Cohort 7 - 2020

Zakaria Ahmed

Zakaria Ahmed

Zakaria is originally from Yemen. He graduated from the University of Leeds with a Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and took a year off before returning to the university for an MSc degree in chemical engineering. Hi graduated in December 2018.  His Master’s degree research project was about devising a solvent-controlled synthesis method and the characterisation of functional two-phase polymer micro-sized particles under supervision of Dr Olivier Cayre. Zakari worked closely over the last year with enthusiastic undergraduate and postgraduate students from the University of Leeds on climate initiative looking to address climate change through entrepreneurship. In terms of research, he is interested in the research into innovative and sustainable means to tackle plastic pollution within the context of combating climate change.

Outside university, he is a member of the Muslim community supporting and involved in local Masjid and community activities. He likes reading a lot, and keeping in touch with friends, family and loved ones”

Hamza Ali

Hamza Ali

Originally from London, Hamza carried out his undergraduate studies at the University of Southampton, graduating with an MChem (with a year in industry) in 2020. His 3rd year research project, carried out under the supervision of Prof. Andrea Russell, was on the synthesis and characterisation of Pt-alloy electrocatalysts for use in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). In his 4th year, he carried out a 12-month industrial placement at GlaxoSmithKline (Ware, Hertfordshire) working as part of the Materials Science hub. His MChem project investigated the use of state-of-the-art pharmaceutical analysis techniques to study binary adhesive drug mixtures. Hamza's research interests have been influenced by his time in industry and these lie within improving pharmaceutical manufacturing through the use of process analytical technology, and he's eager to see how these evolve over the 1st year of the CDT.

Hiba Azim

Hiba Azim

Originally from East London, Hiba graduated from the University of Southampton with an MChem in Chemistry in 2020. Her undergraduate project investigated the effect of modulation on the catalytic efficiency of metal organic frameworks (MOFs) for CO2 utilisation, which is where she developed a keen interest in catalysis. For her master’s project, she completed a twelve-month industrial placement at Infineum where she focused on the characterisation of anti-wear additives for automotive engine lubrication. 



Outside of chemistry Hiba enjoys powerlifting, reading and crocheting blankets for her cat.

Tom Burwell

Tom Burwell

Originally from Hull, Tom graduated from the University of Lincoln with an MChem degree with a year in research.  his research focused on the green synthesis of ionic liquids with Dr Nicholas Gathergood, in particular, the precursors and the L-phenylalanine based novel surface active ionic liquids. During this time, he developed a keen interest in green Chemistry which I hope to further and apply to nanocatalysis in making more efficient industrial processes. 

Outside of chemistry he enjoys urbexing, going to super bike races, gigs and adventuring with my wife.

Bradley Hopkins

Bradley Hopkins

Bradley graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2020 with a Master’s degree in Chemistry.  He completed the course under the supervision of Professor Peter Licence, investigating the electrosynthetic oxidations of alcohols in binary mixtures of room temperature ionic liquids.

Over the course of his studies he developed a strong interest in polymer chemistry and the ongoing work concerning the development of novel sustainable chemical processes, which drove him towards research focussed on plastic recycling.

Outside of chemistry, he enjoys reading, cooking and practicing Taekwondo. 

Andrew Jones

Andrew Jones

Originally from Staffordshire, Andy completed undergraduate studies at the University of York with a BSc in Chemistry, Biological and Medicinal Chemistry. Continuing at York, an interest in Sustainable & Green Chemistry led to completion of an MSc in Green Chemistry. Andy's research interests throughout his master's project were tailored towards novel methods for the recycling of plastics, incorporating circular economies into their lifecycle by utilising microwave-assisted pyrolysis.

Outside of Chemistry he is a keen chef, enjoys playing guitar and is a big fan of MMA

Pekka Korhonen

Pekka Korhonen

Pekka is originally from Finland. In 2019 he graduated from University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu campus with a MSc in chemistry, where he also got his BSc degree. In his master's project he concentrated on sulphur induced deactivation of palladium catalysts and methods to recover their catalytic activity in methane oxidation. His project was carried out under the supervision of Prof. Mika Suvanto and Dr. Niko Kinnunen. After receiving his MSc, he worked part-time as a teaching associate at the chemistry faculty of Joensuu. He is now looking forward to begin with research work.

In his further studies, besides research of efficient catalysts, he would be interested to concentrate on catalyst deactivation and methods to recover the catalytic activity. He considers deactivation resistance to be a major issue in a development of sustainable catalysts, because it would increase a lifetime of catalyst significantly.

In his free time, Pekka plays guitar, goes for walks, socialises with friends and travels.

Reece Lester

Reece Lester

Originally from Chester, Reece graduated from Cardiff University in a BSc (Hons) in Medical Pharmacology in 2019. Following this, he completed an MSc in Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. His masters project under the supervision of Dr Alison Nordon was to compare and evaluate novel and existing chemometrics techniques for the removal of temperature induced variation in UV-vis spectra. Reece’s main research interest is to understand the role that spectroscopic techniques can have in the optimisation and control of a continuous pharmaceutical/chemical manufacturing process. During his summer breaks Reece has worked across Europe on campsites at Formula 1 races and as a vehicle inspector. Outside of studies, Reece enjoys training and competing in cycling and triathlon.

Irfan Mahmood

Irfan Mahmood

Originally from Manchester, Irfhan graduated with a BSc in Chemistry from Manchester Metropolitan University. For his research project he looked into a novel thermal detection technique of caffeine in a wide range of products which resulted in his work being published as part of a ChemEng journal. From this he pursued an MSc in Chemical Process Engineering at University of Leeds. During his time here he learned to connect the Chemistry and Engineering aspects together which were the main part of his research project. His master’s research project looked into the effects of impurity on crystal morphology through nucleation kinetics of agricultural compounds.

Having enjoyed both projects he has a broad research interest in development of new methodologies to improve efficiency and sustainability within the chemical industry. Irfhan is also looking forward to exploring other areas of sustainable Chemistry during his CDT PhD project. Outside of research, Irfhan enjoys watching sports and films, gaming and spending time with family and friends.

Magdalena Muhr

Magdalena Muhr

Magdalena is originally from Upper Austria and she graduated from her master’s programme Chemistry and Chemical Technology at the Johannes Kepler University Linz in 2019. During her studies, she completed various industrial placements where she was working on, inter alia, the bonding strength of epoxy adhesive steel joints and examined the sonochemical degradability of organic pollutants in wastewater, an effect known as cavitation. Additionally, she greatly enjoyed gaining further experience abroad. She completed an internship at the Manipal Institute of Technology, India, as well as her short research stay at Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. Thus, she decided to pursue her PhD programme in the UK.

Her current research interests lie in carbon dioxide utilisation and the development of batteries for environmentally friendly means of transportation.

Magdalena spends her spare time on outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing and swimming. Also, she is fond of languages and loves travelling as well as being immersed into different cultures. 

Morag Nixon

Morag Nixon

Originally from Edinburgh, Morag graduated from Newcastle University with a MChem (with Industrial training) degree. She completed a 12-month industrial placement at Lucite International, exploring processes to methyl methacrylate. One route was a conventional palladium-phosphine catalysis reaction and the other was focused on sustainability, so used renewable feedstocks. The sustainability process was explored further during a summer placement with the partnered biotechnology company on the project; Ingenza, based in Edinburgh. Her most recent research experience was working with Dr David Fulton during her Master’s project, where she was modulating the mechanical properties of a protein polymer hydrogel using temperature. Some of Morag’s interests outside of research include playing for a local hockey team and trying new baking recipes.

Matthew Pratley

Matthew Pratley

Originally from Berkshire, Matthew graduated with an MChem from Keele University in 2019. During his third year he completed a project under the supervision of Dr Gavin Miller titled “The Total Synthesis of a GDP Mannuronic Acid.” Keeping on the theme of synthesis, his final year project was supervised by Dr Matthew O’Brien and was on the topic of “The stereoselective synthesis of a 2,4,6-Tri substituted Tetrahydropyran”.  Since graduating Matthew has completed some time in industry working in a R&D team within P2i, a company who specialise in liquid repellent nanotechnology.

Matthew’s research interests span both spectroscopic and synthetic chemistry along with their applications in industry, he is especially looking forward to exploring more sustainable areas of chemistry during his PhD project. Outside of Chemistry he enjoys playing and coaching football, running, drumming and gaming. 

Constantin Puscalau

Constantin Puscalau

Originally from Romania, Constantin moved to Italy in his early life. He graduated from the University of Pavia in 2019 with an MSci in Physical Chemistry. For his thesis project he worked under the supervision of Prof. Doretta Capsoni, synthesizing and employing Metal Organic Frameworks (MOF) in the drug delivery field. Since graduating, he was offered an 8 month research scholarship at the same University in Synthesis and characterization of MOFs and Double Layered Hydroxides (LDH) to be used in controlled drug release and recovery of emerging pollutants from wastewater. His research interests include organometallic synthesis and electrochemistry. Outside of chemistry, he enjoys hiking, playing basketball and paintball.

Nathan Richardson

Nathan Richardson

Originally from Hertfordshire, Nathan graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2020 with a MSci (Hons) in Natural Sciences. His final year research project was carried out under the supervision of Professor Pete Licence, and was focused on the investigation of ionic liquids' thermal properties.

Also, during his studies Nathan participated in the FUSE internship programme under the supervision of Dr Lee Johnson, where he probed the solid-electrolyte interphase of lithium-ion cathode materials using electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance techniques.

Nathan is currently working as part of the Faraday Institution's LiStar project investigating the mechanisms of sulfur redox in Li-S batteries, and is an aligned student of the Sustainable Chemistry CDT.

Outside of chemistry, his hobbies include running, gaming and learning Japanese.

Margaret Smith

Margaret Smith

Originally from Mansfield, Margaret graduated in 2019 with a BSc Chemistry (Hons) degree from the University of Nottingham. Her 3rd year lab project, under the supervision of Dr Graham Newton, involved researching the ‘Organofunctionalisation of Polyoxometalates’, specifically polyoxotungstates using silicon and phosphorous groups. Since graduating, she remained at the University of Nottingham to complete a Master of Research degree, also under the supervision of Dr Graham Newton, studying the synthesis and characterisation of manganese and iron-oxo clusters. Her dissertation comprised mainly of a literature review of first-row transition metal-oxo clusters, focussing on their structure, synthesis, novel properties and wider applications in chemistry, such as catalysis and magnetism.

In terms of research, Margaret is interested in the synthesis of inorganic metal cluster compounds for applications in the field of sustainable chemistry and is looking forward to exploring this further during her PhD. Outside of Chemistry she enjoys running, fitness training, walking her dog, seeing friends and watching films.

Callum Suthwood

Callum Suthwood

Originally from Buckinghamshire, Callum graduated from with a BSc and MRes in Biochemistry from the University of Portsmouth. Callum completed his master's research under the supervision of Dr Darren Gowers, identifying small-molecule inhibitors of bacterial DNA ligases, as targets for antiobiotic development. His experience working in enzymology, and oppurtunity to work alongside the PETase development team at Portsmouth, has directed his interests towards using polymer-degrading enzymes for a more sustainable future. Outside of research, Callum enjoys boardgaming, watching films and socialising with friends.

Ganesh Vailaya

Ganesh Vailaya

Originally from Leicester, Ganesh graduated from the University of Nottingham with a degree in MSci Chemistry with a Year in Industry in 2020. He spent a year in industry at Infineum UK, where he worked on the development of fuel additives. Ganesh’s final year during his undergraduate degree was partly spent conducting a research project under the supervision of Dr. Lee Johnson. In this time, he investigated the use of quinones as redox mediators in lithium-sulfur batteries. He is interested in the development of next-generation batteries for use in electric vehicles and other applications. Ganesh’s hobbies include learning new languages, watching comedies and socialising with friends. 

News

Our chemical romance: why society needs Chemistry.

Our chemical romance: why society needs Chemistry.

19 Oct 2020

CDT students present their Society, Sustainability & Synthesis Magazine

Events

Student Recruitment Information Webinar

01

Dec 2020

Student Recruitment Information Webinar

01 Dec 2020 - 01 Dec 2020

Are you passionate about sustainability and thinking about applying for a PhD working in one of our Research Themes? Join us at the Student Recruitment Information Webinar.