Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Professor Joe Shapter  speaks to the SMAF Chemistry students

Professor Joe Shapter is the Dean of School in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences.

Joe's research interests include:
Scanning probe microscopy (SPM): which this is a relatively new form of microscope (invented in the earlier 1980s) which has the capability to see the finest detail of material (atoms).  

Biosensors: 
investigating the development of a glucose biosensor.  This is important work for diabetics who must continuously monitor their glucose level to determine if they need an insulin injection.  
Carbon Nanotubes: which are a new form of carbon with amazing properties such as the ability to conduct electrons better that copper and strength higher than steel.  His team has developed new ways to attach these nanotubes to silicon which is of great interest in areas such as electronics, biosensors and solar cells. 
Biological Membranes: looking at using a novel scanning probe techniques which has revealed unprecedented resolution of membrane dynamics when the temperature is changed or when the membrane is exposed to a drug.


Joe has a passion for teaching and this was evident when he gave a very informative and highly engaging presentation about environmental chemistry to the SMAF chemistry students.
He initially asked the students to list the top ten problems facing the world and then showed how these were inter-related. Joe discussed some of his research into solar cell development and carbon nanotubes and how these could be used as part of the solution to some of the major issues facing the world today. The students asked lots of very thoughtful and sophisticated questions.


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