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Advancing Main Group Chemistry
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Adam Ruddy (PDF: 2016-)
Adam obtained his BSc from the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada in 2009 while working under the direction on Professor Kim Baines. Adam subsequently completed his PhD at Dalhousie University under the direction of Professor Laura Turculet in 2014 where his work focused on the synthesis and catalytic applications of transition metal complexes supported by mixed neutral donor polydentate ligands. Following his PhD, Adam undertook a postdoctoral research position at the University of Toronto under the guidance of Professor Doug Stephan where his work focused on the commercialization of research published within the group, as well as the development of new materials for use in the semiconductor industry. Adam joined the Melen group in November 2016 and is focused on the development of main group catalysts for applications in asymmetric catalysis.  


Imtiaz Kahn (PDF: 2016-) Joint with Dr. Morrill http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/themorrillgroup/
Imtiaz Khan studied chemistry (specialized in Organic Chemistry) at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan where he developed five-and six-membered bioactive heterocycles for their potential applications against Alzheimer’s disease. He completed his Ph.D degree at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom under the supervision of Prof. Hon Wai Lam where he focused on the development of new synthetic methodologies involving C‒H functionalization of inert bonds. Following his postdoctoral studies in the same group for 1 year, he joined the Morrill and Melen groups at Cardiff University in 2016 as a postdoctoral fellow. Imtiaz will be working on a collaborative research project exploring the productive merger of organocatalysis with frustrated Lewis pairs.

Jan Wenz (PDF: 2018-) Jan was born in 1989 in Heidelberg where he studied at the Ruprecht Karls University to obtain his Bachelors and Masters degree in chemistry with focus on organometallic chemistry and homogeneous catalysis. He completed his Ph.D degree under the supervision of Prof. Lutz H. Gade where he focused on the development of new NNN Pincer ligands and their application in asymmetric catalysis. Now a part of the Melen research group at the Cardiff University.


Lewis C. Wilkins (PhD: 2015-)
2010-2014 University of East Anglia, UK (MChem, BA)
Lewis was born in 1989 in Norwich (UK) where he studied at the University of East Anglia (2010-2014) to obtain his Bachelors and Masters degree (1st class honours) in chemistry. His final year project with Prof. Simon Lancaster concerned the functionalisation of diiron dithiolate hydrogenase species with the aim of increasing catalytic turnover and efficiency. Now a part of the Melen research group at the  Cardiff University, Lewis is investigating the use of boron Lewis acids in organic transformations.

You can find Lewis on LinkedIn here


Hugh Hamilton (PhD: 2015-)
​2009-2014 University of Edinburgh, UK (MChem, BSc) 
Hugh studied at the University of Edinburgh, where he obtained his Bachelors and Masters degree in chemistry with environmental and sustainable chemistry. He spent one year of his degree at the University of Alicante, Spain, as an Erasmus student, where he worked for Dr. Diego Alonso, exploring the synthesis of asymmetric organocatalysts using Buchwald-Hartwig cross-coupling reactions. His final year project with Dr. Jason Love concerned Schiff-base macrocyclic zirconium complexes (“Pacman” complexes) for small molecule activation. He is currently a student in the Catalysis CDT joint between Bath/Bristol/Cardiff. 

Yashar Soltani (PhD: 2015-)
2013-2015 M.Sc. (first class) 
2009-2013 B.Sc. Chemistry (first class)
2006-2009 B.Sc. (German "Vordiplom") Biochemistry (first class) Goethe University
Yashar was born in Teheran/Iran in 1985 and migrated to Germany in 1989. He grew up in Frankfurt am Main/Germany where he studied for his BSc and MSc degrees. His BSc Thesis with Prof. Thomas Prisner
investigated PELDOR simulation of trityl-nitroxide biradicals while his Masters Thesis project with Prof. Matthias Wagner investigated the synthesis and Lewis acidic properties of heteroleptic triarylboranes.

Darren Ould (PhD: 2016-)
Darren attained his Master’s in Chemistry at Cardiff University (2012-2016), achieving First-class honours. His final year project was under the supervision of Dr Benjamin Ward and focussed on using Group 13 complexes (principally aluminium) for catalysing polymerisation reactions. Darren achieved a number of awards during his undergraduate degree, with highlights including ‘Excellent MChem Research Project’ and ‘Outstanding MChem Degree Performance’. Now working as part of the Melen Group as a PhD student, Darren is currently investigating the catalytic abilities of a range of Group 15 Lewis acidic compounds. 


Jamie Carden (PhD: 2017-)
Jamie studied for his Master’s degree at Cardiff University (2012-2016), where he achieved 1st class honours. As part of his undergraduate studies, he undertook an Erasmus year at the University of Oulu, Finland, where he investigated oxidative additions of ditellurides to platinum whilst under the supervision of Professor Risto Laitinen. His Master’s thesis, under the supervision of Dr. Paul Newman, focused on the synthesis of novel expanded ring N-heterocyclic carbenes and their corresponding trimetallic complexes. Jamie then undertook a Master of Research in Catalysis (2016-2017), as part of the CDT in Catalysis doctoral training programme between the University of Bath, the University of Bristol, and Cardiff University. This year included research projects with Professor Duncan Wass at the University of Bristol, and Regius Professor Graham Hutchings in the Cardiff Catalysis Institute. Jamie is now a PhD student in the Melen group, investigating the catalytic properties of Frustrated Lewis Pairs via the use of enabling technologies joint with Duncan Browne (Cardiff) and Duncan Wass (Bristol).


Dale Lyons (MChem)

Lukas Gierlichs (MChem) 
Lukas joins the group to undertake his final year MChem project joint with Duncan Browne. He has recently returned from Canada where he undertook work in electrochemical characterisation of fuel cell catalysts under Prof. Brad Easton, he is now exploring Frustrated Lewis Pair catalysts using enabling technologies.

Thomas Sutcliffe (MChem)
Tom will complete his MChem degree with the Melen group in 2017/18 academic year. Previously spending his year abroad at Monash University in Melbourne, working under Prof. Cameron Jones on synthesising bulky N donor ligands for group 2 hydride complexes. He will now investigate novel chiral borocation complexes and their reactivity.

Vladimir Valdimirov (MChem)
Vladimir is originally from Bulgaria and is currently pursuing an MChem degree at Cardiff University. He is a high achieving and ambitious student whose interests encompass the applications of Lewis acid catalysis in the transformations of organic molecules. He worked in the group over the last two summers through RSC and CUROP awards. Now he will investigate boron compounds in catalysis. 

Jennifer Boerger (ERASMUS)
Jennifer is a chemistry student from Münster, Germany. She is in her second year of her MSc. She wrote her bachelor thesis in the group of Prof. J. Müller about metal-mediated base pairs. Now she is joining the group for three month for an internship joint with Dr Newman. She is interested in photoluminescence adducts of boronic acids. After her internship, she will write her master thesis in the group of Dr Fabian Dielmann about electron rich phosphorus compounds.

Emily Tansley (BSc)



PhD Students:
Melen Research Group 
The Boss:
Dr. Rebecca L. Melen
2004-2012 University of Cambridge, UK (PhD, MA, MSci, BA)
2012-2013 University of Toronto, Canada (postdoc)
2013-2014 Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany (Humboldt fellow)
2014-2017 Cardiff University, UK (Lecturer)
2017-        Cardiff University, UK (Senior Lecturer)

Honorary Group Members:
research Students:
Postdocs: