Chemistry & Career

I read chemistry as an undergraduate at University College, University of Oxford, from 2003-2007 and was awarded a first class MChem degree.

During my fourth year project I discovered that I enjoyed research, specifically in the area of organic semiconductors and materials so I followed my tutor, Prof Paul Burn, to Australia and the University of Queensland in Brisbane. I started my PhD at UQ in February 2008 and submitted my thesis in November 2011. I graduated in April 2012.

I worked in a relatively new and rather large research group called the Centre for Organic Photonics and Electronics (COPE) with Paul as my primary supervisor. The group comprised a close collaboration of chemists and physicists to develop new organic materials for use in plastic electronics including organic LEDs (OLEDs), organic solar cells, organic field effect transistors (OFETs), fluorescent sensors, etc.

My project was based on developing and understanding sensors for the stand-off detection of explosives, which people can use for things like airport security or landmine remediation. Click here for a video on YouTube showing one of my sensors in action!

After graduation I moved back to England and in March 2012 began work as a developer of pyrotechnics for the company Le Maitre, Ltd. in Peterborough. It was an incredibly fun job and I got to work on some great projects for big clients on international tours. Click here for a video of just one family of products I developed. However, after 3 years I started to get the itch for academia again.

In July 2015 I moved from Le Maitre to Cranfield University to start work as a research fellow in the area of energetic materials and polymeric binders. I also became a full member of the Royal Society of Chemistry around the same time. My fixed-term contract at Cranfield ended in late 2017.

At the start of 2018 I then moved on to work at the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) at the Rutherford Appletone Labs in Oxfordshire. The role is 50% funded by Johnson Matthey, and I spend half of my time helping JM to apply neutron science to their R&D challenges. The rest of my time is spent as an instrument scientist in the Molecular Spectroscopy group, primarily working with inelastic neutron scattering (INS). During my first few months in this role I successfully published my first sole-author review article discussing the potential for using spectroscopic neutron techniques in the field of organic electronics research. You can find the paper here (DOI: 10.1002/anie.201812950).

On this page I have put some links to any publications I have or anything else related to my professional life. I used to link a copy of my CV here, however it was so frequently becoming out of date I will instead suggest you contact me for any information you may need. The contact page has more information on how to get in touch or a search on Google will locate me on LinkedIn.

Publications

To stop this part of the page becoming out of date so rapidly, please follow the link HERE to my Google Scholar page for a complete list of my publications and citations. My OrcID profile can be found here and ResearchGate profile here. Please note that my employment between March 2012 and July 2015 was industrial, leading to no publishable research.

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Other skills and interests

Aside from chemistry I also have a passion for computers and the internet. I am an avid computer user with a strong online presence. My interest has led me to self-teach a variety of programming and scripting languages as well as joining various online courses at coursera.org to broaden my knowledge and gain experience in this area.

Finally I have a number of hobbies. I have been brewing beer since 2009 and take pride in creating high quality product, even if I am biased! I have also been involved in amateur astronomy since the end of 2013 and have more recently taken to astrophotography. Some of my photos can be found on Flickr.

Prizes and Scholarships

  • 2005-2007 – University of Oxford – University college scholarship for consistently high examination results
  • 2007 – University of Oxford – Bannister Trust Thesis Prize for best organic chemistry Part II (4th year project) thesis
  • 2008-2011 – Endeavour International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) and University of Queensland Living Allowance Scholarship for my PhD
  • 2009 – University of Queensland – Quantum Scientific People’s Choice Poster Prize for a poster presented at the Fifth Annual School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences Research Students Symposium
  • 2010 – University of Queensland – First prize for best overall oral presentation given at the Sixth Annual School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences Research Students Symposium
  • 2010 – University of Queensland – Royal Australian Institute of Chemistry first prize for best chemistry oral presentation given at the Sixth Annual School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences Research Students Symposium
  • 2011 – University of Queensland – Tutor Excellence Award for tutoring undergraduate chemistry in 2nd semester 2010

Conferences/Symposia/Workshops Attended

  • 5th annual SCMB Research Students Symposium, University of Queensland, Brisbane – 24 November 2009
  • 5th AINSE/ANBUG Neutron Scattering Symposium (AANSS), Sydney – 7-9 December 2009
  • ICAM-I2CAM Complex Interactions & Mechanisms in Organic Photovoltaics (CIM-OPV) Workshop, Brisbane – 30 June-3rd July 2010
  • 6th annual SCMB Research Students Symposium, University of Queensland, Brisbane – 25 November 2010
  • Materials Research Society (MRS) Spring Meet 2011, San Francisco – 25-29 April 2011
  • WSTC Annual Conference, QinetiQ – Malvern, 22-23 September 2015
  • WSTC Annual Conference, QinetiQ – Malvern, 5-6 October 2016
  • Advanced Polymers via Macromolecular Engineering (APME), Ghent, Belgium – 21-25 May 2017
  • UK Neutron and Muon Science and User Meeting (NMSUM) 2018, Warwick – 25-27 April 2018
  • ILL and ESS European Neutron Users Meeting 2018, Grenoble, France – 10-12 October 2018
  • UK Neutron and Muon Science and User Meeting (NMSUM) 2019, Warwick – 29 April – 1 May 2019