EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training
in Sustainable Chemistry

Meet our students

Alexander Kibler

Alexander Kibler

Alex is originally from Manchester and came to study MSci Chemistry at the University of Nottingham, graduating in 2015. Alex has a keen interest in inorganic chemistry, especially the synthesis and behaviour unusual transition metal complexes. During his masters project, Alex worked under the supervision of Jon McMaster on the synthesis of structural analogues of the enzyme Ni-Fe hydrogenase. In his spare time, Alex enjoys playing tennis, squash, going camping and learning French.
Astrid Delorme

Astrid Delorme

Astrid was born in Grenoble in France and grew up in Helsingborg in Sweden. She graduated from the University of Nottingham with a MSci Chemistry with an International Study Year, in which she completed her third year at the University of Melbourne. For her Master's project she worked in Pete Licence's group looking at Ionic Liquids with XPS using Silver and Aluminium sourced XPS. She is interested in chemistry which can make processes more sustainable. In her spare time she enjoys travelling to various countries, trying out different sports and playing the piano.
Benjamin Shepherd

Benjamin Shepherd

Ben graduated from the University of Nottingham in July 2015 with an MEng Chemical Engineering degree. Ben spent his third year in the University of Nottingham Malaysia campus. On returning to the UK, in his final year he worked under the supervision of Dr. Ian Lowndes, designing the process components of a North Sea oil and gas platform and computationally modelling gas plume dispersion from the platform's flare stack, with a focus on measuring the effects on health and the environment, gas capture design and adhering to EU legislative bodies. This project opened his eyes to the need for sustainable process design and as such is the focus of his research. In the future Ben aims to work in industry and his hobbies include reading, watching films and playing guitar.
Christopher Peel

Christopher Peel

Originally from Nottingham, Chris graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2015 with an MSci in Chemistry. Owing to his interest in organic chemistry and its biological applications, he completed his final year working with Dr James Dowden on the development of selective inhibitors of protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs). Chris wishes to implement a truly interdisciplinary approach to tackling the problem of sustainability through a fusion of his personal interests in organic, inorganic, biological chemistry and genetic engineering. Prior to his chemical career Chris has had experience in the electrical industry and pharmacy.
Daniel O'Connor

Daniel O'Connor

Born in Essex but raised in Derry, Northern Ireland, Daniel completed his MChem degree at Newcastle University. During the summer vacation after his third year, Daniel worked with Dr Michael Hall synthesising novel BODIPY dyes for application in biomedical imaging. For his MChem project, Daniel worked with Dr Julian Knight synthesising ionic functionalised polymers for application in catalysis.Throughout his degree Daniel enjoyed the organic modules most and based his fourth year module selection heavily on organic synthesis. Daniel's research interests lie in using organic synthesis to tackle current challenges. He enjoys sports, especially rugby and boxing and spends a lot of his spare reading non-fiction. He hopes to complete his three month placement abroad due to his love of travelling.
Francesca Spagna

Francesca Spagna

Francesca received her Master degree in Ferrara (Italy) in October 2013. During her final year she worked under the supervision of Prof. Vinicio Zanirato dealing with chiral auxiliaries. After that, she spent a few months working for a company as an organic chemist until she won a scholarship as a visiting researcher at the University of Portsmouth. Francesca’s interests in chemistry include synthesis of natural products and development of new methodologies. Out of the lab, she enjoys reading and going to the gym. Recently, she started playing violin.
Jennifer Wakefield

Jennifer Wakefield

Jennifer graduated from The University of Aberdeen in July 2011 with a BSc Chemistry Degree. During her summer holidays Jennifer attended various summer archaeology excavations in Bulgaria and Italy which included a restoration course. She then went on to complete an MSc in Biomedical and Forensic Studies in Egyptology at The University of Manchester 2012 reinforcing her interests in archaeology and conservation. Following this she obtained another MSc this time in Drug Discovery and Development from The University of Aberdeen 2014 (funded by The Scottish Government). During all her projects, chemistry was tool of investigation but into a variety of subjects from the origins of life, analysing mummy tissue to analysing a co-culture of bacteria and fungi to look for new biologically active compounds. She also worked in industry between her degrees with chemical analytical companies (Intertek and LGC). Her interest lies in origins of life, natural product drug discovery, historical medicine, archaeological science and archaeological conservation.
Jonathan Hunter

Jonathan Hunter

Jonathan comes from East Yorkshire. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Medicinal and Biological Chemistry in 2014 from the University of Nottingham. His master's project was under the joint supervision of Dr Darren Walsh and Dr Elizabeth Gibson, where he studied cobaloximes as water splitting catalysts. This involved a large amount of photochemistry, electrochemistry and inorganic synthesis.

During his degree, Jonathan completed a year in industry at Reckitt Benckiser in Hull, where he worked on developing innovation technological solutions within the AirWick brand portfolio. Following his degree, Jonathan worked as a research scientist for an SME based in Biocity, Nottingham - Haemostatix. Whilst in this position, Jonathan invented and developed new haemostatic agents for, both, surgical and trauma wounds.

Jonathan is a black belt in judo and in his spare time coaches at a local club. He has fought for the University on various occasions and he hopes to continue this throughout his PhD. Recently, Jonathan has adopted two cats, Sir Reginald and Princess, with whom he spends the remainder of his time.

José Pinto

José Pinto

Originally from Sesimbra, Portugal, José graduated in 2011 with a BSc in Biochemistry at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (NOVA). During his studies he worked in nanotechnology and biochemistry. In 2013 Jose received an MSc in Biotechnology from the same University. His master dissertation was on development of an alternative route for the separation of menthol oils using biocatalysis and alternative solvents to create greener routes, under the supervision of Prof. Susana Barreiros and Dr Alexandre Pavia.

Subsequently, he received a grant for project on production of molecularly imprinted polymers for the removal of genotoxic agents from Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, in a partnership between NOVA and Hovione.

His research interests are based on biocatalysis, process adaptation towards greener routes, alternative solvents and RAFT polymerization.

Outside of the laboratory, José’s interests are travelling, movies, origami and rally driving.

Meike Leu

Meike Leu

Originally from Recklinghausen, Germany. Meike graduated from the Ruhr – University Bochum (Germany) in 2014 with a MSci chemistry degree. In her final year project she worked on metal containing ionic liquids for gas absorption under supervision of Prof. Anja - Verena Mudring and Prof. Margarida Costa Gomes (Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont Ferrand, France). Her research interests lie in the development of magnetic nanoparticles in ionic liquids for catalysis.

In her spare time she enjoys travelling to new places, reading, dancing and windsurfing.

Riccardo Di Sanza

Riccardo Di Sanza

Originally from Isernia (Italy), Riccardo graduated from “Universià degli studi G. d’Annunzio di Chieti-Pescara” with a MSci in Medicinal Chemistry with one year as Erasmus student in “Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne” (France). In France he undertook a research Medicinal Chemistry research laboratories on the synthesis of potential antitumoral drugs using Pd(0) catalysed reactions, whereas his final year project focused on the synthesis of natural alkaloids with dibrominated indolic framework.

After a short period working for the pharmaceutical company Haupt-Pharma in Italy as Quality Control Analyst, Riccardo moved to London in order to undertake a one-year research project at Imperial College London, working on the mechanistic studies of new asymmetric organocatalytic reactions. Riccardo’s interests include the development of new sustainable methodologies in asymmetric catalysis and their application to the synthesis of small molecules. Outside of the lab, he enjoys keeping fit, playing basketball, reading, supporting ACF Fiorentina, travelling, cooking for friends and listening to music.

Sara Perez

Sara Perez

Sara is originally from León, Spain. She graduated from the University of Valladolid with a MEng in Chemical Engineering. During her final year of degree, she moved to the Technical University of Denmark to do her final master project. Her work was on the experimental analysis of solid and liquid split behaviour of protonated amines with the aim of developing new CO2 capture solvents. After that, she joined the Howdle group at the University of Nottingham to do an Erasmus internship, working on energy efficient polymerisations. Her research interests include the development of more sustainable chemical processes and the use of green solvents. In the future, she would like to develop a career in industry.
Teresa Ambrosio

Teresa Ambrosio

Teresa is from Italy, she received her BSc Chemistry and MChem Organic Chemistry at La Sapienza-University in Rome. During her third year she worked under the supervision of Professor Daniele Gozzi on the characterization of thin-Nb-doped-TiO2 layers which are used as semiconductors in the dye-sensitized solar cells [DSSC]. Throughout her last year she worked under the supervision of Dr Stefano di Stefano and Professor Luigi Mandolini on the synthesis of novel catalysts, biologically inspired by the P450 enzyme, for the oxidation of hydrocarbons.

Teresa joined the CDT because she is firmly convinced that the best solutions to current problems can only be found by taking inspiration from nature.

During her spare time Teresa likes to hang out with friends, do yoga and travel the world.

Vlad Dinu

Vlad Dinu

Born in Pitesti, (Romania) and having lived in New Delhi (India) during his teenage years, Vlad has a BSc in Nutrition and Food Science followed by an MSc in Biotechnology from the University of Nottingham. For the third-year research project and for his MSc placement project, Vlad worked under the supervision of Professor Stephen Harding at the National Centre of Macromolecular Hydrodynamics (NCMH) and gained experience in the field of biopolymer characterisation and modelling in aqueous solutions in scope of improving polysaccharide functionality in food and biomedical applications. Vlad’s interests focus on the use of natural biopolymers as a route to control and maximize the delivery of food and therapeutic compounds. Vlad enjoys road trips, travelling and playing chess.

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