Chemical Engineering PhD student-staff committee

Who We Are

The PhD student-staff committee includes the departmental PhD representative, who chairs the committee, representatives of the various research areas, as well as the Postgraduate Tutor, the Director of Postgraduate Studies and the Postgraduate Administrator.

We are here to voice needs and concerns to the administration and organise events for PhD students. Please feel free to approach us with any concerns or suggestions you might have for the department. If you do not feel comfortable approaching one of us, you can fill out an anonymous comment at this survey link:

The PhD representatives

Departmental PhD Representative

The Departmental PhD Representative is the link between the Department and the Student Union and a representative to all the PhD students in the Department. The ideal candidate should have some experience with Student Union societies and an interest in the postgraduate community throughout the College. The Departmental PhD Representative normally chairs the PhD student-staff committee meetings.

Clemens Patzschke

Clemens Hi all! My name is Clemens and I am a 2nd year PhD candidate under Professor Paul Fennell in the Clean Energy group. When I am not in the lab, I enjoy outdoor sports like sailing and surfing and going out with friends to discover new parts of our amazing city.

I was year rep during the time of my MSc at Imperial and strongly worked together with all students, the administration and the departmental leadership team to resolve all the general and individual issues that the students had. Moreover, we organised many really good socials and worked with an external auditing team to streamline the course.

Then last year – in my first PhD year – everything was new again and I had to learn how things go in the PhD life. Therefore I decided to wait a year before engaging again in student work. Now I am confident to advocate our ideas and objections well, help to organising great social events and foster that nice atmosphere among students across different years and research groups that we have in our department.

Materials Representative

The Materials Representative represents PhD students who are based in the Materials Laboratory. This includes the following research groups: Biological System Engineering Laboratory, Multifunctional Nanomaterials, Polymer and Composite Engineering, Polymers and Microfluidics, Separations Engineering and Technology, Surfaces and Particle Engineering, Vibrational Spectroscopy and Chemical Imaging.

Marco Adamo

Marco My name is Marco Adamo, I am from Italy and I am currently a PhD student in the Polymers and Microfluidics group, led by Dr. João Cabral. My research is focused on the development of novel techniques to characterise soft matter and, in particular, complex fluids. To do that, I couple microfluidics and Small Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS).

In the past, I have completed my BSc and MSc in Biomedical Engineering at Politecnico di Torino, Italy. In my spare time, I enjoy cultivating my passions, which are photography and travelling.

I wish to get more involved in the life of the department. Being a representative is a challenge that sparkles my interest: I would like to represent the point of view of students with the same background and to be the link between them and the university administration.

I enjoyed the projects that last year's PhD reps organised for us, therefore I would like to be actively involved in events such debates, drinks and symposiums. This position is an opportunity to meet new people and to share interests, thus to strengthen the network between members of the chemical engineering department.

Physical Properties and Analytics Representative

The Physical Properties and Analytics Representative represents PhD students who are based in the Physical Properties and Analytics Laborartory. This includes the following research groups: Molecular Systems Engineering, Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre, Surfaces and Particle Engineering, Thermophysics Laboratory, Vibrational Spectroscopy and Chemical Imaging.

Chen Chen

Chen Hi all! I'm Chen Chen from Singapore. I'm a second year PhD student in Dr Bradley Ladewig's membrane group in the Barrer Center. I like entertaining, baking, cooking and watching baking and cooking competitions.

Having been to almost all events organized by last year's reps, I know how important they are - the events and the friends I made through them lit up my otherwise dull PhD life. More recently, I volunteered in the summer barbecue and the welcome activities for new PhDs to learn more about the execution and behind-the-scenes. I will continue the work of last year's reps and let more of us benefit from it. If elected, I'll work on ways to encourage greater turnout in events.

I've been taking care of Ladewig Group's social events together with Ben Slater for over 4 months. Whilst doing my undergraduate degree in Singapore, I organized food adventures for the gastronomy club and worked in the students' union to seek sponsorships for 10,000 exam care packages in 2 semesters. I hope the past experience gives you more confidence in my ability to deliver.

 Reaction & Catalysis Representative

The Reaction and Catalysis Representative represents PhD students who are based in the Reaction and Catalysis Laborartory. This includes the following research groups: Carbon Capture and Storage, Electrochemical Engineering, Multifunctional Nanomaterials, Reaction Engineering and Catalysis, Separation Engineering and Technology.

Shiladitya Ghosh

Shil Hi! I’m Shil, a 1st year PhD candidate under Professor Fennell investigating the suitability of gas-solid reactions involving metal oxides for thermochemical energy storage as well as post-combustion CO2 capture. I enjoy playing badminton, reading science fiction, and making music. While being a new postgrad, I am no stranger to the Department and the College; I completed my undergrad here and served as a year rep as well as in several other student rep positions and leadership roles. As a result, I wish to carry on serving my peers as a rep and build on the good foundations laid by previous reps.

I am receptive to ideas for social activities and networking events that you and my fellow reps may wish to be organized. As of now, I have two ideas I would like to implement – a recreational badminton network (this could extend to include more sports), and monthly interviews with our PhD students for everyone to get to know who they are.

Following the example of last year’s reps in setting up a departmental squash community, I wish to do something similar for the badminton enthusiasts in our midst – my group has already laid some groundwork for this and I would love to expand this to our entire PhD network, whether casually or competitively. If your sport of choice needs some love too, I’ll be happy to see what can be done!

The other idea is a way for us, and the public, to better appreciate the interesting and talented people that we are – outside of our research. As budding researchers in the 21st century, establishing an online presence beyond our papers is becoming more important. I think this could easily be achieved by working with our Communications team and doing interviews with a different PhD student each month – what motivates them in their field, what they like to do away from College, what causes they care strongly about, what people would never guess about them, etc. It would be ideal if we were to circulate these internally and publish them on social media channels so we can learn about each other, and so that hidden gems in the department can be shared with the world.

 Systems Representative

The Systems Representative represents PhD students who are based in the Systems Laborartory. This includes the following research groups: Biological Systems Engineering Laboratory, Centre for Process Systems Engineering, Clean Energy Processes, Molecular Systems Engineering, Process Automation.

Sakhr Alhuthali

Zac I am Sakhr (Zac), a second year PhD student at the Centre for Process Systems Engineering (CPSE). I am interested in many activities mainly when it comes to sport, running and cycling. Beside sport, I am passionate about cooking and love inviting friends to try my new meals. Recently, acting has become one of my valuable and fulfilling hobbies, I have made few short movies to increase awareness about social-related issues such as discrimination.

I would like to give something back to the great PhD community. Currently, our gatherings do not reflect the actual male/female ratio in the department. My conscientious and attentive skills will help me to look in depth at this matter to arrange tailored social events to satisfy most of our community to show up. I plan to have more interactive events such as ice-breaker activities at the beginning of the semester to enhance networking. This interaction is expected to expand our active members list and also would give us the confidence to integrate our community with neighbouring PhD bodies such as UCL’s CPSE group.

Transport and Separation Representative

The Transport and Separation Representative represents PhD students who are based in the Transport and Separation Laborartory. This includes the following research groups: Biofluids and Transport, Complex Multiphase Systems, Fluid Mechanics, Flow and Dynamics of Soft Matter, Separation Engineering and Technology.

Marc Plunkett

Marc My name is Marc and I’m a first year PhD student in Kang Li’s group within the Barrer Centre. I’m new to the University but I was elected as class representative for 4 years during my undergraduate degree. During this time I’ve seen and dealt with a lot of both common and abnormal situations.

In 2014 I was responsible for organizing the hugely successful Frank Morton Sports Day in Glasgow, and over the past 5 years I’ve hosted countless successful socials at my last university. I’ve already got a lot of ideas I’m looking forward to sharing such as starting some regular charity fundraising events and using my experience to improve upon the great work done by the previous committee.

In my free time I enjoy travelling, most recently throughout Italy before starting my PhD, and cooking. I lead a very active lifestyle and have completed Tough Mudder obstacle course in the past and play Lacrosse several times a week.


The PhD reps have organised several very successful events, including a summer barbecue, Christmas and Halloween parties and monthly social gatherings. Fortcoming events will be communicated by e-mail and through Facebook.


Please like us on Facebook and, if you are a Chemical Engineering PhD student at Imperial College London, please join our Facebook forum for PhD students.