2016 Cohort


  • Adam Stephens

Adam graduated with an MSci at the University of Bristol in 2016. He is an iCase Student researcher at the BCFN, working jointly with Syngenta PLC, investigating the naturally occurring waxes found upon the surfaces of plant leaves and seeds. The work will investigate the properties and the significance of these "epicuticular" waxes and the roles they have in the life of seeds, from wax coating formation to the last stages of germination. Using Atomic Force Spectroscopy, the plant surfaces and their waxes will be characterise to identify their nano-mechanical properties and structure. Building upon previous study, the waxes will be isolated and reconstituted upon model surfaces to investigate the crystalline structure of the surface waxes.

PhD Project: Biophysical properties of plant surface waxes: Composition, morphology, responsive properties and functionality

Primary Supervisor: Dr Terry McMaster


  • Sian Fussell

    Sian graduated from the University of Bath in 2016 with a Masters degree in Chemistry. Her interest in research came from her industrial placement at Infineum UK, a company that specialises in fuel and engine oil additives. Her Masters project was studying surfactant self-assembly in deep eutectic solvents. As part of the BCFN Sian has been involved in two short projects, the first looking at ion pumped colloidal motors, which have applications as drug delivery systems and for biological modelling. The second project studying colloidal aggregation in the presence of electrolytes. Her main research interests are in the areas of self-assembly, surfactant chemistry, colloids and small angle scattering. 

    PhD Project: Hierarchical hydrogels as potential injectable tissue scaffolds

    Primary Supervisor: Dr Jeroen van Duijneveldt

    Secondary Supervisor: Dr Paddy Royall

  • Victoria Hamilton

    Victoria Hamilton joined the BCFN in October 2016 having just completed her MPhys at the University of Bath. Her masters placement took place in the low-dimensional materials group at NTT in Japan, working on developing the CVD growth and characterisation of hexagonal boron nitride. Since joining the BCFN she has explored the synthesis of ionic monomers for colloidal motors and the motion of nanoparticles within a microfluidic device with an aim to simulate brain tissue. She is keen to focus on research involving advanced characterisation methods and those with potential medical applications.

    PhD Project: Identification of new polymorphs of pharmaceutical crystals at the nanoscale

    Primary Supervisor: Dr Simon Hall

    Secondary Supervisor: Dr Sean Davis

  • Corrigan Hicks

    Corrigan graduated from Newcastle University in 2016 with an MChem. In her final year project she designed and synthesised DNA intercalators for applications in nanoelectronics. She joined the BCFN to develop new skills and explore different areas and applications of nanomaterials and would like to pursue a PhD project involving life sciences. Outside of the lab, Corrigan enjoys reading, travelling to new places and embroidery.

    PhD Project: Nanoscale homing vectors for regenerative engineering

    Primary Supervisor: Dr Adam Perriman

    Secondary Supervisor: Prof Constanza Emanueli

  • Lauren Matthews

    Lauren graduated from the University of Bath in 2015 with a MChem degree in Chemistry with Industrial Placement. She spent her placement year at IDBS, in Guildford, testing new versions of E-WorkBook, a scientific software. During her final year at Bath, she worked in Professor Gareth Price’s group studying stimuli-responsive block copolymers. Her previous experience in macromolecular chemistry lead to her interest in self-assembly, which she will be studying during her PhD project. In her spare time Lauren likes to watch YouTube videos, play video games and listen to music.

    PhD Project: Non-aqueous gels: Self-assembly, stability and Hofmeister series (Industrial)

    Primary Supervisor: Dr Wuge Briscoe

    Secondary Supervisor: Prof Paul Bartlett

  • Marco Mendoza

    Marco studied his BSc in Physics at the School of Physics and Mathematics, at the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon. Formerly in charge of operating an atomic force microscope (NT-MDT NTGRA Prima) has given him experience in the field of biophysics by handling a diverse range of inorganic and biological samples. Examples of these specimens are cancerous cells, wide range of bacterias, a variety of nanomaterials. This experience resulted in a collaboration for the article "Isolation of Bdellovibrio sp. from soil samples in Mexico and their potential applications in control of pathogens". He wishes to further expand his knowledge in biophysics, molecular biology, and nanomaterials while looking for potential applications in biomedicine.

    PhD Project: Design of protein nanoparticles for membrane interaction and disruption

    Primary Supervisor: Dr Fabio Parmeggiani

    Secondary Supervisor: Dr Wuge Briscoe



  • Ben Pichai

    Ben (Supakit) graduated from Chiang Mai University, Thailand in 2014 with BSc in Chemistry. His works were about synthesizing CeVO4 nano particles by sonochemical process. After he was granted the scholarship to study aboard, he decided to study an MSc in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Birmingham in 2015. Working under the supervision of Dr Yu-Lung Chiu, his project involved nano-mechanical testing on Titanium alloys. Outside of his studies, Ben enjoys playing with computers, gaming, reading, travelling and occasional summer sports.

    PhD Project: Antimicrobial nanomaterials: From bacterial membrane structure to antibacterial chiral nanoparticle (CAN) toolkit

    Primary Supervisor: Dr Wuge Briscoe

    Secondary Supervisor: Dr Carmen Galan

  • Christian Romero

    Christian Romero graduated with a Diploma in Electronic Engineering from the Army Polytechnic School of Quito in Ecuador. He also has an MBA in Project Management from the National Polytechnic School of Quito. He has been working for the industry of Telecommunications for the private and Government sectors for more than 10 years. He joined the BCFN to return to academia and pursue his keen interest in Nanotechnology.  Now he is learning new cultures and meeting interesting people during his studies. In his free time, he enjoys swimming, cycling, reading books and travelling.

    PhD Project: 3D-printed graphene-based electroactive gels for flexible energy storage

    Primary Supervisor: Prof Charl Faul

    Secondary Supervisor: Prof Jonathan Rossiter

  • Angela Suriyakumaran

    Angela graduated from the University of Hull with a MChem in Chemistry with Nanotechnology, in which she investigated the synthesis of liquid crystal nanoparticle hybrids for her final year project. Since moving to the BCFN, she has undertaken a project using microfluidic devices to investigate the use of nanoparticles as drug delivery systems for the treatment of glioblastoma, as well as, a project in synthesising inorganic-organic matrices for the use of CO2 capture. Her PhD project covers tamper-proof enclosures for the use of arms control verification sponsored by the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE); this will see her working in both the department of Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry. When she isn't studying or travelling, Angela enjoys cooking, going to the gym and volunteering for St. John Ambulance.  

    PhD Project: Tamper-evident materials for nuclear decommissioning security (Industrial)

    Primary Supervisor: Dr Tony Croxford

    Secondary Supervisor: Dr Sean Davis

  • Alicja Szczepanska

    Alicja joined the BCFN in 2016 after obtaining an MSc in Nanotechnology from Gdansk University in Poland, where she worked on synthesis and physical properties of Nd6-xYxCo1.67Si3 solid solution. She also spent a year in Switzerland working on electrodeposition of carbon nanotubes onto carbon fibres. Outside of the lab Alicja enjoys travelling and hiking.

    PhD Project: Electrochemically Self-assembled Nanoalloys

    Primary Supervisor: Dr Natasa Vasiljevic

    Secondary Supervisor: Dr Neil Fox

  • Esther Townsend

    Esther obtained a BSc in Chemistry with Psychology from Keele University in 2014, before moving to Bristol to study an MRes with Prof. Charl Faul. Her research project involved studying the liquid crystal behaviour of polymerisable oligo(aniline)s. After graduating in 2016, Esther joined the BCFN and has since undertaken two short projects investigating the micellar behaviour of bulky electrolytes with Prof. Paul Bartlett and plasmonic gold nanoantennas with Dr. Henkjan Gersen and Dr. Simon Hall. Her current interests involve the self-assembly behaviour of electroactive amphiphiles in the presence of lipid templates.

    PhD Project: Electroactive amphiphiles for functional templated gels

    Primary Supervisor: Prof Charl Faul

    Secondary Supervisor: Dr Annela Seddon

  • Gary Wan

    Gary joined the BCFN in 2016 after obtaining his Undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of Bristol. During his Undergraduate project he worked on synthesis and thermionic emission of diamond for energy conversion with Dr. Neil Fox. He is particularly interested in energy related materials and hopes to pursue his PhD in this area. 

    PhD Project: Title TBC

    Primary Supervisor: Dr Neil Fox

2016 PhD and MSc cohorts

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