2017 – 2018

2017-2018 Cohort

Alba Santos, Spain (BA)

My name is alba. I did chemistry in universitat autonoma de barcelona. I came uk in 2015 after accepting an industrial chemistry job to start my career. After almost three years I decided to improve myself by attending to CDT program.




Alexandra Barnes, Cardiff (BSc)

I’m from Jersey (the best channel island!). I studied chemistry at Cardiff university with a year abroad, in which I went to France and did a research project at CPE Lyon under the supervision of Dr Laurent Vanoye, primarily working on optimising the hydrogenation of terpenes using heterogenous catalysts. My final year project was within the CCI lab at Cardiff under the supervision of Dr Nikos Dimitratos, working with gold and palladium heterogeneous catalysts. I applied to do the MRes year to broaden my knowledge in homogeneous catalysis and will be doing my PhD as part of the MaxNet group in Cardiff. I am also a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.


Andres Richards, Warwick (MSc)

I studied at the University of Warwick where I completed my BSc in biomedical chemistry and an MSc (by research) under the supervision of Prof. Stefan Bon. My project during my MSc was to develop novel methodology for measuring the phase behaviour (UCST and LCST) of styrene based copolymers. After my time at Warwick I gained a position within the research and development team at Sensient Technologies. I was a part the sweet and beverage division where I worked on flavour delivery. Outside of chemistry I enjoy composing and playing music.




Anna (Annie) Cooper, Cardiff (MChem)

I am originally from Cheshire and I graduated from Cardiff University, completing a MChem with Year in Industry degree in 2017.

For my year in industry I worked at Lubrizol where I spent the majority of my time working in a long term oxidation and corrosion laboratory. My final year project was on the selective catalytic reduction of nitric oxide using vanadia and tungsten based catalysts. Outside of chemistry I enjoy sailing, reading and baking.


Ben Howchen, UEA (MSc)

I grew up in Essex and moved to Norwich to study an undergraduate masters degree at the University of East Anglia. My final year project was working on bisimido complexes with transition metals for proton reduction. This fits into my passion for renewable energy technologies, I hope use catalysis to help develop sustainable fuels for the future. Though my background is in homogenous catalysis, I am keen to develop my skills in heterogenous catalysis and gain insight in practical scale-up engineering.



Christian Bryant, Bath (MChem)

My name is Chris and I have previously studied an MChem in chemistry for drug discovery at the university of bath, where I graduated in 2016. For my industrial placement year I spent time at the university if south Australia working on plasma polymerised surfaces and for the year between my undergraduate degree and the CDT, I worked as an analyst at a pharmaceutical company. I enjoy playing rugby, keeping fit and getting down to the pub after a day in the labs.



Daniel Latham, Liverpool (MChem)

Originally from St Asaph in North Wales, I graduated with an MChem from the University of Liverpool in 2017. During this time I completed a year of industrial experience with INEOS Runcorn developing novel additives for PVC manufacturing. In my final year, I worked in the Xiao group investigating PN chiral ligands for use in iron-catalysed asymmetric transfer hydrogenation. Outside of chemistry, my interests are playing the piano, football, playing Overwatch and visiting the theatre.


Derek Durand, Southampton (MChem)

I graduated with an MChem from Southampton in 2017. During my fourth year, I completed a six-month industrial placement at Ilika Technologies Ltd, where I focused on process development for PVD deposition of a thin-film electrolyte for use in solid-state batteries. In my third year, I completed a research project within the Bartlett Group, focusing on electrode modification using organic linkers for eventual enzyme mobilisation.

In my spare time I am a prolific reader, film watcher and occasional swimmer.


Heather Hayes, Heriot-Watt (MChem)

Originally from Worthing, West Sussex, I studied Chemistry with a European Language (Spanish) at Heriot-Watt University. As part of my studies I completed an Erasmus year abroad at the University of Zaragoza, Spain, where I carried out a research project on asymmetric synthesis. After graduating in June 2016, I spent the year travelling. In my free time I enjoy walking, climbing and baking.



Jack Stewart, Cardiff (MSc)

I’m originally from Caldicot and I completed a BSc in Chemistry from the University of South Wales before moving on to an MSc in Catalysis at Cardiff University.

My main interest is in homogeneous Catalysis and i completed a research project under the supervision of Dr Ben Ward during the final year of my masters degree. My research involved synthesising an organometallic aluminium complex and using it to catalyse the cyclo-trimerisation of various isocyanates. I decided to apply for the CDT to broaden my knowledge of the key areas of Catalysis before choosing my PhD project.

Outside of University I enjoy travelling and playing various stringed instruments.

Liam Bailey, Cardiff (MChem)

Originally from Bristol, I graduated from Cardiff University in 2017 with an MChem (Hons). I completed my final year research project with Prof. Stan Golunski looking into the decomposition of ammonia for which I was highly commended at the Undergraduate Awards. When I complete the MRes year I will start a PhD with Prof. Taylor and Prof. Hutchings. Outside of chemistry I enjoy listening to indie music, running, and playing and watching football and cricket.


Rebekah Taylor, Cardiff (MChem)

I am originally from the Valleys in South Wales, and graduated with a first class MChem (Hons) from Cardiff University in 2017. I did my final year project in the EPR group under the supervision of Prof. Damien Murphy, where I used EPR and ENDOR spectroscopies to characterise a number of Cu(II) complexes, as well as following a homogeneously copper-catalysed alcohol oxidation reaction. I decided to pursue a PhD after thoroughly enjoying my undergraduate research, and thought the CDT in catalysis would help improve and broaden my knowledge in all areas of the field. In my spare time, I enjoy watching crime documentaries, and am a massive fan of the band Queen.


Robert Amesbury, Leicester (MChem)

I did my undergraduate degree at Leicester university and worked on the sustainable synthesis of polymers during my masters project.

I enjoy listening to and playing music, watching football and rugby, and binging netflix shows.




Samuel Bates, Bristol (MSc)

I’m Sam Bates, I graduated this year from the University of Bristol with an integrated masters in Chemistry. My fourth year project was with Professor Duncan Wass on Mechanocatalysts for self healing carbon fibre composites. My main interests are in homogeneous catalysis but I am very eager to learn more about all other aspects of the course and want to combine these into my research.



Sophie Thomas, Cardiff (MChem)

I’m originally from Barry, in South Wales, and graduated with a First Class MChem degree from Cardiff University in 2017. In my final year project I worked in the Casini group investigating the biological properties of a series of gold(III) N-donor ligand complexes. Throughout my studies I have been exposed to catalysis in many different forms, where I developed a particular interest in biocatalysis. This encouraged me to apply for the CDT, to not only continue my interest in biocatalysis, but to also expand my knowledge and skills further in other areas of catalysis. Outside of university I enjoy reading and fitness.

Theodore Gazis, Heriot-Watt (MChem)

Originally hailing from Greece, I completed my MChem at Heriot-Watt university in Edinburgh. My final year project focused on tandem furan cycloaddition-sigmatropic rearrangement reactions under the guidance of Dr. Magnus Bebbington. I chose this CDT to broaden my base knowledge of catalysis before settling on a Phd. Outside of chemistry I enjoy exercising, particularly cycling, reading and travelling.


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