Research Associates

Hasliza Bahruji

Hasliza Bahruji;
H. Bahruji received BSc (2002) and MSc (2005) from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and PhD (2011) from Cardiff University. She was a lecturer in Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia (2005 – 2008) before appointed as research associate in School of Chemistry, Cardiff University in 2012. She is currently a researcher for Cardiff Catalysis Institute and Catalysis Hub UK. Her research interest in heterogeneous catalysis for carbon dioxide utilisation and photocatalytic water splitting for hydrogen production.

photo of MJHMichael Higham;
Michael Higham completed a PhD in Chemical Science and Technology at the Institut Català d’Investigació Química (ICIQ, Catalan Institute of Chemical Research) in November 2017. Michael joined Prof. Richard Catlow’s group at Cardiff University in August 2018, supported by the GCRF (Global Challenges Research Fund). Michael’s work forms part of the START (Synchotron Techniques for African Research and Technology) project, providing computational insights to support experimental work utilising the synchrotron facilities at Diamond. Michael’s current research project concerns Cu-based catalysts for methanol synthesis from CO2. 

Santhosh Matam photo

Santhosh Matam;
Santhosh Kumar Matam received his doctorate from Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany. He was a postdoctoral researcher at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and subsequently moved as a scientist to Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Science and Technology (Empa). Santhosh joined Prof. C. Richard A. Catlow’s group at the University College London and UK Catalysis Hub, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in September 2016 as a research associate. Santhosh’s research activities are primarily centred on in situ/operando spectroscopy for deriving catalyst structure-activity relationships. This knowledge can be used as a rational guide to develop inorganic solid materials for energy and environmental applications which include carbon neutral renewable energy and exhaust after-treatment technologies. He is also interested in operando reactors that allow real operation of chemical processes without intrinsic limitations. Santhosh designed and taught lab courses for graduate and postgraduates.

Yaro Odarchenko photo

Yaroslav Odarchenko;
Yaroslav received his PhD in 2012 from Strasbourg University where he studied materials under nanoconfinment using synchrotron radiation facilities (ESRF, DESY and BNL). After 3 years of research at the French National Center for Scientific Research and Royal Holloway University of London where he designed, built and tested new experimental platforms for the advanced characterisation of functional materials and biomolecular systems, he joined the AMB group at the UCL in 2016 to work on the EPSRC project focused on the developing of novel catalysts for the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. He is using grazing incidence X-ray scattering and spectroscopy (XAS/XPS) techniques to probe the supported metallic nanoparticles in real-time under reaction conditions.

Matthew Quesne photoMatthew Quesne;
Dr. Matthew Quesne undertook a PhD at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology under the supervision of Dr Sam de Visser, in the fields of bio-mimetic and enzyme catalysis. He focused on modelling the catalytic activity of synthetic complexes of transition metal dependent homogeneous catalysts. Over the four years spent at Manchester he worked with dozens of different experimental groups and provided the in silico components to many joint computational/experimental studies. He joined the research group headed by Dr Tomasz Borowski at the Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry Polish Academy of Science in Krakow (Poland) in November 2014, where he spent two years using MD, QM/MM and cluster model techniques to model enzyme catalysed reaction mechanisms. In 2016, he moved to Cardiff to work in Prof. Catlow’s group where he studied CO2 activation on a variety of transition metal carbides. This work formed a small part of a much larger EPSRC project that aimed to bring together several groups from across the UK in a multi-disciplinary fashion in order to develop integrated techniques for utilising CO2 as a feedstock for the production of fuels and fine chemicals. Matthew started his position with the UK Catalysis Hub in March of 2019 and is focused on the intersection of the modelling of heterogenously and homogenously catalysed reaction mechanisms.

Nitya Ramanan photoNitya Ramanan;
Nitya received her Doctorate in Physics from Homi Bhabha National Institute in India, where she used XAFS to analyze disordered nanoclusters in a variety of configurations. During the course of her Ph.D., she was also actively involved in the augmentation of the XAFS beamlines in the Indian synchrotron, Indus-2, for extreme thermodynamic conditions, viz. low temperature and high pressure. She subsequently joined the Core Level Absorption and Emission Spectroscopies (CLAESS) beamline at the Spanish national Synchrotron source, ALBA, as a post-doctoral research associate at where her activities involved providing scientific and technical support to beamline users for x-ray absorption and emission experiments, contributing towards the development of the beamline. Her research projects involved understanding the structure-property correlations in advanced functional materials, in particular, shape memory alloys and high Tc superconductors, using XAFS. Her tenure as a PDRA sparked her interest in the extensive applications of XAFS in catalysis and led to the initiation of her collaborations in this field. Nitya now works as an Experimental Officer for the Catalysis Hub, and has taken over the running of the hub’s BAG (Block Allocation Group) beamtimes at Diamond.

Cristina Stere photoChristina Stere;
Dr Christina completed her PhD in Chemical Engineering in 2012 from the Queen’s University Belfast under the supervision of Prof Alex Goguet and Prof Chris Hardacre on the development and application of a spatially resolved technique for the investigation of structured catalysts under real reaction conditions. She then continued as a PDRA at the same university working on plasma assisted reactions for automotive emission control coupled with developing state of the art spatially resolved techniques and DRIFT-MS system to allow in-situ studies of heterogeneous catalysts in the presence of plasma. She is currently working at the University of Manchester in the group of Prof. Chris Hardacre. Her current project looks at scalable production of high purity hydrogen through Water Gas Shift using a hybrid non-thermal plasma process and further development of in-situ DRIFTS technique for plasma reactions.

Yibo Zeng photo

Yibo Zeng;
Dr. Yibo Zeng completed her PhD (2009) from Department of Chemistry, the University of Hong Kong on the projects: 1) The histidine- and glutamine-rich Hpn-like protein in Helicobacter pylori; 2). The mechanism of inhibiting urease activities by bismuth compounds. Then she joined Prof. Chi-Ming Che’s group in the same department as a research associate, studying the attenuation of Wnt-β catenin pathway in human cancer cells by ruthenium compounds. In 2012, she changed her research area from biological chemistry to immunology, and worked as a postdoctoral fellow in Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, Johns Hopkins University (USA) in Prof. Thomas J. August’s group. The focus of her research included the construction of novel HIV-DNA vaccines, and with the help of lysosome-associated membrane proteins (LAMP), the antigenic peptide epitopes of proteins could be delivered to helper (CD4) T-cells to enhance the humoral and cellular immune responses. At present, she is now a postdoctoral research associate of Cardiff University, UK Catalysis Hub and University of Oxford, under the supervision of Prof. Graham Hutchings (Cardiff) and Prof. Benjamin Davis (Oxford), on the project ‘Exploring model systems for applying catalysis inside living systems with a view to medical application’.

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