Our CDT students - Cohort 1 - with CDT Directors Professors Mimi Hii, Klaus Hellgardt and Sophia Yaliraki.

Our CDT students with CDT Directors. From left to right: Aatikah, Hannah, Filip, Mimi (Director), Linden, Klaus (Director), Matthew, Sophia (Director), Ben, Lenka, Sean and Joshua. Find out more about our students and their research projects below.

EPSRC Fully Funded Stundentship Projects

Aatikah Majid

Aatikah Majid

Aatikah MWhat were you doing before joining the CDT?
I was doing an MChem degree at Keele University.

Why did you choose to apply to the CDT programme and in particular your project?
Project title: High-throughput synthesis and selection of DNA G-quadruplex optical probes
I really liked the idea of combing chemistry with chemical engineering and data science, I think it makes for a more well-rounded chemist. I particularly like the biological real life application associated with my project in synthesizing and  testing optical probes for G-Quadruplex DNA

What are you looking forward the most within the CDT programme?
I'm looking forward to learning new skills such as Python and Matlab and using ROAR and other new synthetic methods

A little bit about yourself, if you could choose to be an animal, what would it be and why?
I would be a Meerkat, simples!

Supervisors: Dr Marina Kuimova | Professor Ramon Vilar | Dr Alex Thompson

Collaborator: Dr George Mylonas

Ben Lancaster

Ben Lancaster

Ben LWhat were you doing before joining the CDT?
I was finishing my Master of Chemistry degree at the University of Durham. I also spent two summers working in research laboratories at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland and the University of Durham.

Why did you choose to apply to the CDT programme and in particular your project?
Project title: Frustrated Lewis Pair Catalysts for Hydrogenations: Optimisation and Reaction Engineering
I received training in flow chemistry during my Master’s degree and I really admired the ease by which reactions could be repeated and optimised relative to analogous batch processes. The CDT offered rich opportunities to explore not only flow automation, but also the many tools offered by the ROAR facility, such as reactor robots and kinetic experimentation platforms. It seemed to me like an entirely new and exciting realm of chemistry and, naturally, I was keen to learn more! With regards to my project, I always found FLP chemistry conceptually interesting in classes and I thought the project would be very rewarding with rich opportunities for discovery. 

What are you looking forward the most within the CDT programme?
I am very much looking forward to beginning my project and attempting to synthesise new FLPs; hopefully ones which will be of use catalytically. I also believe the journal clubs will be very interesting.

A little bit about yourself, if you could choose to be an animal, what would it be and why?
I really enjoy Italian food, gaming and racquet sports. I would probably choose to be a house cat; eating and sleeping all day while receiving eternal love in return sounds like an ideal lifestyle!

Supervisors: Dr Andrew Ashley | Dr Chris Tighe | Professor Matt Fuchter

Filip Horvath-Gerber

Filip Horvath-Gerber

Filip HWhat were you doing before joining the CDT?
I was working for a year in industry as flow chemistry process developer and recently spent a summer in private equity before starting this CDT programme. 

Why did you choose to apply to the CDT programme and in particular your project?
Project title: Intrinsically safe flow systems for highly energetic intermediate delivery
I chose to apply for this CDT in particular, as it is a direct progression in my professional career. I have done Chemistry bachelor and Chemical Engineering masters. After my working experience in industry the direct progression in the career for me is to do a PhD that involves aspects of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Data Science. This CDT provides exactly this and is one of the few places in the world where I can get such training straight after my masters.

What are you looking forward the most within the CDT programme?
In this CDT, in collaboration with industry, I am looking forward to gain particular set of skills that will allow me to address current industrial obstacles of the 21st century.

A little bit about yourself, if you could choose to be an animal, what would it be and why?
Outside of work and study, I am a civilized outdoor junkie. I love challenging myself and pushing my limits. If I was an animal, I would probably be a Chamois. Love long-distance runs and sports in the wilderness. On the side I enjoy cooking great meals and trying out foreign cuisine. What better way to discover new cultures and bring diverse group of people together.

Supervisors: Prof Klaus Hellgardt | Prof Mimi Hii | BASF Supervisor x 2

Hannah Broderick

Hannah Broderick

Hannah BWhat were you doing before joining the CDT?
I was working as a process development chemist for a pharmaceutical contract research organisation. 

Why did you choose to apply to the CDT programme and in particular your project?
Project title: Uncovering the Unwritten-Rules in Photoredox Catalysis for Late Stage Functionalisation
The CDT programme placed emphasis on the links between academia and industry, which I was keen to develop my awareness in, and in particular on teaching skills that will become more important to industrial science going forward. 

I applied for my project because of the interesting combination of areas of science involved, especially photoredox catalysis as well as the opportunity to develop my understanding of flow reactors, I'm looking forward to drawing from different fields to inform my research. 

What are you looking forward the most within the CDT programme?
I am most looking forward to the data science module as I've been interested in learning to code for a while and now get to learn how to apply this to chemistry. 

A little bit about yourself, if you could choose to be an animal, what would it be and why?
I'd choose to be a giraffe because they seem pretty relaxed and always have a good view. 

Supervisors

Dr James Bull | Dr Phil Miller | Dr Thomas Heinis

Collaborators

Professor John de Mello

Joshua Davies

Joshua Davies

Joshua DWhat were you doing before joining the CDT?
Before the CDT I was doing my undergraduate at Imperial College London where I undertook a project with Prof. Chris Braddock.  During this project I was investigating metathesis chemistry.

Why did you choose to apply to the CDT programme and in particular your project?
Project title: Automated Direct Amidation of Carboxylic Acids using Silicon-Based Reagents
I chose to apply to this CDT because having spent time in White City and observed the amazing facilities develop, such as the ROAR suite and the Agilent suite, I had to be a part of it!  I decided to choose this particular project as amidation is one of the most regularly carried out reactions, but still many of the methods implemented have their drawbacks.  So developing a new amidation process with the focuss being on automation is exciting, and I hope will provide a new way for chemists to approach amide bond formation in the future.  Also, who doesn’t want to work with robots?!

What are you looking forward the most within the CDT programme?
I feel the aspect of collaborating big data and organic chemistry is something very interesting as organic chemistry can certainly seem archaic at times.   I look forward to seeing what modern techniques can be implemented in solving organic chemistry problems, while also developing my skills as an experimental chemist. I also look forward to building relationships within the cohort and making friends!

A little bit about yourself, if you could choose to be an animal, what would it be and why?
I was born in Swansea in South Wales and live in Llanelli. In my spare time I like singing with Imperial College Choir, attending pub quizzes and reading about chemistry.  If I was animal, I’d be a tardigrade because they are currently the only species to live on the moon. 

Supervisors: Professor Chris Braddock | Professor Paul Lickiss

Lenka Cuprova

Lenka Cuprova

Lenka CWhat were you doing before joining the CDT?
Before joining the CDT, I finished a 4-year MChem degree in Chemistry at the University of Greenwich where I graduated with first-class honours.

Why did you choose to apply to the CDT programme and in particular your project?
Project title: Organic Synthesis on the Lab-scale in Flow – Sub project 1: Organometallic Chemistry
My interest has always been synthetic organic chemistry and I wanted to do a PhD that would allow me to not only work on an exciting research project in the field that I am interested in, but also to enhance my skills and venture out into new methods of synthesis. My PhD project is to prepare organometallic and heterocyclic compounds using flow chemistry where a reaction is conducted in a continuous stream or flow rather than in a traditional flask. Flow chemistry is totally new to me, but it is a really interesting and current field of synthetic chemistry and I am excited to be a part of it.

What are you looking forward the most within the CDT programme?
I love to constantly learn, and this programme is all about combining what you know with the new. Even though the beginnings are always daunting, I know that I will be challenged throughout the project and I like that. It helps me grow professionally and personally and for me, this is most important.

A little bit about yourself, if you could choose to be an animal, what would it be and why?
If I was an animal, I would be a cute dog. People would adore me, and I would never have to worry about not having anything to eat!

Supervisors: Prof Mimi Hii | Prof Klaus Hellgardt | BASF Supervisor

Linden Schrecker

Linden Schrecker

Linden SWhat were you doing before joining the CDT?
I was studying an MChem at the University of Oxford, specialising in Organic Synthesis for my Part II project with Professor Jeremy Robertson.

Why did you choose to apply to the CDT programme and in particular your project?
Project title: Self-optimizing process parameter screening in flow
I think this CDT program is on the cutting edge of Chemistry at the moment due to its interdisciplinary nature. This allows chemists to learn skills in Chemical Engineering and Data Science and implement them in their work to progress the field of Chemistry. I found my project (Self-optimisation of Reactions in Flow) particularly appealing because it transforms how reactions are optimised from tedious labour intensive methods of the past (and present) to fast, efficient and sustainable methods of the future.

What are you looking forward the most within the CDT programme?
Learning a wide range of skills which I can then apply to solve problems within my project, and within the CDT cohort's projects in general, in a more innovative and useful way.

A little bit about yourself, if you could choose to be an animal, what would it be and why?
Beaver: enjoys the outdoors, adaptive and industrious (otherwise my teeth grow too long). (Also, it was my parents' pet name for me as a child as my front adult teeth grew a lot faster than the others)

Supervisors: Prof Mimi Hii | Prof Klaus Hellgardt | BASF Supervisor x 2

Matthew Takle

Matthew Takle

Matt TWhat were you doing before joining the CDT? 
I was working for a CRO as a lab based medicinal chemist for two years after graduating from the University of Nottingham where I studied Chemistry (MSci).

Why did you choose to apply to the CDT programme and in particular your project? 
Project title: Organic Synthesis on the Lab-scale in Flow – Sub project 2: Heterocycle Chemistry
I’ve had a long standing interest in synthetic organic synthesis and my time working in the pharmaceutical field drew me to a heterocyclic based project. The Flow Chemistry aspect adds a cutting edge angle to the programme. I hope this will stand me in good stead for my future in research as the ways in which organic research is carried out is rapidly changing.

What are you looking forward the most within the CDT programme? 
Facing new challenges while getting to grips with Flow Chemistry and all that it entails. Also, the prospect of collaborating with BASF and the other BASF funded students.

A little bit about yourself, if you could choose to be an animal, what would it be and why? 
I enjoy playing and watching a variety of sports, attending events with friends, and travelling when the opportunity arises! If I was an animal I think I would be a stag.

Supervisors: Prof Mimi Hii | Prof Klaus Hellgardt | BASF Supervisor

Sean McCarthy

Sean McCarthy

Sean MWhat were you doing before joining the CDT?
Prior to joining the CDT I undertook my undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of Kent and my Masters degree in Chemical Research at University College London.

Why did you choose to apply to the CDT programme and in particular your project?
Project title: From recovered metal waste to effective catalysts for C-C and C-N bond formation
I chose to apply to the CDT to obtain training not only in research chemistry but also in industrially important topics such as data science and chemical process design. I thoroughly enjoy this interdisciplinary approach of the CDT and I believe the training provided will also greatly increase my employability. My chosen project aims to employ Pd recovered from metal waste directly as an effective C-C and C-N bond formation catalyst. My passion for chemistry predominantly lies in catalysis and synthetic chemistry and so this project was perfectly suited for my interests.  

What are you looking forward the most within the CDT programme?
I am most looking forward to progressing my PhD project and hopefully coming up with some fantastic new chemistry. I’m also really looking forward to utilizing the amazing ROAR facilities at the new labs in White City.

A little bit about yourself, if you could choose to be an animal, what would it be and why?
I absolutely love music and going to gigs in my free time and I also do lots of reading and cooking. If I were to be an animal I’d probably be an elephant, they seem to have a great time rolling around in the mud!

Supervisors: Dr James Wilton-Ely | Professor Chris Braddock