“SCI offers a full complement of opportunities for ambitious early-career researchers, including opportunities to showcase work at excellent day events and the prospect of forging professional networks with fellow researchers within and beyond academia.”
What are your research interests?
Physical organic chemistry and catalysis. I make extensive use of in situ reaction monitoring, kinetic modelling and quantum chemical computations to investigate organocatalytic reaction mechanisms and develop new methodologies for organic synthesis. I am currently in the second year of my PhD, supervised by Prof. Guy Lloyd-Jones FRS and funded by an industrial CASE studentship from EPSRC/Syngenta.
Why SCI? How did you first get involved and why would you encourage your peers to join?
SCI offers a full complement of opportunities for ambitious early-career researchers: travel bursaries, supplementary scholarships, opportunities to showcase work at excellent day events and the prospect of forging professional networks with fellow researchers within and beyond academia. I first encountered the SCI when I discovered their excellent two-day event on organocatalysis and photoredox catalysis, organised by SCI's Young Chemists’ Panel. It featured a superb line-up of speakers, and offered the perfect chance to showcase the research I had conducted in the first half of my PhD.
SCI aims to be ‘where science meets business’. What is the potential commercial application of your research?
My PhD research is centred on understanding and taming the reactivity of molecules called triazoles. As ubiquitous components of antifungal agents, these small, cyclic molecules sit at the heart of agrochemistry and medicine. They are deployed across the globe on a daily basis to protect crops from parasitic fungi and to fight myriad fungal infections in humans. I hope my research will afford industrial chemists in agrochemistry and pharmaceuticals with a new, efficient and operationally simple synthetic strategy for preparing novel triazole-based fungicides that overcomes the problems of traditional synthetic approaches. I also hope that my more fundamental findings will have broader ramifications for organic synthesis across the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and fine chemical sectors.
What do you hope to gain from your involvement with SCI?
As an SCI member and Ambassador I hope to learn more about chemical industry and science beyond academia, forge professional networks, gain experience in presenting my research and perhaps foster industrial research collaborations for the future.
University of Edinburgh/Syngenta