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Fellows Directory

Martyn Poliakoff

Sir Martyn Poliakoff CBE FREng FRS

Fellow


Elected: 2002

Biography

Martyn Poliakoff is a global leader in the field of green chemistry with a specific interest in the applications of supercritical fluids. These highly compressed gases possess properties of gases and liquids that permit interesting chemical reactions without the need for organic solvents, which endanger both health and the environment. He is a Research Professor in Chemistry at the University of Nottingham, where he started as a Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry in 1979.

His contributions have enabled the development of supercritical carbon dioxide and water solvent systems to replace traditional organic solvents at the industrial scale. Away from the lab, as Foreign Secretary and Vice-president of the Royal Society from 2011-16, he worked to represent and to further the impact of UK and Commonwealth science around the world. He has championed collaboration between chemists and chemical engineers. He is a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Associate Fellow of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences.

Martyn is widely recognised thanks to his participation in a series of YouTube videos, The Periodic Table of Videos. This popular science project introduces the general public to the chemical elements of the periodic table. He received a knighthood in 2015 — the culmination of his pursuit of excellence in research, his service as an ambassador for UK science and his public outreach work.

Professional positions

Chemistry Research Professor, School of Chemistry, University Of Nottingham
Vice President, European Academies Science Advisory Council

Interests and expertise

Subject groups

Keywords

Catalysis, continuous reactions, flow chemistry, Green Chemistry, Photochemistry, Public engagement, Supercritical Fluids

Awards

  • Leverhulme Medal

    For his outstanding contributions in the fields of Green Chemistry and supercritical fluids by the application of chemistry to advance chemical engineering processes.

  • UK-Canada Rutherford Lecture

    On 'Multi-phase catalysis in supercritical fluids'.