The future of lab automation is promising. Join us on 27 February to find out answers to the most important questions, and to contribute your knowledge and experience to the discussion.

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Have you ever been at the lab bench mindlessly performing a repetitive task, wondering if a robot would be better placed for the job? Despite many industries having utilised full automation of workflows for decades, the use of robots in chemistry laboratories is a relatively new domain. Yet, automating laboratories can save time and money by optimising reactions, improving efficiency, as well as manipulating large datasets, leaving you with valuable time for other research assignments. After all, machines don’t need coffee or comfort breaks!

There’s a lot to think about, though, when it comes to setting up an automated workflow or integrating robotics into established laboratory routines. Can robotic lab assistants cope with the wide range of duties required for laboratory research, some of which demand adaptive and analytical skills? And how much does it cost, in time and money, for you to set-up a fully automated routine?

During this webinar we look to the future of automation in the lab and what it means here and now. Throughout the hour you will meet chemists who have successfully incorporated lab automation into their research, working alongside robots assigned to a wide range of laboratory roles. You will discover how and why these scientists decided to embark on incorporating automation into their laboratory and learn about the challenges they faced along the way.

This webinar is for all scientists, from those considering their first steps into automation, to those who have successfully incorporated robots into their lab. This session is also interactive, allowing you to ask questions about any aspect of what’s covered – or share your own ideas for how you’ve achieved similar success.

Our guest speakers

 

Portrait photo of automation specialist Andy Cooper

Andy Cooper, Director of the Materials Innovation Factory

Andy obtained his first degree and PhD from the University of Nottingham, UK, in 1991 and 1994, respectively. After this, he held an 1851 Fellowship and a Royal Society NATO Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, US, and then a Ramsay Memorial Research Fellowship at the University of Cambridge, UK. In 1999, he was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship at the University of Liverpool, UK. Between 2007-2012 he was the first Head of the School of Physical Sciences at the University of Liverpool, UK.

Andy led the bid to establish the Materials Innovation Factory (MIF) via the UK Research Partnerships Infrastructure Fund and became its first Academic Director. He is also the Director of the £10M Leverhulme Centre for Functional Materials Design. His main research interests are organic materials, supramolecular chemistry, and materials for energy production and molecular separation. This is underpinned by a strong technical interest in high-throughput methods and robotics.

 

Felix Strieth-Kalthoff WV

Felix Strieth-Kalthoff, Postdoctoral Fellow

Initially trained as an organic chemist, Felix obtained his PhD from the University of Münster, Germany, working on systematic and computational strategies for reaction discovery in homogeneous catalysis. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, Canada, where his research is focused on the integration of lab automation and artificial intelligence to realise ’self-driving laboratories’ for accelerated materials discovery. 

 

Portrait photo of Nessa Carson, digital champion at AstraZeneca

Nessa Carson, Digital champion

Nessa Carson started her education and career in synthetic chemistry, initially working in small molecule synthesis for discovery chemistry at Albany Molecular Research Inc. (AMRI). She moved within the company to run the high-throughput automation laboratory on behalf of Eli Lilly in the UK, before continuing to Pfizer and then Syngenta as a high-throughput reaction optimisation chemist. She recently moved to AstraZeneca to become Digital Champion in Early Chemical Development, where she focusses on making life easier for chemists and analysts with data management and accessible digital tools. Nessa maintains a website of useful chemistry resources, supersciencegrl.co.uk, and was recently awarded the Salters’ Institute Centenary Award.

 

A modern robotic arm works on an assembly line

This February, read our special collection of articles that take an in-depth look at how automation and artificial intelligence are revolutionising chemistry. From robots in the lab to machine-led research, technology is increasingly shaping how chemists approach their subject. But will it be revolution or evolution: are these new techniques going to make our lives in the lab a little easier or re-shape our thinking?

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