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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.


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. 




Dale Lyons (CUROP Summer student)

Vladimir Valdimirov (CUROP Summer student)
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 during the summer between his second and third year, looking at the applications of Boron Lewis acids as catalysts in organic reactions, before embarking on a placement year within the pharmaceutical industry. He has now been awarded a CUROP bursary to join the group again for further two months and investigate boron compounds in catalysis. 


Kayla Trafford (Summer student)
Kayla is a third year, undergraduate chemistry student at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Canada. Her previous lab experience with Dr. Yuri Bolshan involved the formation of azides from alcohols through a carbocation intermediate. She will be joining us for three months this summer.



Ioli Howard (CDT RSI project student)

Matthew Conway (CDT RSI project student)
Matthew was born in Manchester and graduated from the University of Warwick in 2016. During his undergraduate degree he took part in a four-month research exchange programme with Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Whilst there he worked under the supervision of Dr Dragoslav Vidović on a carbone-stabilised Lewis acidic phosophorus(III) species. His MChem project was supervised by Professor Rachel O’Reilly and investigated the self-assembly behaviour of poly(norbornenes) synthesised by post-polymerisation modification. He joined the CDT in Catalysis in October 2016 and is currently studying the use of phosphocations in metal-free catalysis joint with Dr Newman.
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)

You can find Dr. Melen on ResearchGate here.
Honorary Group Members:
research Students:
Postdocs: