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Research Chair: Microfluidic Bio-chemical Processing

Professor Paul Watts

Primary discipline: Chemical Science

Faculty: Science

Relevance of research

Within InnoVenton at Nelson Mandela University Professor Watts will further develop the continuous flow methodology to investigate how small production platforms can enhance chemical manufacture within the South African economy. In addition, research will be undertaken to investigate the integration of synthesis and purification within continuous flow systems.

Biosketch of incumbent

Professor Watts graduated from the University of Bristol (UK) in 1995 with a first-class BSc in Chemistry. He continued his studies at Bristol, obtaining a PhD in bio-organic natural product chemistry in 1999. His PhD focussed on the synthesis of isotopically labelled compounds for use in determining biosynthetic pathways to polyketide-derived natural products. He subsequently worked at the University of Hull (UK) where he led the micro reactor and continuous flow technology group, being promoted to full professor in August 2011. He has published nearly 100 papers in the field and regularly gives lectures on the topic at worldwide conferences. He is on several editorial boards and is an associate editor of the Journal of Flow Chemistry.

Current research interests

Research interests include:

  • Improving organic synthesis utilising new technology;
  • Green chemistry;
  • Process intensification;
  • Electrochemical synthesis;
  • Catalysis (and biocatalysis) in continuous flow reactors;
  • Process analytical technology; and
  • Nanomaterial synthesis.