Leading up to the GC&E Conference we will be posting interviews with our 2017 GC&E Conference organizers to learn a little more about them and the excellent sessions you can look forward to at this year’s conference!
Richard Blackburn, Ph.D., Head of Sustainable Materials Research Group, University of Leeds
Session: Facing Forward: Designing sustainable cosmetics & personal care products
A: It is a fantastic opportunity for truly multidisciplinary collaboration that approaches, researches and discovers solutions to global problems of sustainability.
Q: In one sentence, describe the session you are organizing at GC&E.
A: Cosmetics (deodorants, hair dyes, hair styling products, make-up, sunscreens, nail colorants, skin & hair care products, etc.) are big business, and there is increasing interest among consumers in more sustainable and natural ingredients. This session examines how green chemistry and engineering can make this industry more sustainable and addresses the problems encountered in the process of doing this.
Q: What will attendees learn at your GC&E session? What makes it unique?
A: The session covers the growth of sustainable and ‘natural’ actives and cosmetic products, clean extraction processes, and the application of green chemistry in the synthesis of novel actives and formulation ingredients, packaging innovations, and the marketing of cosmetics.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of the GC&E Conference (or what are you looking forward to)?
A: Meeting green chemists and engineers from many different backgrounds, doing the fun run, and then feeling no guilt on the final pub crawl!
Q: What are you currently focused on in your work or research?
A: Sustainability issues within the textiles industry, researching novel fibers, dyeing, and finishing products and processes, and tackling this with green chemistry and engineering solutions through the choice of raw materials, processing conditions, and end-of-life issues. We also work on sustainable cosmetics, making products safer and more sustainable for consumers, and undertaking a significant amount of natural products research in developing new actives and extraction processes.
Q: If you weren't a chemist, what would you be doing?
A: Probably scraping a living trying to pursue a career on the stage in musical theater
Q: When you aren't at work, how do you spend your free time?
A: Enjoying being an amateur musical theater performer, watching football (soccer to my American friends), and enjoying walks in my beautiful home county of Yorkshire
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