Polymers and Supercritical Fluids

Former Group Members

Edward Apebende
Dr. Edward A. Apebende 

Edward was born in Obudu, Nigeria. He studied Chemistry (BSc) at the University of Calabar in Nigeria and Polymer Materials Science (MSc) at Martin-Luther-Universität, Halle-Wittenberg in Germany. He conducted his PhD research at the Adolphe Merkle Institute of the University of Fribourg in Switzerland where he worked on the development of force responsive block copolymers, amphiphilic conetworks and polymersomes.

He was awarded a postdoctoral research grant by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) and joined the Howdle group in August, 2019 to work on the development of biorenewable and biodegradable polymers from plant sources.

ryan Larder
Ryan Larder

Ryan graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2017 with an MSci in chemistry. During his undergraduate degree he worked within the Howdle group to complete a Master’s project on the synthesis of hierarchically structured metal oxides using amphiphilic block copolymers.

He re-joined the Howdle group later in 2017. Working in conjunction with the nanoscale and microscale research centre, his research focusses on the synthesis of block copolymer nanostructures in supercritical CO2.

Ana Pacheo 120
Ana Pacheo

Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Ana gained a degree in Chemistry from University of Sao Paulo in 2015. She was granted with two scholarships from Santander Ibero-American to study in University of Porto and Science Without Borders Brazilian program to study at University of York. At this last, she worked under the supervision of Dr Andrew Hunt and Dr Rob McElroy in the development of novel green solvents at the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence. Afterwards, she gained her degree in Green Chemistry and Sustainable Industrial Technology at University of York with a master project in solvent selection for agrochemical formulations, in a partnership with SME iFormulate.

Ana joined the group in 2017. Her project is part of SINCHEM programme in partnership with Univeristy of Lyon and Kaneka, and aims to investigate industrial applications of CO2-philic macro-RAFT agents for polymerisation in scCO2.

Sam Irving 120
Sam Irving

Originally from Buckingham, Sam obtained his BSc in Natural Sciences from Lancaster University in 2014, followed by his MSc in Polymer Chemistry form the University of Leeds in 2015, where he worked on the synthesis and characterisation of hydrogels.

Working in conjunction with the Howdle group and the Additive Manufacturing department, his research focuses on exploiting the synthesis and processing techniques associated with scCO2 to produce polymers for 3d printing applications.

Rachel Atkinson 120
Rachel Atkinson

Rachel comes from south Wales, she got her Chemistry MSci form the University of Bristol 2016 where she studied supramolecular polymers for her final year project.

She joined the Howdle group in 2016 to study the controlled polymerisation of monomers from terpenes

Ulyse 120
Ulysse Montanari

Born in Bolgna, Ulysse studied industrial chemistry at the University of Bologna, gaining his degree in 2015, where he studies the synthesis of lignin model compounds.

He joined the Howdle group in 2016 to research modification and synthesis of polymers from renewable terpene sources.

Domenico Sagnelli - postdoc
Dr Domenico Sagnelli
Domenico was born in Maddaloni, Italy. He obtained his Bsc and Msc in Biotechnology in Naples. Continuing his study in Copenhagen, he completed his PhD in “Investigation of GMO and ancient grains for bioplastic and food applications”. He was awarded with a postdoctoral grant from the Danish council of research in 2018 and joined the Howdle group to work on the synthesis of polymers from renewable resources in supercritical CO2.
Ambra Vestri
Dr Ambra Vestri

Ambra Vestri was born in Pistoia (Italy). After having gained her Bachelor’s and Master's degree in Molecular Biotechnology  from Florence (Italy), she completed in Verona (Italy) her PhD focused on “MOLECULARLY IMPRINTED NANOPARTICLES FOR THE MEASUREMENT OF THE IRON REGULATOR HORMONE HEPCIDIN IN SERUM SAMPLES”. She joined the Howdle group in August 2019 to carry out a project on the synthesis of polymers for drug delivery purposes.

Olivia Monaghan 120
Dr Olivia Monaghan

From London, Olivia gained a BSc in forensic Chemistry from the University of Kent in 2012. She continued her studies at the Univeristy of Kent by pursuing a PhD in polymer chemistry with Dr Simon Holder, culminating in her thesis: "Controlling the functionality of block copolymer bicontinuous nanospheres".

Olivia joined the group in May 2016 on an EPSRC grant to investigate the polymerisation of terpene derived monomers to produce renewably sourced polymers. Her research interests include controlled radical polymerisations and colloidal systems.

Tom 120
Dr Tom Bennett

Originally from Brisbane, Australia, Tom attended the University of Queensland where he obtained his Masters degree in Chemistry in 2011. He then went on to study for a PhD at the same university in "Self assembly and structure-property relationships of block copolymer-ionic liquid composites".

He joined the Howdle group in 2016 working with block copolymer microparticles.

Andrea Hufendiek - postdoc
Dr Andrea Hufendiek

Andrea is originally from Germany, where she obtained her Diplom in Chemistry in 2012 from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Subsequently she pursued a PhD in Polymer Chemistry at the same university, investigating the synthesis of cellulose copolymers in ionic liquids. In 2016, she joined the Polymer Chemistry Research Group in Ghent, Belgium as a postdoctoral researcher focusing on polycondensates from renewable building blocks. She joined the Howdle group in 2018 working on the synthesis of polymers from renewable sources in sustainable solvents.

Rabea 120
Rabea Locszenski

Rabea is from Berlin (Germany) and joined the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Regenerative Medicine in 2015. A project placement during her Bachelor’s degree at The University of Nottingham (UK) working on kidney regeneration inspired her to do a PhD in the area of tissue engineering. Her PhD project is using an interdisciplinary approach that combines chemistry and biomolecular science to develop a new, non-toxic decellularization technology with particular focus on the utilization of supercritical carbon dioxide. She joined the Howdle Group in 2016. 

Alice 120
Alice Haddleton

Alice is from Kennilworth near Warwick, she is a keen ice hockey player who gained her MChem from Southampton University in 2014, where her final project investigated the growth of copper nanowires.

Her project is in conjunction with Kaneka, and involves the scaling up of scCO2 reactions to the 1L scale. 

Alba Castanon Rodriquez
Alba is originally from Gijon, Spain. She obtained her MSc in Chemistry and Sustainable Development from the University of Oviedo. Her master project was on the catalytic synthesis of nitrogen heterocycles. Alba joined the group in September 2014. Her PhD project is part of the  SINCHEM programme and she investigated new scCO2 soluble hydrocarbon stabilisers.   
Mariana gam 120
Mariana Gameiro

Mariana is born in Castelo Branco (Portugal), has a bachelor in Biochemistry and a master in Biotechnology from the Faculty of Sciences and Technology – New University of Lisbon (FCT-UNL). During her final master year, she worked under the supervision of Dr. Alexandre Paiva and Prof. Pedro Simões (FCT-UNL) on the optimisation of the continuous production of biodiesel, from a renewable feedstock, combining biocatalysis and supercritical fluids. Afterwards, she was granted with two scholarships by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) to work with supercritical fluids and renewable feedstocks. In 2014 she began her PhD as part of the EPSRC CDT-SusChem (Centre of Doctoral Training in Sustainable Chemistry) at the University of Nottingham. Mariana joined the group in May 2015 and she worked on the synthesis of biopolymers using green solvents and enzymes.

Payal 120
Payal Baheti

Payal is originally from Surat in the state of Gujarat, India, she gained a degree in Chemistry from Sardar Vallabhbhai National Insititute of Technology, Suart. She undertook a Masters project studying the synthesis of poly (glycerol sebacate).

Her work at Nottingham involved the green synthesis of multiarmed suractants, using enzymatic catalysts.

Katie Pepper

Katie graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2013 with an MSci in Chemistry. During her undergraduate degree she undertook a year in industry working at Unilever in Bedford. Katie has always had a strong interest in medical based research which lead her to look for opportunities in this field; eventually resulting in her role at  Critical Pharmaceuticals as a product development/analytical scientist. Her work at Critical looked at drug delivery systems exploiting the ability to encapsulate drug molecules and peptides in polymers, therefore allowing manipulation of the delivery of drugs into the body.

In August 2014 Katie joined the the Howdle group working in collaboriation with Critical Pharmaceuticals.

Dr Guping He

Guping was born in Guilin, China. She obtained her BSc from Jilin University in 2007. She then went on to study a Masters (2007-2010) at Guangzhou Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences under the supervision of Prof. Jiwen Hu on the subject “Preparation of Superhydrophobic Surface by Fluoro Block Copolymers Based on Lotus Effect”. In Feb. 2011, she started her PhD study under the supervisor of Prof. Brigitte Voit and Dr. Doris Pospiech in Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden, Germany investigating “Modified AuNPs on the Morphology and Nanostructure Orientation of PPMA-b-PMMA block copolymer thin films”. She was a Postdoc in Prof. Howdle's group from 2014 to 2017.

Mohammad Alauhdin
Mohammad is originally from Indonesia. He obtained both his Bachelor and Master of Chemistry in Indonesia at Gadjah Mada University and Institut Teknologi Bandung. Mohammad joined the group in January 2013. He studied block copolymer synthesis by dispersion RAFT polymerisation in scCO2 and the self-assembly behavior of the resulting microparticles.
Jeremy Kennon
Jeremy, originally from Manchester, studied chemistry at the University of Nottingham and did his 4th year research project in the Howdle group. His PhD project was conducted with Prof. Howdle and Dr. Irvine as supervisors and was focused on the production of poly(vinyl acetate) via a combination of RAFT poltmerisation and microwave heating.
Tom McAllister


Born in Derby, Tom graduated from the University of Nottingham with an MChem (Hons) in 2011. Tom then spent two years working as an analyst for the Environment Agency monitoring pollution levels in the UK water ways. In September 2013, Tom joined the Howdle group working in collaboration with Merck. Tom’s research focused on dispersion polymerisation and functionalised particle synthesis in scCO2.
Simon Bassett
Simon is originally from the Wirral (near Liverpool). He graduated from the University of York in 2010 with an MChem (Hons) degree, including a final year industrial placement at Infineum. Simon joined the group in October 2010 as a PhD student. His research included controlled polymer synthesis and the investigation of stereo-selective ring-opening polymerisation in scCO2. In collaboration with DUBBLE at ESRF in Grenoble, he was involved in implementing a novel high pressure autoclave containing diamond windows for monitoring polymerisations in situ with small and wide angle X-ray scattering. He subsequently took a postdoc position within the group, before moving to industry.  
Harry Alexander
Originally from Chichester, Harry studied for his degree in Chemistry at the University of Nottingham graduating in 2011. He began his PhD working for Prof. Howdle and Dr. Irvine in September 2011 and is now in his third year of study. Funded by a CASE award Harry worked on the clean synthesis of cross-linked  polymers in scCO2 and the effect of the CO­2 on the structure. 
Amy Goddard
Amy is originally from Porsgrunn, Norway. She obtained her BSc (Hons) degree in Biochemistry from the University of York before joining Croda's graduate development programme. In 2012 she began her PhD as part of the  REFINE network hosted by Croda and the University of Nottingham. She investigated the synthesis of novel surfactants using renewable building blocks and sustainable processes and techniques.  
Marina Fuentes
Marina originates from Santander, Spain and obtained her MSc in Chemical Synthesis and Reactivity from the University of Oviedo. Her master's thesis was on the synthesis of phosphorylated organic compounds as substrates for alkaline phosphates. Marina joined the  REFINE network in September 2012 and she investigated the synthesis of new polymeric materials using terpenes. 
Silvio Curia
Silvio originates from Cosenza (Italy). He obtained his Laurea Magistrale in Materials Science from the University of Milano-Bicocca working on the preparation of polymer nanocomposites for controlled light diffusion (March 2012).  Silvio joined the group in September 2012. His PhD project was part of the  REFINE network and he investigated the use of scCO2 for renewable polymeric materials synthesis and materials processing. 
Teresa Matini
Teresa Martini
Former Postdoc

Teresa is originally from L’Aquila (Italy). She obtained her BSc and MSc in Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry from “Sapienza” University of Rome. She worked on the synthesis of flavonoids by Pd-catalysed cross-coupling reactions (2007) and, then, on the synthesis of berberine skeleton alkaloids as anticancer compounds (2009). In Oct 2009, she started her PhD working for Prof. Cameron Alexander, at The University of Nottingham (School of Pharmacy). Her research included the synthesis of pH-responsive block co-polymers to deliver nucleic acids.

In Jan 2014, she joined Prof Howdle’s group, after she was awarded the EPSRC doctoral prize 2013. She is currently working to generate a new range of bioresponsive polymers, synthesised via “clean” and sustainable routes (scCO2) to deliver small oligonucleotides/drugs to hypoxic regions of cancer cells.

Chris Pettitt
Visiting Researcher from Lacerta Technology
Chris was seconded to the Howdle group from 2013-2015, working on developing traditional thermal-mechanical analytical techniques for use at high pressure, specifically using scCO2. This project was funded by knowledge transfer initiatives.
Qingyang Meng
Visiting PhD Student from East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST)
Young, originally from Shanghai (China), joined Prof. Steve Howdle's group from January 2014 to January 2015. His research involved the synthesis of copolymers (including polycarbonates), using epoxides, scCO2 and varying catalyst systems, in collaboration with Prof. Boping Liu's group at ECUST.
Dr Antonio Montes Herrera

Antonio studied for his degree in Chemistry at the University of Cadiz (Spain). He finished his PhD entitled “Microparticles precipitation of ß lactam antibiotic and ethylcellulose by SAS process using Supercritical CO2” in March 2012 supervised by Prof. Clara Pereyra and Dr. Dolores Gordillo in the same university. During his PhD he carried out research stays in ITQB, in Oeiras, Lisbon (Portugal) supervised by Prof. Catarina Duarte from April to June 2010 and in Georg-Simon-Ohm University of Applied Research Nürnberg (Germany) from September to December 2011 supervised by Prof. Ulrich Teipel.

He joined the Howdle group in January 2014 as a PostDoc, investigating the effect of CO2 on the viscosity of polymer and protein blends. In August 2014, Antonio returned to the university of Cadiz to continue his research.

Dr James Jennings
James originates from South Shields (in the North East of England, near Newcastle).
He studied his MChem at Durham University, with his final year research project in synthesis and characterisation of degradable polymers, under the supervision of Dr. Ezat Khosravi. James joined the the group in 2009 and worked on block copolymer synthesis by RAFT polymerisation in scCO2.
Dr Marie Warren
Marie graduated from the University of Hull with an MChem and Industrial Experience (Hons) degree in July 2008. During her degree, she spent one year at Infineum. Marie started her PhD with the Howdle group in September 2008, sponsored by Critical Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Her research focused on producing controlled release drug delivery systems from polymers using scCO2.
Harriet Scott
Harriet graduated with honors in Chemistry from Nottingham Trent University in 2005. She then went on to complete the British Sugar graduate training scheme for Operations Management before accepting a position with Critical Pharmaceuticals as a supercritical fluid technician. Harriet's research project focused on developing new methods to analyse polymer properties in scCO2.
Dr Maria Gonzalez Salvador
Maria started her PhD in September 2007, under the supervision of Prof. Steve Howdle and Dr. Derek Irvine and focused on the synthesis of hyperbranched polymers via ATRP and the design of new smart materials.
Dr Natasha Birkin
Tash graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2008. Her fourth year project involved working with Dr. Hongyun Tai and Prof. Steve Howdle on the design and synthesis of hyperbranched polymers for use in tissue engineering applications. In September 2008 she began her PhD to develop new scCO2 soluble surfactants.
Dr Mark Whitaker
Mark did his BSc degree in Physics at Nottingham Trent University, followed by a Master's degree in Intellectual Property Management at Queen Mary University of London. Mark’s PhD focused on the PGSS (Particles from Gas Saturated Solutions) technique. He was specifically concentrating on the processability of viscous polymers in scCO2 for drug delivery devices.
Dr Meera Vijayaraghavan
Meera graduated from the University of Nottingham with an MSc in Chemistry in 2006. Her PhD was under the joint supervision of Dr. Snow Stolnik (Pharmacy) and Prof. Steve Howdle (Chemistry) making drug loaded particles for pulmonary delivery.
Dr Mengmeng Zong
Mengmeng, "Katie", received her MEng degree at the Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) in 2005 after working with Prof. Stepan Lomov on fatigue in non-crimp fabric composites. She started a PhD with the Howdle Group in 2006 funded by Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Awards (DHPA), working on the controlled polymerisation in scCO2 via RAFT.
Dr Jixin Yang
Jixin graduated from Nanjing University (China) in 1996 with a BSc in Environmental Chemistry and then the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing) with a MSc degree in Physical Chemistry in 1999. Shortly afterwards, Jixin arrived in Nottingham to study as a PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Mike George. In 2003-2009 he worked as a postdoc in Prof. Steve Howdle's Group. His research topics include the deposition of metal and semiconductor functional materials in polymer, optical fibre and mesoporous substrates using scCO2.
Dr Hongyun Tai
Hongyun graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University with a BSc and MSc in Polymer Science and Engineering. From 2002 to 2005, she undertook her PhD studies on the polymerisations of fluorinated vinyl monomers in scCO2 with Prof. Steve Howdle. She commenced her postdoctoral research work from September 2005 in Tissue Engineering Group with Prof. Kevin Shakesheff at the University of Nottingham (in collaboration with Prof. Steve Howdle).
Later she was awarded with EPSRC Life Science Interface Postdoctoral Fellowship,working on the design, synthesis and evaluations of Novel Photocrosslinkable Hyperbranched Functional Materials for Tissue Engineering Applications. Following on from this Hongyun took up a lectureship in the School of Chemistry, Bangor University.
Dr Eun Ju Park
Eun Ju graduated from Pukyong National University (South Korea) in 2002 with a BSc. She received her MSc degree from the same university in 2004. She studied polymerisation with Prof. Kwon Taek Lim and obtained her PhD degree from Pukyong National University in 2007. Her postgraduate research topics included polymerisation for supercritical applications, preparation of inorganic/organic core-shell polymer nanocomposites by emulsion polymerisation and dispersion polymerisation in scCO2 and ring-opening for drug delivery applications.
From 2007-2008, Eun Ju worked in the Howdle group as a postdoctoral research fellow focussing on ATRP and hydrocarbon stabilisers in scCO2. She then took up a position as a postdoctoral research fellow in Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey.
Dr Catherine Kelly
Catherine started a PhD with the Howdle Group in 2005 which was sponsored by Critical Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Her research focused on producing controlled release drug delivery systems from biodegradable polymers using scCO2.
Dr Alison Jane Mills
Alison graduated from the University of Bath in 2004 with a MChem (Hons) in Chemistry with Industrial Experience.
After a year working as an analytical chemist she joined the Howdle group where she undertook an IDTC funded PhD studentship investigating polymeric biomaterials containing metallic nanoparticles with a view to preventing nosocomial infections.



Dr Kristofer Thurecht

Kris moved to Nottingham to take up a postdoctoral position with Prof. Steve Howdle in 2005. This was a two year position investigating biocatalytic polymerisation in scCO2 in collaboration with Dr. Andreas Heise from Eindhoven. In 2007, Kris was awarded a British Centenary Ramsay Fellowship and a Research Fellowship from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 focussing on polymerisation in ionic liquids and supercritical fluids as well conventional media and in addition to ongoing research with Prof. Steve Howdle.
He left the group in October 2008 and moved on to lecture in the Department of Chemistry, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
Dr Wenxin Wang
Wenxin graduated from Sichuan University (China) in 1990, with a BSc degree in Polymer Science and Engineering. In 1999, he received his PhD working on reverse ATRP and the synthesis of hyperbranched fluoropolymers under the supervision of Prof. Deyue Yan.
From 2001-2008, Wenxin worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Nottingham with Prof. Steve Howdle and with Prof. Cameron Alexander in the School of Pharmacy.
Dr Silvia Villarroya
Silvia was awarded a four year governmental fellowship "Programa de Becas Predoctorales para la formación de Personal Investigador" on developing new methodologies based on Transition Metals (Cu, Pd) and the preparation of homogeneous catalysts and in 2002 she completed her PhD. From February 2003 until January 2004, she was employed as a postdoc at DSM Research LS ASC&D in Geleen (The Netherlands), studying asymmetric organocatalytic C-C coupling reactions as a tool for the preparation of enantiopure alcohols, amines and carboxylic acids under the supervision of Dr. Paul Alsters.
In 2004-2007, Silvia joined the Clean Technology Research Group at University of Nottingham as a postdoctoral research fellow. Her research work was focused on enzymatic polymerisations using scCO2.
Dr Andrew Gregory
Andy graduated from the University of Leicester with a MChem (Hons) degree in 2004 after working with Dr. Gregory Solan on novel aluminium initiators for the polymerisation of epsilon-caprolactone for his final year research project.
Andrew starting a PhD with the Howdle group in 2004 funded by the EPSRC, working on the development of polymers utilising catalytic chain transfer with scCO2 as the polymerisation medium. Andy obtained his PhD in 2007 and moved on to work as a postdoc reseacher in New South Wales University in Australia.
Dr Jiaxiang Zhou
Jiaxiang studied for his BSc and MSc degrees in Chemical Engineering in Tsinghua University (China) from 1994 to 2001.
In 2004 Jiaxiang joined the Clean Technology Research Group at the University of Nottingham as a PhD student. His research project was on the synthesis of novel polymers via enzyme catalysis in scCO2


Dr Clare Upton
Clare graduated from Bristol University in June 2004 with a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry with Industrial Experience.
She joined the Howdle Group in 2004 where she was carrying out a joint project between the Clean Technology Group (Chemistry) and the Tissue Engineering Group (Pharmacy) under the joint supervision of Prof. Steve Howdle and Prof. Kevin Shakesheff. Using supercritical technology she was investigating novel routes to biodegradable implants.
Clare then moved on to work at Critical Pharmaceutical Ltd.
Dr Tom Hasell
In his final year of a MSci here at Nottingham, Tom investigated scCO2 assisted impregnation and polymerisation of methyl methacrylate into polymer hosts. After graduation Tom rejoined our group in September 2004 to study for his PhD. His project was based on the prepartion of nanocomposite materials using scCO2.
Tom obtained his PhD degree in 2008 and moved to Liverpool University as a postdoctoral researcher.

Dr Hyunsuk Lee

At Seoul National University in South Korea, Hyunsuk studied the preparation of polymeric fluorosurfactants for dispersion polymerisations in scCO2. After obtaining his Master's Degree in 2003, he started his PhD with our group. His research was focused on the ring opening polymerisation of biodegradable materials using novel stabilisers and new types of catalysts/initiators in scCO2.
Dr Andy Naylor
Andy studied for a MSci degree in chemistry at Nottingham University. As part of his fourth year research project, he investigated stabilisers for polymerisation reactions in supercritical carbon dioxide. Andy graduated with an MChem Chemistry degree in 2002.
Andy rejoined our group in February 2003. For his PhD he was studying the reactive blending of methacrylates and polyolefins as novel routes to advanced composite materials, specifically concentrating on polymethacrylates/ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) systems. He obtained his PhD in 2006.
Dr Patrick Ginty
Patrick graduated from Liverpool John Moores University in 2001 with a BSc (Hons) in Applied Biology. He then went on to attain an MSc with distinction in Applied Biomolecular Technology from the University of Nottingham in 2001.
Patrick did his PhD within the Tissue Engineering group from 2002-2005, under the joint supervision of Prof. Kevin Shakesheff (Pharmacy) and Prof. Steve Howdle (Chemistry). He was working on a BBSRC funded project, using a novel way of seeding polymer scaffolds with mammalian cells for three-dimensional tissue regeneration. This method involved the use of scCO2 as a solvent for processing polymer scaffolds.



Dr Martin Whitaker
Martin obtained a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from the University of Bristol in 1999. During his degree he spent a year working at Pfizer within the Pharmaceutical R&D Department investigating drug efflux models.
Martin gained his PhD "Supercritical Fluid Processing of Polymers, Proteins and Cells using Supercritical Fluids for Tissue Engineering Applications" in 2003 from the Tissue Engineering Group, School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham.
Following on from his PhD Martin was a Medici (Business-Science) Fellow and was actively involved in commercialising novel technologies from within the School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham.
Dr John Barry
John studied Biological and Chemical sciences at University College Cork prior to obtaining a Physiology degree BSc (Hons.) from the University of Aberdeen. Following this he spent two years in the Faculty of Medicine at Aberdeen working on a project relating to kidney disease.
John joined the polymer group in 2000 and was jointly supervised by Prof. Steve Howdle in Chemistry and Dr. Colin Scotchford in Biomaterials. His project involved the fabrication and characterisation of polymer scaffolds for cartilage repair.
Dr Chris Duxbury
Chris joined our group in 2001 and received his PhD in July 2005. He then moved on to work as a postdoc at DSM in the Netherlands with Dr. Andreas Heise where his research was based on the use of enzymes as polymerisation catalysts and the synthesis of chiral polymers.
Dr Ben Wong
From 1997-2001 Ben studied Chemistry at the University of Sheffield. His final year undergraduate project in Sheffield was under the supervision of Dr J. A. Thomas based upon research using Tris-Pyrazole Borate Arrays as a synthetic model for the oxygen carrying molecule Haemocyanin. In July 2001 he graduated with an MChem (Hons).
In 2001 Ben joined the Tissue Engineering & Drug Delivery group and was part of a collaborative PhD with Prof. Steve Howdle and Prof. Kevin Shakesheff (University of Nottingham's Pharmaceutical Sciences). This project involved the incorporation and release of growth factors from moulded biodegradable polymer scaffolds. In 2003 the focus of his PhD changed and Ben was investigating the preparation of nanocomposite materials using scCO2.
Dr Helen Woods
Helen started her PhD in our group in 2001 and graduated in July 2005. She was then awarded an Industry Linked Fellowship working between the School of Pharmacy at The University of Nottingham and Critical Pharmaceuticals. The fellowship was focused on technology transfer and developing successful collaborations between academia and industry.
Dr Andrew Busby
Andrew obtained an MSci(Hons) degree in Chemistry from the University of Nottingham in 1999. Then he joined the Polymers, Biomaterials and Supercritical Fluids research group. He studied the blending of methacrylates and polyolefins as novel routes to advanced composite materials, specifically concentrating on polymethacrylates/ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) systems.
Andrew obtained his PhD in 2003 and was awarded a Medici Fellowship in September of that year, encuraging the commercialisation of cutting edge biomaterials research.
Dr Daniel Bratton
Dan graduated from the University of Kent at Canterbury in 2000 with a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry. His final year project was an investigation into the mechanism of Wurtz reductive coupling of polysilanes, under the supervision of Dr. S. Holder.
Dan joined the polymers, biomaterials and supercritical fluids group in 2000 to undertake a PhD with supervision from Prof. Steve Howdle, entitled 'Ring Opening Polymerisation in scCO2, a CASE funded project between the EPSRC and Smith & Nephew.
Dr Satoshi Yoda
Satoshi graduated from Tohoku University, Japan in 1993 with a Master's degree. He then entered the Agency of Industrial Science and Technology, Japan working on material synthesis using supercritical fluids. In 1998, he joined Tohoku University Graduate School as a mature PhD student, and his work was based on the study of silica-based aerogel synthesis and their applications.
In July 2003 he joined the research group of Prof. Steve Howdle as a temporary visiting research fellow. His research topic here was the synthesis of biodegradable polylactic acid using scCO2.
Dr Jianyuan Hao
In 1994 Jianyuan graduated from Hefei Polytechnical University with a BSc degree in Polymer Materials and Engineering. In 1995, he entered Chengdu Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he successively obtained his Master's degree in Polymer Chemistry and Physics in 1998, and his Doctoral in 2001.
In 2002, Jianyuan joined our research group and was working on producing microparticles using supercritical carbon dioxide. In December 2003, Jianyuan left the group after 2 years as a postdoc fellow. Jianyuan went on to become a professor in Chengdu Organic Chemicals Co. Ltd, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Dr Jun Liu
Jun graduated from the Southwest Normal University (Chongqing, China) with a BSc degree in 1996. He received his Master's Degree from the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing) in 1999. In his PhD programme also at the Academy of Sciences, Jun studied radical polymerisations in scCO2 under magnetic fields and the antisolvent effect of CO2 in solution polymerisation.
After he obtained his PhD in 2002, Jun arrived in Nottingham to work on the the topic of monitoring polymerisations in supercritical carbon dioxide with in-situ calorimetry and FTIR spectroscopy.Jun left in November 2003 and was heading for a postdoc fellowship position in the US.
Dr Cecile Nouvel
Cecile graduated from “Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Industries Chimiques” (ENSIC) at the INPL, France. She obtained her Master degree in Chemical Engineering in 1999. Her research focused on the controlled synthesis of amphiphilic comb copolymers, like polylactide-grafted dextran, and the study of their aptitude as biodegradable surfactants in view of the conception of drug delivery vehicles. With a Ministerial Fellowship Research, she continued her PhD study on the same subject.
In 2002, she joined The Clean Technology Group as a postdoctoral research fellow. The aim of her project was to synthesize low-cost, new non-fluorinated surfactants, to be used for stabilisation in the dispersion polymerisation of methyl methcrylate (MMA) in scCO2. Cecile left the group in September 2003 and went
on to hold a lectureship position at The Laboratoire de Chimie Physique Macromoleculaire, Nancy (France).
Dr Franck Furno
Franck studied Chemistry at the University of Strasbourg (France) and obtained his Master's degree on transition metal chemistry and molecular engineering in 1998. He then moved to Switzerland, in the Inorganic Chemistry Institute, at the University of Zürich for his PhD, which he completed in 2001.
Franck joined Prof. Steve Howdle's group in August 2001 to work on a highly multidisciplinary project which involved the use of novel supercritical fluid technology and careful design of metal organic complexes to improve implantable polymeric biomaterials. The final stage was to carry out clinical testing.
Dr Kelly Morley
Kelly studied for an MSci degree at Nottingham University prior to starting her PhD in 1999. Her PhD mainly centred on the preparation of novel composite materials using scCO2 and a variety of support matrices. There are many various applications for the materials including medical implant devices and catalyic support materials. The project was carried out in collaboration with the Biomaterial Related Infections group, based at The City Hospital, Nottingham.
Dr Frank Loeker
Frank studied chemistry at the University of Duisburg in Germany and did his diploma thesis at the Max Planck Institute for Radiation Chemistry in Muelheim, Germany on the "Synthesis of structurally modified retinals and investigation of their photochemical properties" in 1997. In 2000 he obtained his PhD in the group of Dr. W. Leitner at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research in Muelheim, Germany on the subject of "Oxidation of olefins in supercritical carbon dioxide".
In September 2000 he joined Prof. Howdle's group in Nottingham as a postdoc working on the development of surfactants for emulsions and microemulsions of water in scCO2 and on polymerisations in scCO2.
Dr Mike Watson
Having obtained a BSc (Hons) in chemistry (1994), Mike remained at Durham University for a PhD in polymer-polymer blends under the supervision of Prof. Randal W. Richards (1997). He then went to Université Montpellier II, Sciences et Techniques du Lanquedoc, France with a European Union Training and Mobility of Workers (TMR) Fellowship working for Prof. Francois Schué on the preparation of fluorinated polyimides for pervaporation membranes.
Mike returned to the UK in June 1999 to join the research group of Prof. Steve Howdle in a collaborative project with the Tissue Engineering group of Prof. Kevin Shakesheff to prepare porous, bioresorbable polymeric scaffolds for liver tissue engineering.
Dr Rhiannon Griffiths
Rhi graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry from Cardiff University in 1998.
In 1999 she came to Nottingham to work in the Clean Technology Research Group under the supervision of Prof. Steve Howdle. Her PhD centred upon free radical polymerisations in supercritical carbon dioxide, a project co-sponsored by Uniqema. Following 3 years in our group, she obtained her PhD in 2002. She continued her research career working at GlaxoSmithKlein.
Dr Gulay Serhatkulu
Gulay graduated from Hacettepe University (Ankara, Turkey), with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 1994 and a MSc degree in 1996. She received her PhD degree in 2000 on the "Evolution of Structural Hierarchy in Uniaxially Deformed Polylactic Acid Films as Followed by Spectral Birefringence Technique and Others" under the supervision of Dr. Miko Cakmak and Dr. Erhan Piskin from the Polymer Engineering Department, University of Akron, USA.
She joined the Clean Technology Research Group as postdoctoral research assistant, working on the optimisation of processing conditions for instrument development and preparation methods of biomaterials in scCO2. Gulay left the group in 2001, moving to the Institute of Polymer Engineering, University of Akron, Ohio, USA.
Dr Paul Christian
Paul was the first PhD student in the Howdle group (1996-1999). Having obtained a BSc at Nottingham, his PhD focused upon dispersion polymerisation in scCO2.
He then moved on to work as an RCUK Research Fellow at The University of Manchester.
Dr Steve O'Connor
Dr Steve O'Connor was the first postdoc in the group. He came to Nottingham from the group of Prof Harry Allcock (Pennsylvania State University (1993-1996)) and brought expertise in polymer synthesis.
Steve left in 1997 to work with Cambridge Display Technology Ltd.


Additional former group members include:

  • Harry Gidda

  • Lutfur Rahman

  • Patricia Marr

  • Sarah Jones

  • Matthew Giles

  • Paul Webb

  • Richard Major

  • Andy Parsons

Polymers & Supercritical Fluids

The University of Nottingham
School of Chemistry
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3486