Research Group

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr John Buckeridge


John is from Cork, and as a native of the rebel county naturally attended University College Cork where he obtained a first class B.Sc. in Physics. He subsequently did research for his Physics PhD at the Tyndall National Institute in Cork (awarded by UCC) under the supervision of Stephen Fahy, where he developed models of transport and defect structures in highly-mismatched semiconductor alloys for applications in energy harvesting and optoelectronics. Following his PhD, he moved to London in April 2011 to begin postdoctoral research at UCL, where he has remained since, working with Aron Walsh and Richard Catlow before moving the Scanlon Group in May 2018. His research focuses on the development and application of computational techniques to study the physical properties of energy materials, with an emphasis on understanding the importance of defects. He has modelled the properties of systems ranging from wide gap insulators to zero gap semimetals. As the father of young boy, John has no free time whatsoever, but when away from the office enjoys taking his family to visit parks, museums and historical sites through membership of various national organisations. Other likes include long distance running, cycling, football, gardening, real ale, crime fiction, action movies and ambient music.

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Dr Chris Savory


Chris is from West Sussex, and spent his time as an undergraduate at the University of Oxford, graduating with an first class MChem degree. He spent his final year there attempting to find geometrical frustration in a variety of metal pseudohalide salts. Chris spent 42 months at UCL transitioning to becoming a computational chemist, focused on the prediction of novel materials for photovoltaics. Along the way, Chris won the Catlow Prize for best final year Computational Chemistry PhD in UCL and he defended his thesis in August 2018. Chris is now a “Faraday Fellow”, as his new post doctoral project is part of the Faraday Institution Multiscale Modelling project, focused on a complete computational understanding of degradation in cathodes. Away from the lab, Chris is a bit of a quiz enthusiast, and also likes to play squash, video games and to try to get through his collection of unread books.

Chris’ profile on Google Scholar Citations


PhD Students: 1st Supervisor

Wei Winnie Leung 2016-2019


Winnie Leung is originally from Hong Kong and moved to England when she was 17. She graduated with a first in MSci Chemistry and decided to stay on for her PhD project, jointly supervised by Prof. David Scanlon and Dr Robert Palgrave. Her PhD project is about transparent conducting metal oxides for renewable energy applications, which she will be studying using a combination of computational and experimental techniques. When she is away from the lab, she likes to go swimming and eats a lot of cakes! (Work hard and eat hard!) she also likes travelling and her dream is to travel to Mars one day! Oh and she is also a snapchat addict so watch out for Winnie if she’s around!

Maud Einhorn 2016-2020


Maud grew up in East London and studied her Chemistry MSci at UCL, graduating with a first. Her fourth year project was under the supervision of Professors Claire Carmalt and Ivan Parkin, investigating smart superhydrophobic and stain resistant paint technologies. Now in the Scanlon Group, Maud’s PhD is focussed on novel thermoelectric materials based on complex oxides. She likes travelling, swimming, and is a member of the Equality and Diversity Committee at UCL Chemistry.

Ethan Rubinstein 2017-2020


Ethan Rubinstein grew up in London and completed his undergraduate MSci degree at UCL. His fourth year project was on “Determining the surface structures of Weyl semimetals TaAs and NbP” supervised by Dr. John Buckeridge. Continuing at UCL his PhD research project will use structural prediction methods to discover new solar cell absorber materials. When his computations yield frustrating results Ethan takes it out on the targets at ULU archery.

Zongda Xing 2017-2020


Zongda Xing is originally from Nanjing, China and currently doing his PhD project after completing his MSc courses here at UCL. In his project, he decided to take a step further from his master’s project and use ab initio methods to investigate a wider range of earth abundant materials for their photovoltaic applications. Away from lab, Zongda enjoys many outdoor activities including hiking, mountain climbing and cycling.

Warda Rahim 2018-2021


Warda is originally from Pakistan and moved to England to study a BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at QMUL. She completed her bachelors with a first class degree and received top position in each of the three years. At QMUL, she did two research projects with Dr Rachel Crespo-Otero. Her BSc project, Aggregation Induced Emission in Organic Crystals, involved excited state simulations and solid state modelling to explore the mechanism of de-excitation and excited state proton transfer in 2-hydroxychalcone derivatives. She is really excited for her PhD project with Professor David Scanlon, which focuses on finding high performance n-type oxide thermoelectric materials with low lattice thermal conductivity. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling and meditating.

Arthur Youd 2018-2021


Arthur grew up on a farm in wales before swapping the tractor for a test tube at UCL chemistry where he received a BSc in Chemical Physics in 2016. He then qualified as a physics and chemistry teacher at the University of Chester in 2017. Arthur soon realised he missed the intellectual challenge of chemistry but not the acetone fumes of the lab so discovered the world of computational chemistry. Arthur studied earth abundant non-toxic thermoelectric materials in his Molecular Modelling MSc under the supervision of Professor David Scanlon. His PhD focuses on applying similar electronic structure methods to battery materials. When he isn’t putting a computer through its paces he is either teaching, snowboarding or sampling the culinary delights of china town.

Kieran Spooner 2018-2022


Kieran is from Auckland, New Zealand but has lived most his life in London. He is currently studying energy materials for his PhD. He has also studied transparent thermoelectrics for his MSci in Natural Sciences and screened layered tin perovskites for photovoltaic applications as a summer student. In his spare time he plays video games, reads, runs and walks.

Joe Willis 2018-2022

Joe Willis

Joe is from East London and grew up in Essex before earning a first class BSc in Chemistry at UCL. He is currently undertaking an MRes and EngD in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science. His work will focus on developing new doping mechanisms for Transparent Conducting Oxides under the supervision of Professor David Scanlon and Dr Tien-Lin Lee at Diamond Light Source. When not studying, Joe enjoys snooker, carpet bowls, train journeys and spending probably too much time with his dog.


PhD Students: 2nd Supervisor

Jon Rackham 2014-2018


Jon is from Maidstone, Kent and graduated from Cambridge with a BA and MSci in Experimental and Theoretical Physics. His Masters project on magnetic phase plates was conducted in the Thin Film Magnetism group of the Cavendish laboratory where he continued to work on thin film growth. After an internship with Oxford Instruments NanoAnalysis he started his PhD under Dr Michelle Moram of Imperial College and Prof David Scanlon of UCL in the CDT in the Advanced Characterisation of Materials. He is studying the growth and characterisation of polar/non-polar oxide heterostructures for use in wide band gap devices. His work with Dr Scanlon will be modelling the systems in parallel to the experimental work. When not in a lab Jon can probably be found on one of his many bikes or enjoying a few beverages while fixing them.

Qing Hou 2016-2020

Qing Hou

Qing Hou is originally from China. Her PhD project is on atomistic simulations of transparent conducting oxides under the supervision of Professor Richard Catlow and Professor David Scanlon. Outside the lab, Qing enjoys fitness, dancing and travelling.

Jone-Him Tsang 2016-2020


Jone is from London and studied at the University of Sussex for his undergraduate MChem degree. His fourth year project was on the ‘Synthesis of Sterically Hindered Low Coordinate Metal Centres for Small Molecule Activation’ under the supervision of Dr John Turner. Now at UCL, Jone is working on his MRes in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science. His EngD which is jointly supervised by Professor Chris Blackman and Professor David Scanlon focuses on low power metal oxide based gas sensors. Away from chemistry, Jone likes to play american football and spend his time in front of a computer.

Rachael Smith 2017-2020


Rachael Smith is from Kent and has just graduated with a first in MSci Chemistry from UCL. Her 4th year project was on ‘Stacking Disorder in AB Materials’ under the supervision of Dr. Christoph Salzmann. Rachael’s PhD project will continue to look at Stacking Disorder within materials and their potential applications which she will be studying using a combination of computational and experimental techniques under the joint supervision of Prof. David Scanlon and Prof. Christoph Salzmann. Outside of Chemistry, Rachael enjoys going to the gym and travelling.

Hugues Lambert 2017-2021


Hugues is originally from Belgium where he studied Materials Science at the Louvain School of Engineering. He worked during his Masters on the prediction of optical properties of small organic molecules using first principles methods. Now at the UCL under the supervision of Prof. David Scanlon, Dr. Tung Chun Lee and Dr. Yong-Wei Zhang (A*STAR Singapore), his focus is on the selection and modelling of organic compounds able to undergo exotic chemistry inside of cucurbiturils . Away from his workstation, Hugues loves going on exploratory trips on his bike, attempting audacious solid soap formulations from internet-scavenged recipes and reading everything he comes across.

Maham Karim 2018-2021


Maham graduated with an MSci Chemistry from University College London in 2018, before taking up a joint experiment-theory Ph.D. studentship in thermoelectrics supervised by Dr Robert Palgrave and Professor David Scanlon. For her M.Sci. project, Maham studied tin halometallates of the form A2SnX6 as highly tunable semiconductors and potential solar cell materials. In her third year she did a literature project on the different computational methods of exploring protein-ligand binding affinities. Besides chemistry Maham enjoys kickboxing, reading and coffee!


Masters Students 2018-2019

Adrien Richard


Adrien, originally from Paris, came from the City of Lights to study at UCL. He is currently undertaking a MSci in Chemical Physics with a research project focusing on the effects of Mg3Sb2 alloying in thermoelectric materials and supervised by Professor Scanlon. When Adrien isn’t “jacked in” to Grace or Legion, he’s either enjoying a fresh pint at the pub or listening to the last Led Zeppelin reedition.

Shareef Sbaiti


Originally from Manchester, Shareef is a 4th year UCL undergrad. Under Prof. Scanlon’s supervision, his masters project focuses on photovoltaics; specifically fine-tuning earth abundant molecules. Outside of University Shareef enjoys cooking, sporting activities and music.

Katarina Brlec


Katarina is originally from Bled, Slovenia but moved to London to study Chemistry at UCL. During her MSci year she will be researching mixed-anion systems for thermoelectric energy generation under joint supervision of Prof. David Scanlon and Dr John Buckeridge. In her free time she enjoys yoga, independently-owned pubs and bottomless brunches.

Sebastian Palmer


Seb has been brought up living a nomadic lifestyle, being born in Brazil and living in Oxford, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. Now finally settled at UCL, he enters the 4th year of his Chemistry with Maths MSci under the supervision of Prof. David Scanlon and Dr John Buckeridge to explore how dopants affect the quantum properties of pnictides. Deciding he needed more out of university life he became Treasurer and Chariman of the Chemical and Physical Society and the Snowsports club respectively. He spends the rest of his time exploring London and everything it has to offer.

Lara Ruetsch


Originally from Cornwall, Lara graduated from Cardiff University with a First Class BSc Chemistry (Hons) in 2017. Now, Lara is studying for an MSc Materials in Energy and the Environment at UCL; undertaking a project focusing on materials for photovoltaic applications. In her free time Lara enjoys running, playing netball and cooking.

Yan Jin

yjin bio 201810

Originally from Shanghai, China, Yan is currently doing her Msc project at UCL on developing novel earth abundant materials for higher conversion efficiency perovskite via computational chemistry methods. Away from lab, Yan enjoys traveling, cooking and Chinese calligraphy.


Group Alumni

Dr Ben Williamson, PhD 2015-2018, PDRA 2018-2019

Ben profile_square

Ben Williamson is originally from Rochester in Kent and in April 2018 defended his PhD thesis titled “Understanding the Electronic and Thermodynamic Properties of Wide Band Gap Materials” under the supervision of Prof David Scanlon. His projects involved the study and enhancement of existing transparent conducting oxides, photocatalysts and photovoltaics. Among these applications he has studied the thermodynamic and optical properties of defects and dopants, electronic structures and phonons as well as materials prediction. Prior to this Ben carried out a Master’s project on “Computational Design of Next Generation p-type Semiconductors” at UCL. His PDRA project focused on mixed-anion semiconductors for a range of energy generation and optoelectronic applications. Outside of computational chemistry, Ben enjoys travelling, music and culture, is an illustrious tenor, connoisseur of flapjacks and a keen cyclist. Ben was the first Masters Student in the group, and the first PhD student to graduate from the group! He has now moved to take up a PDRA position at the Ceramics Group at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology to work with Professor Sverre Magnus Selbach.

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Dr Adam Jackson, PDRA 2016-2019


Adam grew up in London before moving to the University of Bath to obtain an MEng in Chemical Engineering. Through the inter-disciplinary Center for Sustainable Chemical Technologies he found himself working on energy materials in the computational chemistry research group of Professor Aron Walsh. This led to a PhD studying the thermodynamics of the Cu-Zn-Sn-S system for solar energy materials. At UCL Adam was working to understand and improve a range of transparent conducting oxide materials. Adam enjoys producing, performing and criticising music as well as attending live events. Likes: thermodynamics, real ale, Emacs, black coffee, Arctangent Festival. Dislikes: Radio One, ineffective hand dryers. Adam has now taken up a permanent position at the STFC Scientific Computing Division at Harwell.

Adam’s profile on Google Scholar Citations

Dr Alex Ganose, EngD Student 2014-2018


Alex Ganose is from Manchester, he defected to London to study Natural Sciences at UCL where he received a first. His 4th year project was with Dr Hugo Bronstein, synthesising novel covalent organic frameworks for use in gas storage. Alex’s PhD project focused on ab initio prediction of new materials for photovoltaic cells. He clearly spent too much time in front of a computer, and during is EngD he ended up winning the Violet Horshall Prize for best student on the MRes in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science in 2015, the UCL Computational Chemistry poster Prize in 2017, the prize for best use of ARCHER (The UK’s National Supercomputer) in 2017, a Materials Research Society (MRS) Graduate Student Award (Silver Medal) at the 2017 Boston MRS, an MRS Graduate Student Award (Gold Medal) at the 2018 Spring MRS in Phoenix, and the Catlow Prize for best final year Computational Chemistry Student in 2018. Alex is now a PDRA in the group of Anubhav Jain at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in the US.

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Dr James Pegg, EngD Student 2013-2017


James T. Pegg obtained a MSc in Chemistry from the University of Nottingham. There, his final year project entitled ‘Investigation 3+2 Cycloadditions Towards the Total Synthesis of Securinine’ specialised in Organic Chemistry. He moved to University College London where he obtain a MRes in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science in 2014. His EngD focused on the computational modelling of the actinide oxides, and he defended his thesis in May 2018. He is especially interested in teaching and demonstrating and in his spare time he enjoys pubs, walks and traveling. James is currently a PDRA in the group of Dr Kim Jelfs at Imperial College London.

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Previous Group Visitors

Dr Katherine Inzani 2017-2018


Originally from London, Katherine studied for an MEng in Materials Science at the University of Oxford before moving to Norway. She completed her PhD in the Ceramics Group at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology with a thesis titled, Structure-Property Relations of Reduced Molybdenum Trioxide. This led to a post-doc position researching oxide materials for intermediate band solar cells, for which she hopes to gain knowledge and inspiration during her visit to Dr David Scanlon’s group. Katherine enjoys cabin trips, wildlife and the cold weather of Norway but prefers the choice of restaurants in London.

Katherine’s profile on Google Scholar Citations

Zhenyu Wang 2016-2018


Zhenyu Wang is from Xi’an, China, and he will study in UCL as a joint PhD student for 18 months. He used to work on the catalytic cathodes of lithium air batteries (LABs). Now at UCL, Zhenyu will start a new project focused on the new materials for hybrid perovskite solar cells under the supervision of Dr David Scanlon and Professor Chunming Niu. Zhenyu enjoys material structure characterization and properties prediction of new materials, and is familiar most of the popular density functional theory packages. Outside of the lab, Zhenyu likes to play ping pong and spend time delving into the go game.

Zhenyu’s profile on Google Scholar Citations