Those that are gone, but not forgotten
University of Manchester
Dr Utku Yolsal – PhD student and first graduate of the team from Manchester, although his frequent trips back across the border suggested otherwise. Provider of some iconic Slack emojis and many a safety lecture, his love of rheology was only rivalled by his love for Neil Diamond. Utku has now settled back in Edinburgh where he is a post-doc in the Garden group.
Dr Martin Burgess – Post-doc and shark at the snooker table, Martin kick-started the “One Bin to Rule them All” project in the group and was a key part of the SMIH.
Dr Sergio Sopena de Frutos – Post-doc. Sergio joined the group working on a collaborative project with Unilever, thankfully his synthetic skills far exceeded his skills in the kitchen. Sadly, his time in the group was cut short by the COVID-19 lockdown and he has since returned to “eSpain” to work for AIMPLAS.
Dr Mitch Perry – Masters Student and Post-doc. Mitch joined the group way back in PEI as an undergraduate and postgraduate student before leaving to do his PhD at UBC in 2012. Drawn in by Edinburgh and the prospect of working on more green polymers, he rejoined the group as a postdoc in 2017. Mitch helped the group move to Manchester and was rewarded with a standing desk, some great pubs and eventually a pandemic. He has now moved back to Vancouver where he is working for Carbonet.
Dr YueChao Xu – Post-doc – YC spent 2.5 years with the group both in Edinburgh and helping in the group’s move to Manchester, working on ROP of DOX monomers. He and his jokes have now returned to China to work for China Resources Chem-Mat.
University of Edinburgh
Dr Weronika Gruszka – Co-supervised with Jenni Garden at UoE, Weronika worked on the synthesis of novel homo- and hetero-metallic complexes for the ring-opening polymerisation of cyclic esters. She is now working for JM in Reading.
Dr Panos Kolyvakis – Co-supervised by Neil McKeown at UoE, Panos developed novel polymeric adsorbents for water purification. He loved Edinburgh so much he is now lecturing there too!
Dr Jay Gaston – Co-supervised with Jenni Garden at UoE, Jay worked on using multifunctional salen catalysts in polymerisation of polar monomers. He is now working for Shellworks.
Dr Joanne Dunne – Joanne worked on a collaborative project with Steve Thomas at UoE, defending her thesis in November 2020. She is now a PDRA in St Andrews with Andy Smith.
Dr Geraint Langford – Gerry completed his thesis in October 2019, working on novel swellable polymers in sensing applications. He’s now working on medical devices with LumiraDx.
Dr Mohammed Alkattan – Mo worked on a collaborative project with Dr Joelle Prunet at the University of Glasgow looking at functional polyethers/esters. He passed his viva in October 2019 and is now working for OxSonics down in Oxford.
Dr Dan Coward – Dan completed his PhD project on controlled radical polymerisations in August 2019. He is now “lawyering up” in London!
Dr Eszter Fazekas – Eszter completed her thesis in January 2019 and is now working as a post-doc at Herriot Watt University.
James Murray – James is working with Conchur O’Bradaigh on a reactive extrusion project. After the Edinburgh departure, he’s just got team Ireland leading him now!
Vishal Makwana – Vishal worked on a project focussed on new monomers for chemical recycling (clean polymerisation and depolymerisation) and has now transferred to the McKeown group to complete his studies.
Dr Jake McClements – Jake worked with Vasileios Koutsos on a Soft Matter and Functional Interfaces Centre for Doctoral Training project in the School of Engineering looking at the interface between polymers and both mica and graphite substrates.
Laura Machado – Laura started a collaborative project with Fabio Nudelman to explore the encapsulation of functionalised microparticles into mineral structures. She has now transferred to the Nudelman group to continue her studies.
Yasmeen Jhons – Yasmeen started a GSK-funded project in the group looking at functional block copolymers but has now transferred to the Nudelman group to continue her studies.
Melanie Dzulko – Melanie visited us from the University of Mainz for the summer, working with Yasmeen on making block copolymers of functional monomers.
Dr Stefan Cairns – Stefan completed his thesis on new polymers to increase the degradation rate of polyesters synthesised via ROP of 1,3-dioxolan-4-ones. He’s currently using all his GPC knowledge from his PhD down at Malvern.
Hannah Wright – Hannah completed a BSc project with Dan and Mitch on Ti-mediated controlled radical polymerisation.
Genevieve Mallory – Genevieve worked with Vishal on a project focussed on polymer degradation, comparing hydrolytic, enzymatic and chemical degradation rates.
Alex Carroll – Alex worked on a miRNA sensors project with Gerry, optimising formulations and revealing some important elements of the composite construction.
Dr Fern Sinclair – Fern completed her PhD in September 2017, then came back as a short-term post-doc and to keep everyone safe and sound! She’s now working for Nalas Engineering in CT, USA, after sufficiently impressing them while on a 4 month placement there during her PhD.
Dr Ben Lake – Post-doc – Ben was developing new Fe and Ti-based catalysts for use in CRP reactions, and examining the mechanisms of these reactions. He’s now a first-time father having received plenty of practice looking after all of us in the lab!
Rebecca Matthes – Rebecca came over from Germany to work with Meng for the Summer. She left having improved our ping pong skill level ten-fold and with a nifty little JACS paper!
Dr David Ferrier – Dave completed his PhD project developing oligonucleotide crosslinked polymer composites in miRNA detection while co-supervised by Phil Hands in the SMC.
Becca Short – BSc Hons Student – Becca worked with Stefan polymerising MeDOX to form PLA using some zinc betadiketimidates she made. Keep a look out for her colourful hair on a quidditch field near you.
Kathleen Bell – MChemX Student- Kathleen worked on using eATRP with some of our iron catalysts under Ben’s watchful eye. You may see her hanging in church towers.
Francesca Ballard – MChemX Student – Francesca was cosupervised by Stefan and Mo whilst working on making functionalised poly(alpha-hydroxy acids) from DOX motifs. She’ll soon be working at Rolls Royce.
Dr Kailong Zhu – Kevin was co-supervised by Steve Thomas and recently completed his PhD having expanded the scope of bench-stable iron(III) mediated reactions.
Dr Emily Macdonald – Emily completed her PhD in November 2016. While an all round polymer expert, she focused primarily on synthesising polyphosphonates for various applications. She popped back to collaborate with some artists and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh but left us again.
Genny Keefe – Having followed the group over from Canada, Genny completed her Masters working on depsipeptide synthesis.
Dr Jaclyn Raeburn – Post-doc – Having spent a year working on developing a novel biosensor for miRNA detection, Jaclyn has now moved on to an industrial position at Solid Form Solutions.
Lorna Brown – MChemX Student – Lorna worked with Emily on her final year project by doubling down on phosphorus: Trying to open P-based cyclic monomers with P-based organocatalysts. She’s off to pursue a career at the interface of chemistry and medicine.
Zoë Hackett – MChemX Student – Zoë worked with Dan on her final year project using homegrown Fe catalysts to explore isoprene polymerisation. She’s off to the University of British Columbia to pursue her PhD in Chemistry.
Dr Jarret MacDonald – Having been with the Shaver group since May 2011 as an Undergraduate in Canada, “Jarm” went with the group to Edinburgh and here completed his PhD in November 2015 having expanded the monomer scope of lactones for use in ROP. He’s now working as a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant at the University of Western Ontario back in Canada and we wish him all the best. We miss him.
Dr Vincent Gauchot – After a PhD at the Universite de Montreal, Vincent joined our group working on olefin metathesis modified polymers and a project with industrial sponsor Endura. He’s currently a post-doc at Heriot-Watt University.
Chris Fife – MChemX Student – No comment.
Derek Chan – MChemX Student – Derek worked with Emily exploring new potential organocatalysts for ring-opening polymerisation and is now working in the chemical industry.
Amelie Schultheiss – ERASMUS Student. Amelie joined us from ENSCMu and worked with Stefan on some degradable monomers.
Echo (Shuyu) Yang – Masters by Research Student. Echo worked in the SMC with co-supervisor Phil Hands on understanding the challenges of polymer stabilised liquid crystal lasers.
Tatjana Dänzer – ERASMUS Student. Tatjana joined us for her placement from the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. She worked with Fern on cross-metathesis chemistry and made her own Grubbs-Hoyveda catalyst from scratch!
Arthur (Yichuan) Zhang – Masters Project Student. Arthur worked with Emily on some intrinsic high-refractive index polymers. He is the master of the epic chili-sesame-oil which I love.
Paniz Pahlavanlu – Undergraduate Visitor. Paniz joined us from my old alma mater, the University of British Columbia. She worked with Genny for the summer on some protection (and accidental deprotection) chemistry of morpholine diones.
Laura Allan – Post-doctoral Fellow Extraordinaire. Laura joined the group way back at UPEI, helped set up the lab at the University of Edinburgh, and kept everything functioning for many years. She has now moved on to an industrial position, leaving the lab in ruins / Jarret’s safe hands.
Graham McNally – MChemX Student. Graham worked with Laura on his final year project looking at AGET ATRP. He’s starting a PhD in the Attfield group in October.
Emma Gayner – MChemX Student. Emma completed her undergraduate project cosupervised by Carole Morrison and is looking to start a PhD on computational inorganic catalytic chemistry. The maths gives me headaches, but she loves it.
Jannik Mechau – ERASMUS Student. Jannik joined us for his placement from the University of Goettingen. He is finishing off his program this year and will probably start travelling again as soon as he can.
Sacha Corby – Summer Researcher. Sacha joined the group in August 2013, as a volunteer researcher! She is currently in her 3rd year at the University of Edinburgh.
Ben Arenas – Summer Researcher. Ben joined the group in June 2013 with a Carnegie Trust Scholarship . He is currently in his 4th year here at the University of Edinburgh.
Chao Wei – Masters Project Student. Chao joined us in May 2013 to work on a lab project for his Masters course. He is interested in pursuing a PhD and is currently investigating funding opportunities.
University of Prince Edward Island
Ellie Arnold – Summer Researcher. Ellie joined the group in May 2012 as an NSERC USRA Summer Researcher. She has started a PhD with Molly Shoichet at the University of Toronto.
Christian Agatemor – Masters Student. Christian moved to PEI as a Masters student in January 2012. He is currently pursuing a PhD at UPEI, co-supervised by Drs. Etkin and Abd-El-Aziz.
Gayan Tennekone – Masters Student. GT spent several years in the Shaver group, as an undergraduate and then postgraduate student, before successfully defending his thesis in April 2013. Gayan is now at the University of Toronto, studying for an MBA.
Eddie Cross – Masters Student. After leading Team Canada after the boss’s departure for the UK, Eddie successfully defended his thesis in January 2013. He has returned to his native Cape Breton and is now working in the chemical industry.
Mitch Perry – Masters Student. After several years in the Shaver group, as both an undergraduate and postgraduate student, Mitch successfully defended his thesis in July 2012. He has now gone as far away from us as possible, whilst still remaining in Canada, and is in Vancouver, pursuing a PhD at UBC.
Dr. Laura Pavelka – Postdoctoral Fellow. Laura P. arrived late and left early – she was with us only briefly before heading off to take up a teaching position at McGill.
Brendan Sheppard – Co-supervised Honours Student. Brendan was co-supervised by Dr. Pearson and spent both the summer and his honours project cursing certain computational programs. He is currently undertaking a Masters degree in the Pearson group at UPEI.
Justin McRae – Chem. 482 Student. After a summer as an NSERC USRA researcher, Justin completed his Chem. 482 project in December 2011. He made several life-altering decisions whilst in the Shaver group and is now in the new Nursing program at UPEI.
Donnie Cameron – Masters Student. After several years running the group and filling his head with trivia, Donnie successfully defended his thesis in April 2011. He has left the Island for pastures new and is currently at law school at UNB.
Josh Gallaway – Honours Student. After a summer spent toiling in the Shaver lab, Josh stayed on to complete his honours project in April 2011. He is currently at Dalhousie pursuing a career in pharmacy.
Tim Francis-Pranger– Co-supervised Summer Researcher. Tim spent the summer of 2010 attempting to unravel the mysteries of ligand non-innocence computationally, co-supervised by Dr. Pearson. He is currently whereabouts unknown.
Dr. M. Emre Hanhan – Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Hanhan graduated from the Zonguldak Karaelmas ‘Black Diamond’ University in 2001 and achieved a PhD in inorganic chemistry in 2008. He is currently an Assistant Professor at ZKU.
Justin Belanger – Honours Student. After completing his honours project in the Shaver group, Justin relaxed by biking across Canada. He recently completed a graduate degree with Chris Kozak at Memorial University of Newfoundland and is currently somewhere in Ontario.
Rob Livingstone – Summer Researcher. After a year off to further his political aspirations, Rob recently completed his degree while also maintaining the presidency of the Student Union at UPEI. He is currently travelling.
Clarice Gao – Summer Researcher. Clarice (pronounced Clarice, not Clareeeece, of course) completed her studies at Imperial College London and is currently whereabouts unknown.
Mike Jones – Honours Student. Mike is currently attending graduate school at Simon Fraser University, working with Dr. Tim Storr on treatment and diagnostic tools for Alzheimer’s Disease.
Marieke Hutchinson – Honours Student. Marieke is currently attending graduate school at Queen’s University under the direction of Cathy Crudden. She transferred to Queen’s from the University of Ottawa after the untimely death of Keith Fagnou.
Leigh-Anne Gilroy – Summer Researcher. Leigh-Anne went on to study Education, but is now a nutritionist.
Ami Moore – Honours Student. Ami left PEI to study Education at Memorial University in Newfoundland and is now a science teacher.
Laura Callaghan – Honours Student, currently studying Medicine at Memorial University in Newfoundland.
Erika Weekes – Co-supervised Honours Student. Erika completed her physiotherapy degree at Queens University and is now a practicing physiotherapist.
Freddie – Group Mascot. Sir Frederick of Hatheway was a wonderful Island dog who joined us in our move across the Atlantic. A wonderfully intelligent and wilful greyhound/border collie monstrosity, we loved him dearly. He passed away in January 2013 after being hit by a car. We miss him.