Polymers and Supercritical Fluids
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Group Supervisor

Steve Howdle
Prof. Steve Howdle
Group Supervisor
Steve Howdle was born in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England in 1964. He obtained a first degree in Chemistry from Manchester in 1986 and his PhD on "Spectroscopy in Liquefied Noble Gases"from Nottingham in 1989. Steve's research focuses on the utilisation of supercritical carbon dioxide for polymer synthesis, polymer processing and preparation of novel polymeric materials for tissue engineering and drug delivery. He holds a chair at the School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham and prior to this held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (1991-1999). He has received the Jerwood-Salters' Environment Award for Green Chemistry (2001); RSC Corday - Morgan Medal and Award (2001); Royal Society - Wolfson Research Merit Award (2003); RSC Interdisciplinary Award (2005); DECHEMA-Award of the Max Buchner Research Foundation (2006) "in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the innovative use of supercritical fluids for the synthesis and processing of polymers with a wide range of applications"; and RSC/SCI Macro Group UK Medal (2008).


Current Researchers

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”. In Nov 2014 she joined Prof. Howdle’s group as a post-doctoral researcher.

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 where he has been working with block copolymer microparticles.

Sam Irving 120
Sam Irving
3rd year PhD student

Originally from Buckingham, Sam obtianed 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 conjnction with the Howdle group and the Additive Manufacturing department, his research focuses on exploiting teh synthesis and processing techniques associated with scCO2 to produce polymers for 3d printing applications.

Alice 120
Alice Haddleton
3rd year PhD student

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 Kanecka, and involves the scaling up of scCO2 reactions to the 1L scale. 

Payal 120
Payal Baheti
3rd year PhD student

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 involves the green synthesis of multiarmed suractants, using enzymatic catalysts.

Rachel Atkinson 120
Rachel Atkinson
1st year PhD

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
1st year PhD student

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.

Katie Pepper
4th Year PhD Student

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.


Alba Castanon Rodriguez
4th Year PhD Student

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 is investigating new scCO2 soluble hydrocarbon stabilisers.  

Mariana gam 120
Mariana Gameiro
3rd Year PhD Student
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 is working on the synthesis of biopolymers using green solvents and enzymes.
Sara Perez-Nieto
2nd year PhD student

Sara is from León (Spain) where she studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Valladolid.  During her degree, she worked as a research assistant investigating the effect of extraction processes on the filterability of grape marc extract. Sara performed her Master's thesis at the Technical University of Denmark, studying the phase behaviour of novel CO2 capture solvents. 

Sara joined the Howdle group in March 2015 investigating energy efficient polymerisations.

Polymers & Supercritical Fluids

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

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3486