2019-05-21 HW ICS 005From left to right:
Dominic Taylor, Chris Thomson, Cathryn Shepherd, Filipe Vilela, Mary Jones, Manos Broumidis and John Tobin

Dr. Filipe Vilela


Dr Filipe Vilela under the supervision of Prof. David C Sherrington FRS completed in 2008 his PhD in the field of polymer chemistry at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, where he studied “The Strathclyde Methodology in Suspension Polymerisation – Synthesis of novel branched copolymers”. Following this, Filipe joined the group of Prof. Peter J. Skabara at the University of Strathclyde to research organic electronics. He remained here until January 2011, when he became the research group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (MPI), Potsdam, Germany, under Prof. Markus Antonietti. Whilst at MPI Filipe worked on “Organic Energy Molecules – Development of Nanostructure Materials for Energy Storage, Conversion and Catalysis” and supervised 5 post-doctoral fellows. In 2013, Filipe joined Heriot-Watt university as a Lecturer in Chemistry. Filipe is currently an Assistant Professor and postgraduate student coordinator at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, with research interests centred on developing photoactive polymers for photocatalytic applications, with special focus on application under flow conditions.  

Cathryn Shepherd


Research Project: 1,3,4,2-Dioxazaboroles in Dynamic Covalent Chemistry

Cathryn was born in Huntly, a small town in the northeast of Scotland and began her chemical journey at the young age of 7, when she started creating 'potions' in her parents garden shed. After school Cathryn then began her MChem degree at Heriot-Watt University and graduated in 2016 after completing her Masters project in the upper-rim functionalisation of calix[4]arenes, supervised by Dr. Scott Dalgarno. Continuing at Heriot-Watt university, she then began her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Gareth Lloyd, before moving to the Vilela group after Dr. Lloyd moved to the Lincoln University. In her spare time, Cathryn enjoys bouldering, long summer walks and gardening.

Manos Broumidis


Research Project: Development of Hydroxamic Acid-Based Materials for Homogeneous (Photo)Catalytic Applications

Manos studied at the University of Athens, Greece where he graduated with a BSc in Chemistry. His Diploma capstone research project took place under the supervision of Prof. Gimisis and focused on the organic synthesis of potential inhibitors of glycogen phosphorylase. He participated in the EU-funded Erasmus+ traineeship program as a research intern at the University of Cyprus with Prof. Koutentis, focusing on the organic synthesis of Canthin-4-one alkaloids. His CRITICAT PhD project will focus on the development of hydroxamic acid-based hosted catalysts enabled by mechanochemistry and flow chemistry techniques. In particular, catalysis enhancement will be achieved using supramolecular cage encapsulation, photocatalysis along with computational chemistry guidance. Besides chemistry, Manos enjoys reading science fiction, motorbike trips and trying out new beers.

Mary Jones


Research Project: Supramolecular and Polymeric Gel Materials Enabled By and Enabling, Photochemical Transformations

Mary grew up on a wee island off the coast of Scotland, she graduated from Heriot-Watt University in 2018 with a first class honours in MChem Chemistry with a European Language and was awarded the Watt Club Medal. As an integral part of her degree she completed an Erasmus+ year in Spain, where she worked with Dr Olga Crespo on the synthesis of copper complexes and the study of their emissive properties. On return to Heriot-Watt she studied thermoelectric materials under the supervision of Dr Jan-Willem Bos. In October 2018 she joined the Vilela group, working on combining the disciplines of gel materials and photocatalysis, in collaboration with Dr Gareth O. Lloyd. In her spare time, Mary enjoys travelling, dancing and spending time with friends.

Dominic Taylor


Research Project: Development of Novel Molecular and Polymer Supported Photocatalysts Utilising Calixarene Chemistry

Dominic completed his MChem in chemistry with materials at Heriot-Watt University in 2018 graduating with first class honours and winning the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) prize. For his final year project he focused on the development of polymer supported photoredox catalysis under the supervision of Dr. Filipe Vilela. He is currently undertaking a PhD as part of the CRITICAT PhD. program, focusing on developing novel supramolecular and polymer supported photocatalysts under the supervision of Dr. Vilela and Dr. Scott Dalgarno. Legends say that if Dominic ever stops workings he enjoys filling this "spare time" by cooking and listening to very loud music.

Chris Thomson


Research Project: Polymer Supported Photocatalysis for Organic Transformations In Flow

Chris was born in Paisley, Scotland, but grew up near Grassington in the Yorkshire Dales, England. After A-levels and working part time as a Commis Chef, he returned to Scotland and obtained his MChem Chemistry with Biochemistry degree, as well as the William H Perkin Prize for organic chemistry, from Heriot-Watt University. He spent his final year developing heterogeneous organic photoredox catalysts for organic synthesis under the supervision of Dr Filipe Vilela. His PhD will see him return to the VilelaLAB under the joint supervision of Dr Ai-Lan Lee and Dr Vilela, to continue developing photoactive materials for organic synthesis. Besides the PhD, Chris enjoys playing guitar, cooking, travelling and going to gigs.

Former Group Members

Dr. John Tobin - MChem. Student, PhD. Student, PDRA (2015 - 2019)
Blair Kennedy - MChem. Student(2018 - 2019)
Matthew Thornton - MChem. Student (2018 - 2019)
Reece MacDiarmid - MChem. Student(2018 - 2019)
Lousie-Marie Craigie - BSc. Student (2017 - 2018)
Sarah Holzer - Erasmus (2016 - 2017)
Martin Demleitner - Erasmus (2015 - 2016)
Roman Steinbach - Erasmus(2016 - 2017)