Christopher Heard completed his B.A. and M.Sci. (2010) at the University of Cambridge, followed by PhD studies under Prof. Roy Johnston at the University of Birmingham (2014). There he developed and employed computational global optimisation tools for the determination of structures and electronic properties of free and oxide-supported metal clusters.
This was followed up with a postdoctoral position at Chalmers University in Sweden, which involved the modelling of heterogeneous catalysis at metal and metal oxide interfaces, with atomistic ab- initio and microkinetic modelling techniques.
As part of the CUCAM project at Charles University in Prague, his current research interests involve the stability and reactivity of zeolitic and layered oxide materials with ab-initio thermodynamic methods under realistic conditions, and the investigation of metal cluster encapsulation within nanoporous materials.
Investigating the role of explicit water in the partial hydrolysis of Al, Ge and Si-only zeolites. Further research ongoing to isolate temperature and pH effects.
Determination of the effect of encapsulation on the structure, stability and sintering propensity of sub-nanometre metallic clusters (Au and Pt) inside model zeolites (LTA and CHA).