Student Achievements

While studying at the University, many of our postgraduate students participate in other projects and events in addition to their thesis work; writing papers, attending conferences, and winning awards, making a mark both nationally and worldwide. This page showcases some of the most recent achievements by our students.

June 2017

Michael Nolan (Chemistry) from the Dave Adams group published an article as first author in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A on his work with using low molecular weight gelators for photocatalytic hydrogen evolution ( Michael has been successful at writing proposals for experiments at both the ISIS (Didcot, UK) and NCNR neutron facilities (Maryland, USA), where he has been awarded a total of 8 days of beam time.

Joanna Mosses (Chemistry) for the Wynne group has a paper in Scientific Reports ( showing that n-butanol forms a liquid crystalline phase on supercooling. This liquid crystalline phase is special in that it is not in between the liquid and the crystal but instead frustrates the formation of the (thermodynamically more stable) crystal.

Stuart Ruddell (Chemistry) from the France research group won the poster competition during the recent Royal Society of Chemistry meeting on Chemical Biology that was hosted here at the University. His poster on the resistance of nematodes to the anthelmintic ivermectin beat of competition from 30 other posters from across the UK.

Judith Reichenbach (Chemistry) from the Wynne group has a paper in the high impact publication, the Journal of the American Chemistry Society, ( on dynamics in ionic liquids showing the importance of optical phonon like motions in these liquids and their modification by hydrogen bonding.

Richard Cziva (Computing Science) had a publication accepted to the ACM/IEEE ANCS conference and had a book chapter accepted for ‘Guide to Security in SDN and NFV - Challenges, Opportunities, and Applications’.

Xiaoyu Xiong (Computing Science) had a paper ‘Adaptive Multiple Importance Sampling’ accepted by the ‘Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation’.

Ali Al-Kayiem (Engineering) has published two articles on his research since 2016: ‘Numerical investigation of a looped-tube travelling-wave thermoacoustic engine with a by-pass pipe’ in ‘Energy’ and ‘Using a side-branched volume to tune the acoustic field in a looped-tube travelling wave thermoacoustic engine with a RC load’ in ‘Energy Conversion and Management’.

Veronica Garcia Caballero (Engineering) won the first place poster presentations during the XIV Symposium of Mexican Students and Studies with her poster "Sintering of Piezoelectric Materials through the Conventional Ceramic Method".

Victor Ibarra Chavez was part of the runner-up team in the MVLS Science Den competition. His team presented their pitch for a start-up company which hoped to develop a device offering rapid and precise diagnosis of specific bacteria in an attempt to offer personalised antibiotic treatment, to help reduce the incidence of antibiotic resistance.

Hafiz Osman (Engineering) filed a patent entitled ‘Ultrasonic device having large radiating area’.

Alessandro Peloni (Engineering) published an article on his solar sail research in the Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics: and has had a further article accepted.

Mihnea Turcanu (Engineering) won a £5,000 prize/grant won at the Minimally Invasive Endoscopy Workshop organised by Sonopill in March 2017, to conduct an experiment on Therapeutic Capsule Endoscopy and won best poster prize at the Scottish Ultrasound Group, Edinburgh, March 2017.

Maricela Blair (Geographical and Earth Sciences) had her literature review published in Springer Science Reviews. Springer Science Reviews features literature reviews by outstanding PhD students and early career researchers in life, biomedical and related sciences. Maricela’s research is on microplastics in freshwater and wastewater treatment systems. Microplastics are emerging contaminants and little is known of their presence in freshwaters so this review is important in increasing understanding.

Eilidh Jack (Mathematics and Statistics) won a prize for the best presentation at the Research Students Conference (RSC) in Probability and Statistics held from April 18th-21st in Durham University.

Eilidh Jack and Suzy Whoriskey (Mathematics and Statistics) attended a two-day workshop for PhD students at the beginning of April run by atass sports in Exeter, to give an insight into the work they do in sport modelling. Both Eilidh and Suzy won awards for the best sports models they created.

Chiara Garbellotto (Physics and Astronomy) of the Imaging Concepts Group won best poster prize at the SUPA Annual Gathering held in Edinburgh in May, for her poster entitled ‘Spatial Light Modulated Selective Plane Illumination Microscope (SPIM)’.

February 2017

Merle Ahrens from Psychology has been selected to present at the prestigious Visual Sciences Society’s Seventeenth Annual General Meeting in May 2017. Her paper is entitled ‘Investigating the neural correlates of automatic attention shifts of electroencephalography’.

Wilhelmiina Toivo from Psychology was shortlisted in an ESRC science writing competition ( for her article ‘Swearing “like f**k” and other stories of feeling less in your second language’  and has been invited to the awards ceremony in London in March.

Excellent conference publications for Yuan Fajie, Foteini Katsarou and Jing Wang including a best student paper award for Fajie and a high impact journal publication for Xiaoyu Xiong, all from Computing Science.

September 2016

James Fitton (along with Jim Hansom) has been awarded a grant to create a version of James Coastal Erosion Susceptibility Model to be used by SEPA and local authorities.

Matthew Goodman (GES) was the joint winner of the Notes and Records of the Royal Society Essay Prize, for his paper ‘Proving instruments credible in the early nineteenth century: the British Magnetic Survey and site-specific experimentation’. It has since been accepted for publication in the Notes and Records of the Royal Society.

Diarmaid Kelliher has published a paper:  “Constructing a culture of solidarity: London and the British coalfields in the long 1970s” in Antipode. He co-organised with Catherine Grant (Sussex) a two-day symposium ‘Pride and its Precursors: Political Mimesis, Nostalgic Dissidence and Popular Film’, at Birkbeck.

Hazel Long (GES) lead-authored the paper "Hydraulics are a first order control on CO2 efflux from fluvial systems" published in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences.

Philippe Nauny (GES) played an active role in the European Astrobiology Network Association by co-organising the symposium of Astrobiology Graduates in Europe.

Franziska Paul gave a critique of Professor Markus Wissen’s (Berlin School of Economics and Law) talk on “Beyond carbon democracy? Renewable energies and new spaces for democratic struggles” at the International Conference of the European Network of Political Ecology in Stockholm. She also chaired the closing session of the Kilburn Manifesto and Scotland workshop.

Isabel Abanades (Chemistry) won a poster prize at the recent international MOF2016 conference: (a considerable achievement given the size and quality of the meeting).

Ewen Calder (Chemistry) has just published his sixth paper in the Journal of Organic Chemistry (2016, 81, 6697). This paper describes how one-pot multistep reaction processes can be used to prepare highly complex heterocyclic building blocks for drug discovery. Ewen recently finished his PhD and has just started as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford.

Giacomo Cioncoloni (Chemistry) lead-authored the paper “The electronic and solvatochromic properties of [Co(L)(bipyridine)2] + (L = o-catecholato, o-benzenedithiolato) species: a combined experimental and computational study” published in the Royal Society of Chemistry Journal

María José Heras Ojea (Chemistry) published her 2nd paper from her PhD in August: “Enhancement of TbIII-CuII single-molecule magnet performance through structural modification”
Chem. Eur. J., 2016, 22, 12839. This was highlighted as a 'VIP' article and was listed among the 'most accessed' papers during 08/2016. She also won a Royal Society of Chemistry poster prize at ICMM2016 - the 15th International Conference on Molecule-Based Magnets, held in Japan which was based on the above paper.

Ross Marshall (Chemistry) recently had an invited review published:

Colin Wilkie (Computing) attended the SIGIR Doctoral Consortium and was the runner-up for best presentation.

Ciaran McCreesh (Computing) presented two papers at CP 2016 and a paper at IJCAI 2016.

Richard Cziva presented his work at ACM SIGCOMM in Brazil, the leading academic conference in computer networks, and at IEEE INFOCOM in San Francisco.

Matthew Jamieson (Computing) received funding to attend an early career researcher workshop in Curitiba, Brazil.

Aamir Khan presented at the 17th Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems (TAROS-16) and had a paper accepted for the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics.