids throughout his career, in order to develop sustainable solvent technologies. The central academic aim of his research is to understand the role that the immediate chemical environments in which reacting species find themselves influence the reaction process. He also aims to use this understanding to provide more effective chemical processes by the matching of the reaction with its optimum solvent environment.   Tom is the author of over 100 papers, primarily on the structures and chemistry of ionic liquids and their solutes. He was the 2007 RSC Christopher Ingold Lecturer, the 2012 RSC Thomas Graham Lecturer, and the 2011 DFG Paul Walden Lecturer. He is an Honorary Member of the Chemical Society of Ethiopia. In June 2017 Tom was awarded an OBE for his services to diversity in education.  

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