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


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, 2nd 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.   

Martyna OSTROWSKA, MRes in CatalysisMartyna

Martyna is from Poland and she graduated from the London Metropolitan University with a BSci degree in Chemistry in 2018. Shortly after, she decided to gain some industrial work experience and started working as a Synthesis and Process Development Chemist at Cornelius Specialties Ltd. before starting her MRes course in October 2019.

Her current research project focus on investigating copper catalysis for N-arylation reactions, under supervision of Dr Silvia Díez-González and Dr James Bull.

In her spare time, Martyna enjoys reading novels and biographies as well as attending rock music concerts


Sara BELAZREGUE, MRes in CatalysisSara

Sara is a catalysis MRes student working on a project with joint supervision by Dr Andreas Kafizas on the development of photoactive metal oxide building coatings that purify air by removing NOx. Before joining Imperial, she  graduated with a Chemistry BSc from King’s College London.

Outside of chemistry, Sara loves painting, cooking and creative writing.


Mariam CHAHID, MRes in CatalysisMariam

Mariam recieved her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from King's College London in 2019. Later that year, Mariam joined Imperial as an MRes in Catalysis student. 

Her masters research currently focusses on advances in green chemistry, particularly surrounding the development of novel metal-organic framework catalysts for fine chemical synthesis. 

Outside of chemistry, Mariam enjoys reading political and financial news, travelling and outdoor activities.


MSci/BSci students

Emily RAMSAY, MSci student Emily

Emily has been studying her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Imperial College since 2016 and is currently in her final year. Her MSci project focuses on cyclopropanation reactions using alternative metal carbene precursors.

Originally from Wiltshire, Emily also enjoys exploring London, cooking, baking and travelling.





Dr Filip Sebest (Oct 2014 - Sept 2018)

'Metal-free dipolar cycloaddition reactions for sustainable nitrogen-containing heterocycles'

Current position: Teaching Fellow at King's College London




Dr Ethan Richards (Oct 2014 - Sept 2018)

'Bidentate N-heterocyclic carbenes as efficient ligands for Ullmann-type couplings'

Current position: Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government





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 (Oct 2010 - August 2014)

‘Immobilised N-heterocyclic carbene metal complexes in catalysis’

Current position: Chemist at Johnson Matthey




Dr Steven Lal (Nov 2009 - July 2013)

‘Metal complexes as catalysts for the synthesis of heterocycles’

Current position: Senior Scientist at Lonza