Management team

  • Professor Kevin Booker-Milburn

    Kevin oversees all aspects of the course: from interviewing prospective students to running problem sessions with the Cohort. Fundraising, developing national and international collaborations and liaising with our Research Councils are all aspects of this busy role.

  • Dr Laura Chavda
    Course Manager

    Laura is responsible for day-to-day operations of the Centre and is in daily contact with students. She leads on all aspects of cohort training and new course development.

  • Mar Ruiz
    Administration Manager

    Mar is the first point of contact for all queries from current students, potential students, academic staff and external collaborators. She is responsible for managing all aspects of administration at the Centre.

  • Professor Tim Gallagher
    Dean of Faculty of Science

    Tim has been part of the Centre since its inception. His senior position within the University provides an excellent link with other CDTs across the Faculty and their integration with the Bristol Doctoral College.

  • Professor Varinder Aggarwal FRS
    Industry Chair

    Varinder is heavily involved in developing relationships with Industry, from big pharma to smaller biotech and SMEs. His fundraising efforts have contributed to the success of the Centre.

  • Professor Nick Norman
    Head of the School of Chemistry

    Nick leads the School's research strategy and his presence on Management ensures a direct link with the Department that hosts the Centre.

  • Professor Paul Pringle
    Professor of Inorganic Chemistry

    Paul plays an active role in recruiting students with an inorganic background, which is key to ensuring a balanced cohort of students.

  • Professor Chris Willis
    Head of the Organic & Biological Section

    Chris plays a key role in the overall recruitment process. She ensures that students from all backgrounds are well represented and the Centre benefits from her extensive experience in postgraduate recruitment and training.

  • Professor Neil Allan
    Director of the Graduate School

    Neil ensures that the Centre is up to date with University rules and regulations pertaining to postgraduate studies. He oversees student progress at departmental level.

  • Professor Duncan Wass
    Co-Director of the Catalysis CDT (Cardiff, Bath, Bristol)

    Duncan provides a link between the two EPSRC-funded Centres and ensures the sharing of best practice.

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Chemical Synthesis brings together a cohort of first class postgraduate research students and an excellent team of world-class academics to enable innovative solutions to chemical synthesis conundrums.

During the first year there is a lot of support from the management team, and as the years go on there is more emphasis on being self-driven but they are always there if you want a chat.

Kelly Butterfield, 2012 Cohort

The support on an admin and scientific level has been awesome but I should also highlight the excellent pastoral side of the CDT. When I had very grave familial problems everyone, from the administrative staff to the supervisors, were unbelievably supportive and generous with the flexibility I was given.

Stephen Hill, 2013 Cohort


Click on a name to find out more

Professor Varinder Aggarwal FRS

  • acyclic stereocontrol
  • organoboron chemistry
  • organometallic chemistry
  • catalytic asymmetric synthesis
  • synthesis of natural products

Professor Kevin Booker-Milburn

  • new synthetic methods for the synthesis of natural produc
  • photochemistry
  • radical chemistry
  • transition metal catalysis

Dr John Bower

  • development of novel asymmetric catalytic strategies
  • development of green processes (i.e. step economy, atom economy and selectivity)

Dr Craig Butts

  • NMR of complex chemical structures
  • reaction dynamics, kinetics and reactivity
  • computetional modelling

Professor Jonathan Clayden

  • new synthetic methods
  • organolithium chemistry
  • stereochemistry and conformational control
  • synthesis of biomimetic structures

Professor Matthew Crump

  • medicinal chemistry and biologics
  • structural biology using NMR and X-ray crystallography
  • application of chemical probes in biological systems

Professor Tony Davis

  • supramolecular chemistry
  • carbohydrate recognition
  • anion recognition and transport
  • crystal engineering
  • computer-aided molecular design

Professor Charl Faul

  • soft functional materials
  • self-assembly
  • conductive organic supramolecular materials
  • aniline-based conjugated materials

Dr Carmen Galan

  • oligosaccharide and glycoconjugate synthesis 
  • catalysis in carbohydrate chemistry
  • stereoselective glycosylation methods
  • nano-materials for glycobiology

Professor Tim Gallagher

  • novel synthetic chemistry and its application to medicinally important target systems
  • role and function of carbohydrates in biologically relevant environments

Professor Ian Manners

  • catalysis with main group substrates
  • reactive and functional inorganic molecules and polymers
  • inorganic block copolymers 
  • self-assembly
  • supramolecular materials
  • nanoscience

Professor Andrew Orr-Ewing

  • photochemical and reaction mechanisms of organic molecules in solution, on a range of timescales from femtosecond upwards
  • controlled use of photochemistry for synthesis

Professor Paul Pringle

  • design and synthesis of unusual organophosphorus compounds
  • applications of metal complexes in catalysis

Dr Chris Russell

  • coinage metal catalysis
  • main group elements as transition metals
  • phosphorus as a carbon copy

Professor Tom Simpson FRS

  • bio-organic and natural product chemistry, especially biosynthesis of polyketide antibiotics
  • synthesis of biologically active natural products and mycotoxins

Professor Duncan Wass

  • homogeneous catalysis
  • organometallic and coordination chemistry

Professor Chris Willis

  • new methods for the synthesis of natural products and molecules of biological interest
  • biotransformations
  • reaction mechanisms
  • isotopic labelling

Professor Dek Woolfson

  • protein sequence and 3-D structure
  • design and synthesis of non-natural peptides and proteins
  • peptide-based biosensors and materials for synthetic biology