Ben was born in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. Ben studied for his undergraduate/masters (MChem) in Chemistry at St John's College, University of Oxford. He graduated with the top First in the Honour School, winning the Gibbs Prize for examinations and the Brian Bannister Prize for his MChem thesis on oxidative cyclisation reactions. Ben remained at Oxford for his postgraduate work, with Prof. Timothy Donohoe. Ben's DPhil thesis, entitled 'Novel Palladium Catalysed Routes to Aromatic Heterocycles was passed with No Corrections and awarded a Commendation by the Division of Physical Sciences. Ben then moved to the University Cambridge to undertake a Herchel Smith Research Fellowship with Prof. Jonathan Nitschke on the 'Post-assembly Modification of Metallosupramolecular Architectures'. Ben was subsequently awarded a Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Research Fellowship in order to study 'Stimuli-responsive Molecular Containers'. In October 2019, Ben moved to the University of Nottingham to start his own research group as part of the Green Chemicals Beacon of Excellence. Ben's research interests span supramolecular chemistry, self-assembly, heterocyclic chemistry and catalysis.
Ben is also a leading advocate for public engagement and outreach in chemistry. Ben is a key member of the UK Chemistry Olympiad Working Group of the RSC, helping to run the national rounds of the Chemistry Olympiad competition. Ben has been Head Mentor of the UK team at the International Final since 2011. Ben was a key founding member of the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge (C₃L₆) for lower sixth students, which he worked on until 2019. Ben also helped develop the Isaac Chemistry website and has made appearances on BBC radio's The Naked Scientist.
The group's research will cover multiple projects which all fall within the overall theme of Supramolecular Organic Chemistry.
More detail will be added to these pages as projects develop and those interested are also advised to look at the Publications page.
Some particular themes include
- Self-Assembly and Host-Guest Chemistry
- 'Click' Reactions, Click Cascade Reactions and their applications
ROBERTS, DERRICK A., PILGRIM, BEN S., DELL, TRISTAN N. and STEVENS, MOLLY M., 2020. Dynamic pH responsivity of triazole-based self-immolative linkers Chem. Sci.. 11, 3713-3718 PILGRIM, BEN S. and CHAMPNESS, NEIL R., 2020. Metal-Organic Frameworks and Metal-Organic Cages – A Perspective ChemPlusChem. 85(8), 1842-1856 ROBERTS, DERRICK A., PILGRIM, BEN S. and NITSCHKE, JONATHAN R., 2018. Covalent post-assembly modification in metallosupramolecular chemistry Chem. Soc. Rev.. 47, 626-644
ROBERTS, DERRICK A., PILGRIM, BEN S., SIRVINSKAITE, GIEDRE, RONSON, TANYA K. and NITSCHKE, JONATHAN R., 2018. Covalent Post-assembly Modification Triggers Multiple Structural Transformations of a Tetrazine-Edged Fe4L6 Tetrahedron Journal of the American Chemical Society. 140(30), 9616-9623