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Dr Rob McElroy gained his Ph.D in 2007 at Keele University under Prof. Jim Howell working on the production of composite materials from copolymers incorporating renewable resources. This involved the synthesis of sustainable monomers and surfactants followed by emulsion polymerisation and application as pressure sensitive adhesives. From 2007 until 2009 he was appointed as Teaching and Research Assistant at Keele University.
In 2009 he joined Prof. Pietro Tundo’s Carbonate Chemistry Group at Interuniversity Consortium “The Chemistry for the Enviroment”, INCA, working on the reactions of amines and hydrazines with alkyl carbonates to form carbamates. This included establishing an order of reactivity of amines with carbonates, finding a new route to BOC protected amines and a novel route to 1,3-oxazinanones.
He joined the GCCE as a PDRA in 2011, spending his first two years funded by Unilever, working on extracting and functionalising high value compounds from biomass utilising green solvents, principally (but not solely) for application as surfactants. in 2013 He then moved to the CHEM21 project, principally focusing on the areas of metrics and solvent selection within a pharmaceutical framework. His final PDRA position was as part of the Materials Substitution project, an EPSRC funded platform grant aiming to promote bio-derived polymers.
In 2016, Rob took up his new position as RenewChem Project Manager. This new venture looks to increase ties between the Department of Chemistry and industry having a wide variety of members from multinationals down to SMEs and covering a broad range of chemical sectors. He will have a hand in co-supervising RenewChem PhDs, managing short projects, aid in developing the multi-disciplinary, cross university Centre for Graduate Training (CGT) in Sustainable Chemical Manufacturing which will include E-learning and CPD content guided by the industrial partners, relevant to current challenges and applicable to a wide range of graduates.