Lab 4.0 Feature Session

How AI already impacts many areas of chemistry and how we should 'AI enable' the next generation of chemists

Time & Location

Wednesday: 13.00 to 14.00, Stage 3


Professor Tim AlbrechtDirector of Research & Knowledge Transfer, School of Chemistry, University of Birmingham

About this Session

How AI already impacts many areas of chemistry and how we should ‘AI enable’ the next generation of chemists             

Part of the Lab4.0 feature session, hosted by Laboratory News

This year’s Lab News hosted speaker session will include expert speakers specialising in chemistry research and transition, business change, technology adoption, and digital transformation for scientific research. Throughout the session, our experts will present short, practical discussions around the transition of R&D chemical processes through a digitised framework.

With a focus on the effects of Lab 4.0 on product development cycles, time to market and cost to market, we will consider how digital best practice processes and chemical laboratory management solutions provide a competitive advantage that helps chemical companies drive higher levels of innovation and profitable growth. We shall look at how AI already impacts many areas of chemistry, and how we must ‘AI-enable’ the next generation of chemists. Finally, we hope to point our audience in the direction of useful digital transformation initiatives for chemical R&D laboratories.

13:00 Introduction from Sarah Lawton, Lab News

13:05 ‘AI in Chemistry – some perspectives on research and teaching’

13:25   Driving innovation in UK chemical labs in small and medium enterprises through the adoption of company-wide Industry 4.0 solutions

13:45   Global enterprise digital transformation initiatives for chemical R&D

Presentation Title:

‘AI in Chemistry – some perspectives on research and teaching’

Presentation overview:

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are increasingly pervasive in all areas of science and technology, which includes many aspects of chemistry from materials design and molecular property prediction to data analysis and sensing. I will cover some selected examples to illustrate the impact that these new tools are already having. At the same time, many societal and technological challenges require interdisciplinary teams to work together, i.e. domain experts from the AI community as well as chemists and many others, who need to develop a common “language” for this to happen in an efficient manner. This raises the question how we actually train chemistry students to “AI-enable” them and help them operate successfully in a modern professional environment. At the University of Birmingham, we have taken steps in this direction and I will share my thoughts in this regard as well.

Speaker Bio:

Tim studied Chemistry at the University of Essen in Germany from 1995-2000 and did his PhD in Peter Hildebrandt’s group at the MPI for Radiation Chemistry in Muelheim/Germany, with extended research visits to Portugal (ITQB, UNL) and Denmark (DTU). He then joined Jens Ulstrup’s group at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) as a Marie-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow to work on charge transfer processes in single-molecules (2003-2006) and took up his first independent academic position in the Chemistry Department at Imperial College London, where he was made Senior Lecturer in 2011 and then Reader in 2014. In 2017, Tim joined the School of Chemistry at Birmingham University as Chair of Physical Chemistry and has been the School of Chemistry’s Director of Research & Knowledge Transfer since 2018. He is the coordinator of the School’s Interest Group “Data and Machine Intelligence” and UoB Turing Fellow since 2021.