THE RESEARCH GROUP
Alan is a postdoctoral research assistant, an ex-IC graduate who did his Ph.D with Bill on oxidation catalysis by oxoruthenates. He then worked with Brian James at the University of British Columbia on ruthenium porphyrin complexes, and is now back home on an Air Products project on oxidations by ozone catalysed by transition metal complexes. This is a collaboration jointly with Bill and with Steve Marsden.
Alan, known to some as the Mole because of his intimate knowledge of departmental politics and intrigue, is for some obscure reason a fanatical supporter (and even shareholder) of Chelsea. He is a keen connoisseur of fermented hops and grapes and is a bon viveur and excellent raconteur (despite his lack of knowledge of French).
Dave got his B.Sc at IC in 1995 and is now working, under with an EPSRC CASE project with Solvay Interox, with Bill and Michael Spiro on the kinetics and mechanism of bleaching by hydrogen peroxide - both catalysed and uncatalysed - of azo and other dyes modelling those found in natural fabrics and stains. He is also developing new catalysts for bleaching using polyoxometalates.
Dave is a computer whiz and is occasionally to be found wandering abstractedly about in Kensington Gardens, no doubt thinking about his research. He also carries out private research into grape fermentation and, like Alan, is a lover of the fermented hop.
He follows the wandering fortunes of Wolverhampton Wanderers; a keen swimmer, and sailor (he has sailed across the channel twice in a 30 ft. boat), he is also to be seen regularly in the Union bar, mostly behind but often in front of it.
Maria works on oxoruthenates and oxo-osmates as catalysts for alkene and alkyne cleavage and epoxidation, and on catalysed amine oxidations. She also works on fiendishly difficult topics such as lanthanopolyoxotungstates and thoriopolyoxotungstates as catalysts for the oxidation of alcohols to aldehydes or ketones and of alkenes to epoxides. She is a dedicated user of Raman spectroscopy.
She was born in Jakarta, Indonesia but lived in Singapore for 14 years before moving to London to take her university degree. A fluent speaker of English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Indonesian and Malay, she is a skilled debater (especially with her supervisor) and an expert on all matters Chinese. Like Dave, Maria did her B.Sc here but a year later, finishing in 1997.
Despo is a postdoctoral research assistant working with Bill and with Steve Marsden on polyoxometalates and their attachment to organic polymers: we study these novel materials as catalysts and investigate other physical properties, e.g. their possible involvement in fuel cell technology (with Anthony Kucernak).
Despo is from Nicosia in Cyprus and did her first degree in Marburg, Germany. She then did her Ph.D. with Malcolm Green at Oxford, and carried out postdoctoral work with Mike Mingos here and with Tony Deeming at University College, so she has experience in many aspects of inorganic chemistry. She is a keen basket-ball player, lover of Mozart, theatre pundit, mother of a gifted child (Stanley), and has a deep knowledge and appreciation of Cypriot mythology.
Sarah is a fourth year M. Sci. Project student, working on oxoruthenates and oxo osmates with hydrogen peroxide and a variety of perhydrates as environmentally friendly co oxidants for a number of organic oxidations.
Sarah is an expert on Chinese cuisine, both in preparing and eating the food. She is an avid theatregoer and is very keen on ballet: indeed she is a talented ballet dancer herself.
Vic is also a fourth year B.S. Project student (having worked for a year in industry with 3M in Minnesota) and is now working with Bill and Tom Welton on the novel use of room temperature ionic melts as solvents for oxoruthenate and oxo-osmate catalysts for organic oxidations.
She is an Academic representative for the third year and is a long distance runner of considerable aptitude. Vic likes climbing, hiking, mountaineering, and has travelled widely in Europe, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia; this year she plans to visit other far-flung corners of the globe.