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Prof Kevin Lam

Prof. Kevin Lam

The University of Greenwich

13:00 - 14:00

Weds 6 March 2024


Prof. Lam joins us as an invited speaker.

This is a departmental seminar for all students and staff. Please come along. Refreshments will be provided at 14:00 outside PLT.

If you would like to talk to Prof. Man about his research outside of the seminar, please contact our host, Dr Bora Karasula,Link opens in a new windowLink opens in a new window who can make arrangements,

Your Chemistry has got Potential: Highly reactive intermediates without the “bang”

Prof Kevin Lam

The University of Greenwich, School of Science, Chatham Maritime, ME4 4TB, UK opens in a new window


Synthetic organic electrochemistry has its roots in the classic work of Faraday and Kolbe on the electrolysis of aliphatic carboxylic acids. Although a large number of transformations have been developed since then, many of which have been successfully applied in various industrial processes, the potential of preparative organic electrochemistry remains underestimated. However, the growing impetus to find greener and more cost-effective alternatives to traditional synthetic methods has recently led to the development of novel electrosynthetic methods.

In this talk we will present new, safe, green, affordable and efficient ways to generate highly reactive organic intermediates such as iso(thio)cyanates, isocyanides, orthoesters or even diazo compounds! We will also discuss their scale-up using flow electrosynthesis and demonstrate their real-world application in the pharmaceutical industry by reviewing case studies carried out with GSK, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.


In 2010, Kevin Lam received his PhD in Medicinal and Synthetic Organic Chemistry from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, under the supervision of Professor Istvan Marko. His doctoral work explored the use of electrochemistry and photochemistry as green alternatives to activate organic molecules. This work resulted in the development of a new radical-based deoxygenation reaction (the Lam-Marko reaction).

After his PhD, he moved to the University of Vermont (UVM). His research focused on applying analytical/physical electrochemistry alongside spectroscopy to study the complex redox behaviour of organometallic compounds.

This work bolstered the use of weakly coordinating electrolytes/solvents as an electrochemical medium to allow for the generation and characterisation of highly reactive and unstable 17e- organometallic radical-cations. Additional work at UVM led to the pioneering of a new method to modify electrode surfaces through an ethynyl linkage. The covalent attachment of molecules to an electrode surface is fundamental to the field of molecular electronics and numerous material applications.

In 2013, accepted a position of Assistant Professor at Nazarbayev University in Astana. During his time in Kazakhstan, Kevin developed a new research program in the field of Molecular Electrochemistry. His work led to the development of new organometallic anticancer compounds as well as to the discovery of novel, efficient and green electrocatalysts for CO2 recycling.

In 2023, Kevin was promoted to Professor of Synthetic Electrochemistry at the University of Greenwich in the UK, where he continues his interdisciplinary research.