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

Chaleena PIMPASRI, 3rd 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.   

Shuai YANG, 1st Year PhD                                                                                                                              

Shuai is from China, and completed his undergraduate degree in Chemistry at University of Vermont and then a master degree in Chemistry at University of Leeds. During that time he completed a research project with professor Visuvanathar Sridharan on iridium-catalysed reductive 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition reactions of tertiary amides. Shuai started his PhD studies in June 2020 on a project focused on developing copper(I) catalysis.

Outside of chemistry, Shuai likes making cocktails, cooking, traveling and reading novels 

Ming ZHU, MRes in Catalysis & Engineeringmi

Ming is from China and now a MRes Catalysis student working on a project jointly supervised by Dr Andreas Kafizas on light-activated coatings for the abatement of nitrogen oxides in city air.

Before joining Imperial, Ming obtained a BEng in Chemical Engineering degree from Hainan University and Tianjin University.

Outside of chemistry, Ming likes playing the piano, cooking and traveling.




Saeed ALZAHARANI, MRes in Catalysis & Engineeringsa

Saeed is from Saudi Arabia and he btained his BSc degree in chemistry from University of Washington in USA. He is currently working on a project with joint supervision by Dr Rob Davies on copper encapsulated MOF systems to mediate organic reactions.

Outside of chemistry, Saeed likes running, playing soccer, and he is an avid traveler.


Undergraduate students


David COOGAN, MSci student

David joined Imperial College in 2018 and is now in his 4th and final year. His MSci project focuses on generating cyclopropane derivatives via stable 1,4-disubstituted triazolines.

Outside of the lab, David enjoys exploring London, watching football, and pub quizzes!





Xènia TARRACH, Exchange student

Xènia is in her final year of her undergraduate Chemistry degree at University of Barcelona, and she is studying at Imperial College on an Erasmus grant. She is interested in organic synthesis and catalysis and has joined a research project as part of the Diez-Gonzalez group in February 2022, which focuses on the copper-mediated deuteration of alkynes. 

Beyond research, Xènia’s interests are cooking, photography and acrobatics. 





jingzhouJingzhou YANG, BSc student

Jingzhou is a 3rd year BSc student, currently working on copper(I) mediated deuteration reactions.





Dr Lalita Radtanajiravong (April 2016 - July 2020)

'Metal-free valorisation of propargylic alcohols and azides'

She moved on to: Lecturer in Organic Chemistry at University of Phayao (Thailand)





Dr Filip Sebest (Oct 2014 - Sept 2018)

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

He moved on to: 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'

He moved on to: Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government





Dr Benjamin Zelenay (Sept 2013 - August 2017)

‘Structural and catalytic studies on novel copper complexes’

He moved on to: Operation Chemist at Lonza





Dr Sarah Gates (Nov 2012 - July 2016)

‘Investigating metal formyl complexes for homogeneous syngas conversion’

He moved on to: Policy Adviser at DCMS





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

‘Immobilised N-heterocyclic carbene metal complexes in catalysis’

He moved on to: Chemist at Johnson Matthey




Dr Steven Lal (Nov 2009 - July 2013)

‘Metal complexes as catalysts for the synthesis of heterocycles’

He moved on to: Senior Scientist at Lonza