Confirmed Speakers for YMS2014

Keynote Speakers

Prof. Lesley Yellowlees – President of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Awaiting biography.


Prof. Alice Roberts – Head of Public Engagement in Science, University of Birmingham

Awaiting biography.


Inorganic & Materials

Alexander Kilpatrick – University of Sussex

Working Title: Titanium ‘Double-Sandwich’ Complexes for the Activation of CO2 and CO.”

Alexander graduated with an MChem from the University of Oxford in 2009, where he worked with Prof. Philip Mountford on synthetic applications of chromium complexes. He then moved to the University of Sussex to pursue postgraduate research, under the supervision of Prof. Geoff Cloke, on bimetallic complexes of d- and f-block metals with pentalene ligands. He currently has four first author publications, two of which are in Chem. Commun. In November 2013, Andrew was awarded the “Best Poster” prize at the RSC Energy Sector’s Early-Career Chemist’s Symposium which inculded an invitation to speak at YMS2014.


Zoe Schnepp – University of Birmingham

Awaiting biography.


Paul Staniland – Croda Europe

Awaiting biography.


Organic & Biological

Chris Cordier – Imperial College London

Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London

Research Associate (Royal Society University Research Fellow)

Chris gained his undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Pharmacology at the University of Leeds, where he stayed to complete his PhD research on the diversity-oriented synthesis of libraries of compounds inspired by natural products, under the supervision Prof. Adam S. Nelson. Following postdoctoral positions at the University of Cambridge, MIT and Caltech, Chris joined the Chemistry Department at Imperial College London to initiate his independent research group as a Royal Society University Research Fellow (2013-2018). Current projects are focused on the development of new transformations using Transition Metal Catalysts, introducing alternative modes for substrate activation using Organocatalysts, as well as merging these two areas toward cooperative and synergistic activation of small molecules. These methods are being showcased in the syntheses of biologically active scaffolds including natural products and therapeutic agents.


Mustafa Gabr – BCMS Postgraduate Symposium Prize Winner

Mustafa Gabr earned his undergraduate degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Mansoura University, Egypt. His graduation project in electrochemistry and electrogenerated chemilluminescence was funded by the Chinese government and was conducted at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) under the supervision of Professor Guobao Xu. Still longing for international research experience, he was involved in a Molecular Biology research project in 2011 at University Complutense de Madrid, Spain under the guidance of Professor Alvaro Martinez del Pozo.

Mustafa gained his Masters in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Design in a joint program between Georgia State University, USA and Mansoura University, Egypt in 2013. His research focused on the design and synthesis of anticancer drugs as EGFR tyrosine kinase targeted compounds. This research was recently recognised with the BMCS Postgraduate Symposium Prize.


Lisa Phelan – Boston Scientific

I am a young chemist working the medical device sector in Galway, Ireland. Galway is a hub for medical device companies in Europe with universities tailoring their science and engineering courses to meet the company needs.

I hold a B.Sc in Chemistry and an industrial Research M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering, I have worked in the Pharmaceutical sector in Dublin and mayo in the west coast. My experience is varied and shows the broad range of possibilities for young chemists. for example, I conducted my research masters for ThermoKing, a transport temperature control company, got my first job tested eye care products by HPLC for Allergan (the guys that have the Botox Patent!) …a side note for you: all the Botox in the world is made in the west of Ireland!

I then moved to Galway city, where is had studied, to work as a research polymer chemist in a start up medical device company. This role opened my eyes to the medical device world and the exceptionally exciting research that’s happening, I now work as a research and development scientist in Boston Scientific. I work on the development of  ultra-thin abluminal bioabsorbable polymers combined with drug coatings for coronary stents applications.

The research is all about designing a medical device to allow for better quality of life. This includes the design on the delivery system and the stent that is left in the vessels of the heart. The release rate of the drug is specifically designed to cater for patients with coronary heart disease. As you can imagine we do a host of chemical tests to ensure the drug is right, the polymer is right, that they both adhere to the stent correctly and that the release rate of the drug is correct when placed in the patient’s heart.


Physical & Analytical

Andrew Baldwin – Univeristy of Oxford

Awaiting biography.

Ruth Tunnell – QinetiQ

Ruth Tunnell is a scientist at QinetiQ Fort Halstead. She has over ten years’ experience in the analysis of energetic materials. She has recently completed an industrial sponsored PhD awarded by Imperial College London entitled “Degradation of Complex Hybrid Propellants.” This research aimed to establish the ageing behaviour of a particular family of propellants and further aspiration was to establish which analytical techniques are suitable for characterising such materials. Ruth is currently the recipient of an Industrial Fellowship from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 and is an academic visitor at the Institute of Shock Physics, Imperial College London.


Education & Outreach

Sid Rodrigues – SoHo Skeptics

Sid Rodrigues is the London-based organiser for the IgNobel Awards. After being a Time Out London Award-winning organiser of Skeptics in the Pub he has been a consultant and organiser for outreach events in London (and beyond) for the last seven years. He’s also part of the award-nominated podcast production team for the UK’s first independent ‘Enlightenment’ show; Neil Denny’s “Little Atoms” radio show and podcast on London’s Resonance FM.

Sid has worked in applied research in the life-sciences, chemistry and forensics for one of Europe’s largest independent science providers for ten years before making event organisation his full-time job. He spent some of his previous life as a magician at Hamley’s toy shop (yes, really!), a musician in a very cheesy covers band (yes, really!), a bar-tender (it was my favourite job) and a collector of obscure novelty hits (everyone has to have a hobby), but now spends time helping out wide-reaching charity projects, researching obscure facts and other weirdness – which is what science should really be about. He’s also been immortalised in an animation by some bloke called Tim Minchin. He doesn’t have a degree(true), so any science questions will not be acceptable (not true).


Andy West – Pera Technology

Andrew obtained his degree in chemistry and Ph.D. in sustainable fluorine chemistry and synthesis of recyclable homogeneous catalysts from the University of Leicester. After a period in Belfast, where he worked as a postdoctoral research assistant at Queen’s University carrying out research for BP as part of a multi-million pound project, Andrew returned to Britain in 2006 to take up a role at Crystal Faraday (which became Chemistry Innovation KTN), a DTI-sponsored body promoting green and sustainable chemistry in the UK. Here, Andrew was a Project Formulator and Programme Manager for Fluorum, the network set up to promote fluorine chemistry in the UK and Europe. He also had responsibility for helping to manage Chemistry Innovation’s portfolio of UK projects.

Missing the lab, Andrew joined Pera Technology as a chemist in the Chemistry and Biotechnology division in 2007. Since joining the company, he has worked on the management and technical delivery of numerous projects in a wide range of areas from food research to industrial catalysis, waste minimisation, bio-fuels and alternative energy. He also helps to write successful bids for both TSB and EU funding. He was promoted to Principal Chemist in 2013 and now has additional responsibility for building industry-academia consortia in order to obtain research funding.

Andrew is a keen supporter of the Pera Foundation, a charitable trust set up by Pera to help the development of disadvantaged and disaffected young people in local society. Part of the Foundation’s remit is to encourage young people, through events, activities and competitions, to study STEM subjects and the RSC is the perfect partner to help the Foundation with this aim.

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