SilviaGroup Leader

Dr Silvia Díez-González 

Dr. Silvia Díez-González received her MSci in organic chemistry from the Universidad del País Vasco (Spain) and the Université Paris XI (France) in 2000 and her Ph.D on organosilicon chemistry from the Université Paris XI under the supervision of Dr Luis Blanco.

After two post-doctoral stays with Professors Steve Nolan and Feliu Maseras, Silvia first joined the Department of Chemistry at Imperial as part of the first promotion of Imperial College Junior Research Fellows, where she is currently a Senior Lecturer in Catalysis.

For more information, visit Silvia's website

Postgraduate students

Ethan RICHARDS, 3rd Year PGEthan RICHARDS, 4th Year PG

Ethan is from Southampton and graduated from the University of Birmingham with an MSci in Chemistry. In his third year he completed a 12 month placement at GlaxoSmithKline working in medicinal chemistry and during his final year Ethan’s MSci project was to investigate the synthesis of “drug-like” azetidines, under the supervision of Dr John Fossey. Ethan started his PhD in October 2014, under the joint supervision of Dr James Bull and Dr Silvia Díez-González, to investigate well-defined copper-catalysts for N-arylation reactions.

Outside of the lab Ethan enjoys attending music concerts and festivals, supporting Southampton football club, running and fencing.

Filip SEBEST, 3rd Year PhDFilip SEBEST, 4th Year PhD

Filip is from Bratislava, Slovakia and and he completed his undergraduate degree at Imperial College. His MSci project involved studies towards a novel total synthesis of pseudopterosin natural products, under the supervision of Prof Donald Craig. He started his PhD in October 2014 and his current research is based on copper-catalysed cycloadditions with alkenes.

Outside of chemistry, Filip likes travelling around Europe, watching TV and playing sports and board games.


Lalita is from Thailand. She completed her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Chulalongkorn University and her MRes degree in Catalysis at Imperial College London. Her master project focused on copper(I)-NHC complexes for the Goldberg coupling, under supervision of Dr. Silvia Díez-González and Dr. James Bull. Lalita started her PhD in June 2016 working on direct nucleophilic substitution reactions of propargylic alcohols.

Outside of chemistry, Lalita plays dodgeball competitively and likes traveling, photography, playing table tennis and board games

Chaleena PIMPASRI, 1st Year PhD  eve                                                                                                                                                        

Chaleena is from Thailand, and she obtained her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Khon Kaen University and her master’s degree in organic chemistry from Mahidol University with a project on copper(I) mediated oxidative decarboxylative couplings. She started her PhD in October 2018, and her current research focuses on copper(Icomplexes for the sustainable reduction of azides.

Outside of chemistry, Chaleena likes running, playing badminton, cooking, traveling and photography.   

Eric CHAO, MRes in Catalysis  Eric                                                                                                                                                        

Eric is from London and had graduated from Loughborough University with a Chemistry degree in 2018. He is now pursuing an MRes project on improving copper catalysis for N-arylation reactions with joint supervision with Dr James Bull.

Outside of chemistry, Eric is an avid volleyball player. When Eric isn’t training or playing a match, the next bet as to where he’d be is with his cat practising guitar.


Ruo HUA, MRes in Catalysis        RUO                                                                                                                                                  

Ruo is from China, and she obtained her undergraduate degree in University of Reading. Her MRes project focuses on MOF-based copper(I) catalysts for catalytic applications. This is being carried out with the joint suppervision of Dr Rob Davies.

Outside of chemistry, Ruo enjoys traveling, cooking and watching movies.


MSci/BSci students

Sien-E TAM, MSci student Sien-E2

Sien-E started her undergraduate degree in Chemistry in 2015 at Imperial College London and is currently in her final year. Her MSci project focuses on cycloaddition reactions for the synthesis of triazoles in deep eutecti

c solvent (DES).

Outside of chemistry, Sien-E enjoys travelling, cooking and doing arts and crafts such as painting and crocheting.

Ellie ELLISON, MSci studentEllie

Ellie is from Surrey and is currently completing her final year in undergraduate Chemistry at Imperial College London. Her MSci project is an investigation into copper(I) catalysts for aryl azide reduction to anilines.

When not doing chemistry, Ellie is an avid pole dancer and aerial artist (currently President of the college Union’s Pole & Aerial Society), and enjoys going salsa dancing and surfing.




Dr Benjamin Zelenay (Sept 2013 - August 2017)

‘Structural and catalytic studies on novel copper complexes’

Current position: Operation Chemist at Lonza


 Dr Sarah Gates (Nov 2012 - July 2016)

‘Investigating metal formyl complexes for homogeneous syngas conversion’

Current position: Policy Adviser at DCMS

Dr John M. Collinson

 Dr John M. Collinson (Oct 2010 - August 2014)

‘Immobilised N-heterocyclic carbene metal complexes in catalysis’


Current position: Chemist at Johnson Matthey

Dr Steven Lal

 Dr Steven Lal (Nov 2009 - July 2013)

‘Metal complexes as catalysts for the synthesis of heterocycles’


Current position: Senior Scientist at Lonza