PhD Students

Lisa Allen
Lisa completed her Masters in Chemistry at Cardiff University in 2018 and after graduation, she took a year out to go travelling abroad. In 2019, she joined the Catalysis Hub as a PhD student at UCL to study supported metal oxide nanoparticle catalysts for their use in exhaust after-treatment technologies. Particularly, this project involves the use of operando techniques and synchrotron sources to characterise industrial catalysts. This project is in collaboration with Johnson Matthey and Diamond Light Source, and is supervised by Prof. Andy Beale.

Emma Campbell
Uncovering the role of hydrocarbon pool species in catalytic reactions using Kerr-gated Raman spectroscopy.

Danial Farooq
Danial Farooq is a PhD student in the Beale group investigating the use of scattering-contrast computer tomography techniques to study Fischer-Tropsch catalyst to produce fuel from domestic waste. The project is hosted by UCL at the Catalysis Hub based in the Harwell Research Complex with collaboration of industry partners, BP and Johnson Matthey.

Igor Kowalec
Igor completed his MChem under the supervision of Prof Graham Hutchings at Cardiff University in 2019. He then gained experience as an Inorganic Analyst at Welsh Water. In October 2019 he joined Prof Richard Catlow’s research group in Cardiff Catalysis Institute as a PhD student. He is a member of the international Centre-to-Centre (C2C) project focusing on trimetallic nanoparticle catalysts suitable for renewable fuel synthesis from CO2. Igor’s research involves investigation of CO2 hydrogenation on Pd-based PdxCuyZnz alloy catalysts using modern periodic density functional theory techniques. He is currently modelling the hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol on individual monometallic low Miller index facets of Pd, Cu and Zn as foundation for understanding the reactivity of CO2 on binary and ternary alloys of these metals.

Sofia Mediavilla-Madrigal
Sofia graduated in 2020 with a MEng in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London. During her studies she spent a year abroad at the National University of Singapore, where she first became interested in chemical catalysis. She is now a member of Beale group pursuing her PhD in Chemistry with Cardiff University under the supervision of Prof. Andy Beale, Prof. Stuart Taylor and Prof. Graham Hutchings. Her project mainly focuses on the characterisation of novel trimetallic catalysts for CO2 activation using electron microscopy and X-ray methods under in-situ and operando conditions. This project is in collaboration with experts from internationally leading research centres for catalysis including the UK (CIC and UK Catalysis Hub at Harwell), the Netherlands (MCEC, Utrecht) and Germany (FHI, Berlin).

Monik Panchal
Multiscale imaging and in situ studies for the investigation of industrially relevant materials. Involved in a collaborative iCASE studentship with UCL and Johnson Matthey. The project is based on multi scale imaging for the investigation of catalysts, where primary research will be conducted at the UK Catalyst Hub, Oxfordshire. Particularly, this project involves atomic scale analysis using high resolution TEM instruments at the ePSIC centre, Harwell and synchrotron based XAS, to characterised on industrially relevant materials provided by Johnson Matthey.

Jay Pritchard
Jay completed his Masters in Chemistry at the University of St Andrews, and has a background in Fischer-Tropsch Catalysis. He joined the Cat Hub in 2017 as a PhD student to study the manipulation of Fischer-Topsch catalysts for selectivity control, utilising XRD-CT to study catalysts In-Situ. Supervised by Prof. Andy Beale, the project is a collaboration with BP.

Edward Stacey
For the duration of his project, Edward has been investigating microporous zeolite and ALPO lattice energies using a variety of computational methods including intermolecular forces study, and Density Functional Theory (DFT) and then compared to experimental energies found in the literature. He is now revisiting work done in the late 1980/90s on modelling water molecules within the pores of H-ZSM5 using DFT but with larger ordered systems and will lead on to a section of work based on modelling solvated systems. He is also using Quantum Mechanical and Molecular Mechanical (QM/MM) hybrid methods to investigate metal doped acid sites of ZSM5 with metal ions in their most accessible electronic states to assess their stability and potential effectiveness in catalysed reactions. 

Sebastian Stockenhuber
Sebastian Stockenhuber is a PhD student studying under Prof. Andrew Beale and Prof. Gopinathan Sankar at UCL. His project is based around investigation of the failure of industrial Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 catalysts in Low Temperature Water Gas Shift reactors and determining the role of water in its deactivation. The industrial sponsor for the project is Yara International ASA, a Norwegian-based company specializing in agricultural products, and will involve collaboration with the UCL campus in Bloomsbury, London and the Catalysis Hub in the Harwell Research Campus.

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