Polymers and Supercritical Fluids

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

Vincenzo Taresco
Dr Vincenzo Taresco

Vincenzo Taresco defended his PhD in 2013 at the University of Rome La Sapienza, with a thesis aimed at the development of different medical platforms based on novel antimicrobial polymers. From 2014 till 2019 he has been working at the School of Pharmacy of Nottingham. In this period, he has divided the core of his research in the design and synthesis of (multi) responsive polymers, their use in the development of smart drug/gene delivery carriers and their screening through automated high‐throughput methodologies.

In May 2019 he has embarked in a new exciting experience as senior Postdoc under the supervision and mentoring of Prof. Steve Howdle where he will aim to combine the fields of green chemistry, bio-medicine and pharmaceutics.

Kartini 120
Kartini Alias
5th year PhD Student

Kartini is originally from Malacca, a well-known historical state of Malaysia. She obtained a degree in Chemistry from the National University of Malaysia in 2002. She worked as a part-time Research Assistant at the Faculty of Pharmacy in the same university for about two years before being employed as a Research Officer at the Malaysian Rubber Board in 2005. Staying there for almost 12 years, her area of work focused on analytical chemistry and method development for chemical testing of rubber and rubber products.

In November 2017, Kartini joined our group to study the synthesis of hierarchically structured polymer particles in scCO2.

Eduards Krumins
Eduards Krumins
4th year PhD Student

From Riga, Latvia, Eduards obtained his MSci in Chemistry from the University of Nottingham in 2018.  His master project was based on the RAFT polymerization of terpene-based monomers. During his undergraduate degree he undertook a year in industry in IBTI in Riga, this work was based in food chemistry.  His PhD project started in 2018 and aims to produce novel polymers for 3D printing.

Kristoffer Kortsen - new (cropped)
Kristoffer Kortsen
4th year PhD Student

Born in Denmark, Kristoffer completed a Master’s in chemistry at KULeuven in Belgium, graduating magna cum laude in July 2018. For his master’s project, he joined the Howdle group at the University of Nottingham via an Erasmus exchange, looking into the kinetics of MMA polymerisation in scCO2.

He retrned to the Howdle group in august 2018, looking into the industrial potential of scCO2 dispersion polymerisations in collaboration with the industrial partner Kaneka.

Joachim Christopher Lenz
Joachim Christopher Lenz
3rd year PhD Student

Chris was born just outside of The Hague (The Netherlands), but is actually Swedish. July 2019, he graduated from the University of Nottingham with a Master’s degree in chemistry. During his undergraduate research project, in the Howdle group, Chris investigated the use of scCO2 for the synthesis of glycerol-based polycycloacetals. 

October 2019 Chris re-joined the Howdle group to undertake a PhD project in collaboration with the Paradisi group about enzymatic approaches to renewable monomers and polymers.

Philippa Jacob
Philippa Jacob
3rd year PhD Student

Pippy graduated in July 2019 with an MChem degree from the University of Liverpool. During her third year she undertook a placement at Innospec, Ellesmere Port, developing fuel additives. Her master's project focussed on the enzymatic transesterification of bioderived polyesters and their precursors. 

Pippy joined the University of Nottingham in October 2019 as part of the CDT in Sustainable Chemistry. She is working with the industrial sponsor Lubrizol to look at sustainably sourced polymers.

Bradley Hopkins (Medium)
Bradley Hopkins
2nd year PhD Student

Bradley graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2020 with a Master’s degree in Chemistry.  He completed the course under the supervision of Professor Peter Licence, investigating the electrosynthetic oxidations of alcohols in binary mixtures of room temperature ionic liquids. Over the course of his studies, he developed a strong interest in polymer chemistry and the ongoing work concerning the development of novel sustainable chemical processes, which drove him towards his current research focussed on plastic recycling.

For his PhD, Bradley is investigating the microwave degradation of commercial polymers as a rapid route for selective oligomer and monomer production. He is employing supercritical carbon dioxide as a solvent for this process, to modify the properties of these polymers to improve the efficiency of the microwave degradation.

Morgan (Small)
Morgan Reynolds-Green
1st year PhD Student

Morgan graduated with a master's in chemistry from the University of Nottingham in 2021. His 4th year master's project was investigating the synthesis of core-shell polymers in scCO2 as a member of the Howdle group. 

He rejoined the Howdle group for his PhD studies, funded by Lubrizol. His project is titled "Renewably sourced monomers for industrial application".

In his spare time, Morgan enjoys running, cycling, and baking. 

Polymers & Supercritical Fluids

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

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3486