Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Wills Group News and Visitors

April 2023 Well done Adam Cowden for successfully completing his PhD viva!

December 2022 Former PhD student Tom Hall, after representing GB in Archery at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo(!!) has won silver at the recent UK championships. Another Warwick student, James Woodgate (ranked no. 1 in the UK), won gold.

September 2022 Well done Shweta Gediya for successfully completing her PhD!

July 2022 Congratulations to Ye Zheng for successfully completing her PhD, and securing a job working in Chemistry!

June 2022 - Martin Wills, Peter Sadler and former PhD student James Coverdale are part of the team to win a Royal Society of Chemistry Horizon Prize for work on In-Cell Organometallic Redox Catalysis. The project started from a collaboration between Peter Sadler and Martin Wills and grew to involve over 20 national and international contributors. See the excellent RSC video here! With thanks to @RoySocChem and use the #RSCPrize for their help and support.

April 2022 - Congratulations to Sam Forshaw for successful completion of his PhD, and new Job at Sygnature.

January 2022 - Congratulations to Jon Barrios-Rivera for successful completion of his PhD, and new Job at Johnson Matthey.

7th October 2021 Congratulations Shweta Gediya for being selected to present her research at the Heterocyclic & Synthesis Group - 36th Postgraduate Symposium: Heterocyclic & Synthesis Group meeting on 7-8th October.

6th October 2021 - congratulations to Profs Ben List and David Macmillan for winning the chemistry Nobel 2021 for their fantastic work on asymmetric organocatalysis.

June 2021 -Well done Rob Messias for completing your MChem with a 1st!

January 2021- welcome to the group Will Scott (PhD student).

October 2020 - Welcome Noha Khamis (PhD student) and Rob Messias (MChem project student) to the group.

22nd July 2020 - Many congratulations to MChems Hannah, Mohammed and David on the successful completion of their MChems. And in style:

Hannah and David both won Andrew McCamley Prizes for Outstanding MChem Projects (2 out of the three awardees) and

Mohammed won the The Infineum Prize for Outstanding Overall Performance in MChem!

No pressure on the 2020-2021 MChems then...

24th June 2020 - back in the lab! Gradually getting up to speed again.

23rd March 2020 - no more labwork due to the global Coronovirus crisis!

November 2019. Group early Christmas lunch at Canopy, on Campus.

group lunch 281119

27th November 2019. Martin gave an invited lecture at York University.

October 2019. MChem project students Hannah, Mohammed and David join the group, as does Adam Cowden, an ASI CDT PhD student jointly supervised by Vas Stavros and Christophe Corre. Neelam Tiwari joins for a three month internship.

August 2019 Group trip to the Malvern Hills (great selfie by Shweta). Great day for a walk and a wonderful lunch provided by Vijyesh and Neelam.

Group Malverns 2019(C

Shweta, Vijyesh, Jon, Martin, Sam, Ye, Neelam.

July 2019 Group attend Dial-a-Molecule and Cambridge Synthesis conferences. Jon's paper features as cover on Organic Letters.

March 2019 Shaqueil, John-Paul and Matt finish their project work.

January 2019 Martin presents results at the UK Catalysis Conference in Loughborough.

December 2019 Group 10 pin bowling and meal enjoyed by all.

November 2018 we say goodby to Bharat after his 12 month fellowship with us and hello to Vijyesh Vyas - back in the group to complete his 24 month Newton International Fellowship!

October 2018 PhD Students Ye Zheng and Shweta Gediya join the group, as do MChem project students Shaqueil Amon-Ra, John-Paul Tyrrell and Matt Thornton.

August 2018 Martin presents results from the group at the EuCHEMS meeting in Liverpool 24-30th September 2018, in a poster and a talk.

April 2018 Welcome to Jaime Acosta from UFMG in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, who joins the group for two months as a visiting PhD student. Jaime is doing a PhD with Prof Luiz Claudio Almeida Barbosa at UFMG.

April 2018 - Rich Knighton wins a poster prize at the 2018 Dalton Conference held at Warwick from 3-5th April 2018. Caroline Storey, also in picture and a PhD student with Adrian Chaplin, also won a prize (photo reproduced with permission of A. Chaplin).


April 2018 Lisa Igel completes her MSc successfully. Well done Lisa.

March 2018 Martin contributes to a one day symposium on syntehtic chemistry and environmental analysis, and contributes to organisation of event, in Guiyang, China. With thanks to Golden Keys Material Company for organising and sponsoring the event.

February 2018 Thomas Brown successfully defends his thesis. Well done Thomas.

November 2017. Bharat Kumar Allam joins the group from India as a SERB fellow funded for 12 months to work on synthetic chemistry and asymmetric synthesis.

October 2017 - new PhD students Jonathan Barrios-Rivera and Sam Forshaw, and MChem students Luke Mailey and Zak Dualeh will join the group. Welcome folks.

September 19-21st 2017 - Martin attended a joint Warwick/UFMG workshop, and conference on catalysis, in Belo Horizonte Brazil., see for a report in Portuguese.

UFMG workshop 210917

September 2017 - Group trip to stonehenge - good suggestion by Vijyesh.

vijyesh stonehnege

August 2017 - Martin Wills and Jonathan Chew both attended the ACS National Meeting in Washington DC, presenting talks and posters.

July 2017 - Martin, Richard and Anish attended the Internation Conference on Synthesis in Oxford.

June -September 2017 - Vijyesh Vyas, a PhD student from ICT Mumbai, visited the group.

March 2017 - Dr Richard Knighton joined the group as a PDRA, and we said a sad goodbye to Alessandro - good luck in Germany Alessandro.

Jan 30th- March 10th 2017 - visiting student Asuka Matsunami from Tokyo Institute of Technology, joined the group.

January 4-6, 2017 - Martin presents a lecture at the UK Catalysis meeting, Loughborough.

December 2016-July 2017 - Martin Wills acted as head of department.

November 19-22nd 2017 - Martin attends a workshop at SUSTech, Shenzeng, China, with Richard walton, Jon Rourke, Peter O'Connor and Isolda Romero-Canelon.

SUSTech warwick photo

October 2016 - MSc(R) student Lisa Igel and PhD student Kate Tsatse joined the group. Also Anish Mistry joined us as a PDRA from Oct 2016-June 2017, as did MSChem student Raj Chauhan.

September 20th 2016 - Tom Hall presents a talk at the 31st Annual PG Symposium of the RSC Hetereocyclic and Synthesis Group at Sygnature Discovery, Nottingham.

August 2016 - welcome to Dr RenTa Jonathan Chew who joined the group for 24 months with a grant from A*STAR, Singapore.

April 2016 - Delphine Pichon from Rennes joins the group for four months as a visiting undergraduate student.

April 2016 - Lavrentis Galanoupoulos starts his six month ASMIT (Analytical Chemistry MSc) project in the group.

January 6-8th 2016, Martin and Alessandro present their results at the 2nd Catalysis Hub International Conference, held at Loughborough University.

October 29-30th 2015; Martin presents results from the group at 'Chira India 2015', a conference held in Mumbai, India, hosted by 'Chemical Weekly' - an India-based Chemistry periodical.

October 2015: MSc(R) student Sam Forshaw and MChem students Maddy, Alex and Ben join the group.

20-23rd July 2015, Martin, as well as PhD students Tom Hall and Thomas Brown, attend and present posters at the 24th Conference on Organic Synthesis, held at Churchill College, Cambridge.It was an excellent meeting.

June 2015 MChem Students Alex Matthews, Stuart Kennington and Michael Chu successfully complete their degrees, having worked on research projects in the group. Well done!

20th May 2015; Martin presented an invited lecture at the RSC Organic Division North-West Regional Meeting in Liverpool University.

January 2015: The UK Catalysis Hub's first Conference is held in Loughborough University. Martin is on the Organising committee for this meeting, and presented a lecture.

January 2015: Erasmus visitor Qi Zhang, a student at the University of Vienna, joins the group on a research project from January-June 2015.

October 2014: MChem students Alex Matthews, Stuart Kennington and Michael Chu join the group.

July 2014; Martin presented a lecture on the group's work on a tour of China, visiting the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry (SIOC), Wuhan University, the Fourth Military Medical Museum in Xi'an and The Chinese Academy of Sciences site for Chemistry in Beijing. With thanks to Professors Wenjun Tang (SIOC), Weiping Chen (Xi'an), Qinghua Fan (Beijing) and Xumu Zhang (Wuhan) - who also provided the original invitation to me to visit.

June 2014: MChem students Ben Mitchell, Dan Moore and Josh Humphreys successfully complete their degrees.

April 2014: ASMIT (PGT course) studentsShiyun Chen and Hyunju An join the group to undertake projects from April-Sept 2014.

26-28th Feb 2014, Martin presents an invited lecture at the Zing Asymmetic Synthesis conference in Nerja , Spain.

December 2013: PhD student Thomas Brown joins the group.

11-12th November 2013; Martin presented a lecture on the group's work at Chiral India 2013, Mumbai, India.

October 2013: PhD student Tom Hall and MChem students Ben Mitchell, Dan Moore and Josh Humphreys join the group.

September 2013: Zhijia Fang (Amphi) successfully completes his PhD viva.

1-4th July 2013, Martin, together with PhD students Katie Jolley, Rina Soni and Andrew Rawlings, present posters at the Internation Conferene on Organometallic Chemistry at St Andrews.

May-Sept 2013: James Fuster and Cassandra Felices complete short projects in the group.

13-15th May 2013, Martin presents a lecture at the Scientific Update conference on MODERN SYNTHETIC METHODS AND CHIRAL EUROPE 2013, held at the Radisson Blu HOtel in Edinburgh.

21st March 2013, Martin gave a lecture on the group's work at the University of Alicante. I was also involved in a thesis defence during the visit. With many thanks to Prof David Guijarro for the invitation and his wonderful hospitality.

February 2013: PhD student Alex Bisset successfully completes his viva.

13th December 2012, Martin gave a lecture at the Monash Institute of Pharmacy in Melbourne, as a part of a longer visit to Monash University. With thanks to the staff at Monash for making myself and my several Warwick colleagues so welcome.

7th December 2012, Martin gives a lecture at the Nanyang Technical University in Singapore, along with my colleagues Profs Greg Challis and Mike Shipman. With particular thanks to Profs Philip Chan, Rod Bates and Pak Hing Leung for organising everything and for their hospitality.

October 2012: MSc(R) student Andrew Rawlings joins the group, along with MChem student Tom Hall.

September 2012 PhD student (MOAC - funded) Vicky Marlow successfully completes her viva.

27-30th August 2012, Martin gave a submitted lecture at the EuCHEMS International Conference in Prague, speaking on 27/8/12.

2nd Feb 2012, Martin gave an invited lecture at the University of Galway.

19th December 2011; Martin gave an invited lecture at UCB Pharma in Slough.

October 2011: MChem students Alistair Wallace and Will Totty join the group.

29th September 2011, Martin gave an invited lecture at Leeds University.

September 2011: PhD Rina Soni successfully completes her PhD viva...and then starts as a postdoctoral researcher.

28th April 2011, Martin gave an invited lecture at the University of Stockholm. Also completed a viva defence in the role of the 'opponent'.

4th February 2011, Martin gave an invited lecture at Dublin City University.

9th-12 January 2011, Martin contributed talk to the 1st UK/China workshop on Green Chemistry and Catalysis in Beijing.

October 2010: PhD students Katie Jolley and Zhijia Fang (Amphi) join the group, along with MSc(R) student Charlotte Zammit. So do MChem students Jasmine Desmond and Peter Crane.

20th April 2010. Martin gives an invited lecture at the RSC Midlands Section Organic Chemistry meeting, held at Leicester University.

18th December 2009, Martin gives an invited lecture at Basel University,

17th December 2009, Martin gives an invited lecture at Solvias, Basel, Switzerland,

17th November 2009, Martin gives an invited lecture at Newcastle University.

October 2009: PhD students Muftah Darwish and Tarn Johnson join the group. So Does postdoc Jonathan Hopewell.

20-23rd July 2009. Poster presentations (3, by students) at the International Organic Synthesis conference at Oxford,

22-25th June 2009. Martin gave an invited lecture at the 18th European Conference on Organometallic Chemistry, Gothenburg.

Invited lecture; Nottingham University 29th April 2009

March 2009: PhD student Alex Bisset joins the group.

Invited lecture: Leicester University 25th Feb 2009. 

University of Glasgow, 16th December 2008.

Tokyo Institute of Technology 11th Dec 2008
Invited lecture at the UK-Japanese meeting on Asymmetric Catalysis, Kyoto, 7-9th December 2008.

WISER and links to hydrogen, CCS conference on sustainablity, 7th November 2008.

October 2008: PhD students Rina Soni and Vicky Marlow have joined the group. Vicky is a student on the EPSRC-funded MOAC CDT programme.

Invited lectures: Astrazeneca, Alderley Park, 28th May 2008.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Conference, NEC conference centre, 2nd April 2008.

RSC 1-day meeting on synthetic chemistry, Imperial College, London, 4th January 2008.

University of Loughborough, 28th November 2007.

University of StAndrews, 5th November 2007.

Submitted Lecture: American Chemical Society Annual Meeting, Boston, USA, 18-23 August 2007.

University of Toulouse, 15th June 2007.

Submitted Poster: Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Meeting on Heterocyclic Chemistry and Synthesis, Grasmere, 10-14th May 2007.

University of Southampton, 28th March 2007.

International University of Bremen, 29th January 2007.

Dow Chemicals, Cambridge, 24th January 2007.

University of Strathclyde, 1st November 2006.

UCB Pharma, Slough, 19th October 2006.

Lectures given during a visit to Australia: University of Sydney, 4th August 2006. University of New South Wales 8th August 2006. University of Wollongong, NSW, 14th August 2006. Australian National University, 24th August 2006. (Royal Society sponsored academic visit to University of Sydney from 1st – 30th August 2006; visiting scholar appointment held during this time)

University of Edinburgh 11th July 2006.

University of Glasgow 3rd July 2006.

University of Bath, 31st Jan 2006.

Lectures given during a short lecture tour of Japan: Kao Corposation (Wakayama, Japan,) 20th Feb 2006. Ajinomoto, Tokyo, 22nd Feb 2006, Tokyo Institute of Technology 23rd Feb 2006.

BASF, Ludwigshaven, 7th February 2006,
Bayer, Frankfurt 8th Feb 2006.

Invited lecture: Chiral Europe, Cambridge, May 9th-11th 2005.

ACS National Meeting, San Diego, 13-17th March 2005

International conference on Facilitating Asymmetric Syntheses and Technologies (FAST 2004), PeterHouse, Cambridge 17th-19th March 2004; organised by Johnson-Matthey chemicals.

Older news with some photos:

July-September 2009 Professor David Guijarro, from the University of Alicante, visited the group to learn about tethered complexes and the wonderful British Summer weather. Here's David with Katherine, Vimal, Eduardo, Muftah, Charles, Dave (Morris) and Rina.



July 2009 - Group attends Oxford Meeting on Organic Synthesis. An excellent conference. Note the difference between the picture when the boss is there and when he is away...


above: Charles, Martin, Muftah, Vimal, Alex, Rina, Eduardo, Tarn, Thomas. Dave.


July 2009 Tethered Ru catalysts for asymmetric transfer hydrogenation now commercially available:

Copy of ts_teth_rucl_3.jpg


February 2009 Visit of Hydrogen powered fuel cell car.

Not often you see a hydrogen powered car in the UK. The car made a stop at Warwick between refuelling at Birmingham and Loughborough. One picture shows M Wills with Robert Hudson, the hydrogen project programme manager.


October 2008: Visit of Professor M Shibasaki, University of Tokyo.

Many thanks to Professor Shibasaki for including us in his RSC Centenary medal award tour. It was great to have you at Warwick and to hear about your recent outstanding results.


Sept 2008: Hydrogen Consortium Announced

Professor Wills is a member of a 14 member consortium of academics in 13 universities which has recently been awarded a grant of ca. £5m over 4 years from EPSRC (EP/G01244X/1) to support research into the development of hydrogen as an energy vector. The programme will include research programmes into chemical and electrical generation of hydrogen using sustainable methods, as well as the integration of these processes into the overall hydrogen cycle, the conversion of hydrogen and by products into feedstocks and fuels, and the study of the socio-econmic implications of the hydrogen energy economy. Scientists in the consortium span departments from right across engineering, physical and social sciences. In addition to Warwick these are StAndrews, Newcastle, Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham, Heriot-Watt, Brunel, Leeds, Imperial College, Manchester, Cardiff and Strathclyde. An important component of the work of the group, which will be known as the 'SUPERGEN: Delivery of S ustainable Hydrogen' consortium will be to increase the public profile of hydrogen energy research through Knowledge Transfer and outreach events.

further details please contact Martin Wills ( or John Irvine (jtsi@st-and,



August 2007: American Chemical Society Meeting in Boston, MA. Attended by Lin and Eduardo, who both presented posters, and Martin, who gave a lecture.

March 2007: Fung Kei (Kathy) Cheung represents the group and Warwick at the SCI Postgraduate meeting in UCL on 29th March 2007. Kathy gave an excellent talk on the design of new catalysts and kinetic and mechanistic studies. This was a part of a annual series of meetings organised by the SCI. Kathy is shown with her supporters below. Well done Kathy!

kathy london mar 2007

December 2006: Highest cited papers from Warwick Chemistry, 2004-2006: Papers from the Wills group were placed in 1st and 7th position in an analysis of number of citations for all papers with a Warwick CHemistry academic as principle author in the period 2004-6. Our JACS 2004 (vol 126 pp 986-7) paper by Hannedouche, Clarkson and Wills has gained 42 citations since publication and was the highest cited paper from the department from 2004-2006 and the 2005 paper (JACS, vol 127, pp7318-9) by Hayes, Morris, Clarkson and Wills had 20, placing it in 7th position overall. We hope that this reflects the health of asymmetric catlaysis worldwide. Thanks for all the hard work from terrific group members.


August 2006 - Professor Wills appointed visiting Scholar at the University of Sydney from 30th July-30th August 2006. Collaborative research work undertaken in the area of computational molecular modelling in the research group of Professor Leo Radom. With thanks to Professor Radom and Dr Bun Chan for their help and advice during the visit and to the Royal Society for Financial Support. In addition, lectures given by M. Wills at Sydney University, University of New South Wales, Wollongong University and the Australian National University, with thanks to Drs Matt Todd, Dr John Stride, Prof Steve Pyne, Prof Martin Banwell and Prof Tony Hill for organisation and hospitality during the visits. There was also time for some tourism so enjoy the pictures below...

The bridge and the Opera House.


The Great Barrier reef:


Just to prove I was actually there!


March 2006 - Professor T. Ikariya visits Warwick and other parts of the UK. With thanks to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for support.

February 2006 - Lecture tour of Japan by Prof Wills- talks at Kao Corporation (Wakayama), Ajinomoto (Tokyo) and Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo):


July 2005 - visit by Professor R. Pilli from UNICAMP in Brazil, with thanks to the Royal Society for Financial Support (Prof Pilli is second from left, back row).


March 2005 - Group visit to ACS meeting in San Diego. Posters by Glynn Williams, Andy Xu and Aidan Hayes. Talks presented by Martin Wills and Aidan Hayes.





please let me know if there's something else I need to add. Thanks, MW.