Prof. Paul Watts graduated from the University of Bristol (UK) in 1995 with a first class B.Sc. in chemistry. He continued his studies at Bristol, obtaining a Ph.D. in bio-organic natural product chemistry in 1999. His Ph.D. focussed on the synthesis of isotopically labelled compounds, for use in determination of biosynthetic pathways to polyketide-derived natural products.

He subsequently worked at the University of Hull (UK) where he led the micro reactor and continuous flow technology group.  He has published nearly 100 papers in the field and regularly gives lectures on the topic at worldwide conferences.  In 2005, Paul initiated a joint venture with Lionix BV (Netherlands) to commercialise the technology, which has resulted in the formation of Chemtrix BV.  Consequently Paul is very keen to further engage with industry. 

At the Nelson Mandela University he will further develop the continuous flow methodology to investigate how small production platforms can enhance chemical manufacture within the South African economy.  In addition research will be undertaken to investigate integration of synthesis and purification within continuous flow systems.