The Year

The Year is our annual College record, but it's more than just an annual review. It's a snapshot of life at St Catz, with contributions from Fellows, students and Alumni. You can read our latest edition of The Year by clicking on the image to the right. Past issues can be found in our archive below.  


How do I apply to the Graduate Research Expenses Fund?

A small fund exists to which graduates may apply for help with research expenses, particularly for fieldwork, attendance at conferences, or visiting libraries with material unobtainable in Oxford. It can also be used for help towards the costs of books, printing, photocopying, thesis binding and continuation charges.

Full-time graduate students accrue an entitlement to claim £197 for each year that they have been enrolled and paying University and College fees for their current programme of study, up to a maximum of three years, and part-time graduate students accrue an entitlement to claim £98.50 for each year that they have been enrolled and paying University and College fees for their current programme of study, up to a maximum of six years. This amount may be carried forward if it was not spent in the year in which it was accrued, but it cannot be carried forward to a new programme of study, and the student must be a current enrolled graduate member of the University to be eligible to apply. A claim may be submitted at any point during the academic year.

Students should apply in writing to the Academic Office (Email:, giving details of the amount of funding required and the use to which it will be put, together with their bank details. A letter of support from the student's supervisor must also be supplied. Afterwards the applicant should supply (copies of) receipts and a brief write-up.

Applicants are expected to apply to their Department or Faculty as well as to the College for financial support.

Richard Todd

MA Camb, MA status, DPhil Oxf


I have been teaching in Oxford for 18 years.  The main subjects I cover in tutorials concern the links between materials processing, microstructure and mechanical properties. I give lecture courses in the Department of Materials on Engineering Ceramics (3rd year), Fracture and Fatigue (2nd year) and Creep and Superplasticity (2nd year). I also run a workshop for research students on how to write and publish scientific papers.

About me

I studied Natural Science at Cambridge and after a few years in the electronics industry came to Oxford to do a Doctorate in superplastic metals. After 5 years of a permanent position at Manchester University, I returned to Oxford to take up my present post in 1999.

I received the Pfeil Award of the Institute of Materials 2001 for published work in ceramics and the Verulam Medal and Prize of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining 2012 in recognition of distinguished contributions to ceramics.  I am a Fellow of the European Ceramic Society - ECERS (2013) and Senior Editor of the Journal of the European Ceramic Society (2011- present).


My research concerns the mechanical properties and processing of ceramics and metals. Current interests include ceramic – carbon nanotube composites and ceramics with microstructures inspired by natural materials such as bone and seashells, mechanical testing and stress measurement in ceramics at the microscale so that the properties of the individual building blocks of materials can be understood, the impact performance of ceramics for use as armour for personnel and vehicles, polycrystalline diamond for the ultimate hard cutting tool, new methods of making ceramics such as "flash sintering" and “cold sintering” for energy saving and greener production, probing of internal stress and structure using neutrons and synchrotron radiation, improved metal forming for automobiles and mechanisms of superplastic deformation.

Graduate teaching

I supervise graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the above areas of research interest.

Goldsmiths' Fellow and Tutor in Material Sciences
Professor of Materials

John Foord

MA, PhD Camb, MA Oxf


I teach most branches of physical chemistry, with specialisation in aspects of surface and solid-state chemistry.

About me

I completed a BA degree in Natural Sciences and a PhD in surface chemistry at Cambridge University, followed by spells as a Junior Research Fellow at Selwyn College, Cambridge and as a lecturer at Southampton University. At Oxford,  I serve as Tutor in Physical Chemistry at St Catherine's and run an active research group as a Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry in Oxford, concerned with surface chemistry and nanomaterials.


Current projects are especially involved with sustainable energy, focusing on the development of improved electrocatalysts for fuel cells, along with the safe provision of hydrogen for portable energy applications.

Other research areas include the study of materials for supercapacitors and new types of chemical and bio- sensors, based on the use of synthetic thin film diamond, the self-assembly of nanostructured interfaces using templating techniques, and new transparent conducting oxide thin films for next generation electrophotonics.

Graduate teaching

Within my research group, I supervise the studies of D.Phil. students working on various projects connected with the research areas described above.


Tutor in Physical Chemistry

Jim Thomson

MChem, DPhil Oxf


I teach all aspects of organic chemistry for Prelims, Part IA and Part IB, in the first three years of the Oxford MChem course; I also supervise Part II students who wish to undertake a research project in synthetic organic chemistry in their fourth year.

About me

I studied chemistry at the University of Oxford where I gained an MChem (2003) and then DPhil (2007), working with Professor Steve Davies in the area of β-amino acid organocatalysis. In 2006 I moved from New College, Oxford to join the chemistry teaching team at St Catherine’s and in 2007 was elected to a fellowship.


My research interests lie in the area of synthetic organic chemistry, the development of novel asymmetric transformations, and the total synthesis of natural products.

Fellow by Special Election in Chemistry
College Lecturer in Chemistry
Director of Studies for Organic Chemistry
Tutor for Admissions

Heidi de Wet

BSc North-West, PhD Cape Town


I teach Physiology and Pharmacology to first-year pre-clinical medical students, as well as critical analysis to first-year, second-year and FHS students.

About me

I was awarded my DPhil from the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa.  Following a brief post-doctoral period in South Africa, I moved to the UK to pursue post-doctoral research at the University of Oxford.  I am currently starting up my own laboratory in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics.


My doctoral work in the Department of Chemical Pathology at the UCT Medical School introduced me to the ATP Binding Cassette (ABC) family of membrane transporters, which has been the focus of my research ever since.  This structurally-conserved protein family is remarkably diverse in function and I have been privileged to be involved in this field from its infancy.

My post-doctoral research in Oxford focussed on neonatal diabetes, a rare form of type 2 diabetes, and the dysfunctional ABC transporters involved in this disease.  More recently, my focus shifted to studying the role ABC transporters in gut endocrine K-and L-cells.  These cells are involved in nutrient sensing in the small intestine and the subsequent secretion of appropriate peptide hormones which regulate several essential physiological responses to food intake.

Graduate teaching

I have supervised graduate students at Masters and PhD level and would welcome prospective students interested in the fields of diabetes and obesity, and the membrane transporters and signal transduction pathways involved in these pathologies.


Director of Studies for Pre-clinical Medicine
Fellow and Tutor in Pre-clinical Medicine
Associate Professor in Physiology

Directions for Drivers

From London and the East

Leave the M40 motorway at Junction 8 signposted Oxford A40. Continue for approximately 5 miles; the A40 meets the Green Road roundabout, go straight across, following signs for Headington and the City Centre; continue straight on for 2 miles through Headington until you reach another roundabout - The Plain - and take the last exit. Cross Magdalen Bridge, and at the traffic lights turn right into Longwall Street and take the first right into Manor Road after St Cross Church. Cross the river and you have arrived.

From the South

Leave the A34 at the first Oxford exit. At the roundabouts follow signs for the city centre. Pass the Park & Ride on your left, take a right at the second set of traffic lights into Donnington Bridge Road. At the lights turn left, continue straight on until you reach a roundabout - The Plain. Go straight over and cross Magdalen Bridge; at the traffic lights turn right into Longwall Street and take the first right into Manor Rd after St Cross Church. Cross the river and you have arrived.

From the North

Leave the M40 at Junction 9, following signs for Oxford A34. Continue for approximately 8 miles, then take the Oxford/ Cheltenham exit. At the Pear Tree roundabout take the second exit. At the next roundabout (Wolvercote) take the second exit along the A40, following signs to M40 London. At the next roundabout take the right exit, following signs for Summertown and the City Centre. Continue for approximately 2 miles, then turn left into Parks Rd (opposite church). Pass the Park and Museum on the left, and take the next left into South Parks Road. The road bends sharply right, past more playing fields; take the next left into Manor Road just before the road bends sharply right again. St. Catherine's is ahead of you.

From the West

We recommend that visitors bypass the City and approach from the North. Leave the M4 at Junction 15 and follow signs for Oxford A420. Continue along the A420 for approximately 30 miles. Rather than continue through the western side of the City, at the A34 interchange, head north following signs for M40 but leave at the next exit. At the Pear Tree roundabout follow signs to City Centre, passing the services and Park & Ride; at the next roundabout (Wolvercote) take the second exit. From here follow directions as from the North. For those approaching on the A40,cross straight over the Wolvercote roundabout and follow the directions as from the North.

Postcode for Sat Nav: OX1 3UJ

Benazir Bhutto

1976, Foreign Service Programme

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan

Benazir Bhutto twice served as Prime Minister of Pakistan, the first female leader of an Islamic state and to, date, Pakistan’s only female Prime Minister. Aged just 35, she became one of the youngest leaders in the world, with economic and industrial development at the heart of her programme.

After a brief period of self-imposed exile in London, she returned to Pakistan in 2007 to contest elections which she was widely expected to win. She was sadly assassinated at a campaign rally in December 2007. The following year she was posthumously awarded the UN Prize in the Field of Human Rights.

Sir John Walker

1960, Chemistry

Scientist and Nobel Laureate

Former JCR President Sir John Walker is an internationally-renowned chemist and Nobel Laureate, having collected the Nobel Prize in 1997 for his work on ATP, a high-energy molecule and the 'enzymatic mechanism' on which it relies. He was knighted in 1999 for services to microbiology, and in 2012, collected the Copley Medal - believed to be the world's oldest scientific prize. Predating the Nobel Prize by 170 years, the Copley Medal counts scientific luminaries Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking among its list of winners.

His work has attracted international acclaim, and he holds membership of the Royal Society, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, L'Accademia Nazionale and the American National Academy of Sciences.

Emilia Fox

1993, English

Stage and Screen Actress

Award-winning actress, Emilia Fox, is notable for her portrayal of Dr Nikki Alexander on the BBC’s crime drama, Silent Witness, and on the BBC’s Merlin. Her first major role came in her second year at College, when she appeared as Georgina, the sister of Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy, in the BBC’s landmark adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Later roles included Jane Seymour in a two-part biographical film about King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth II in a Channel 4 miniseries charting her fifty-year reign.


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