Meet the Early Career Colloid committee:


Dr Lee Fielding (University of Manchester)

  • Colloidal nanocomposite synthesis/characterisation
  • Polymerisation-induced self-assembly
  • Pickering emulsions and colloidosomes
  • Waterborne coatings

Dr Fielding obtained an MChem in Chemistry from The University of Sheffield in 2008, which was followed by a PhD in 2012 from the same institution under the supervision of Professor Steven P. Armes FRS. He worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the same group until 2015, when he was appointed as a lecturer in the School of Materials at The University of Manchester. His research has primarily focussed on the synthesis, characterisation and applications of colloidal nanocomposite particles as well as the preparation of bespoke colloidal particles via RAFT dispersion polymerisation. His current research themes include the development of novel materials for use in the fields of waterborne paints and biomedical diagnostics.


Dr Tim Snow (Diamond Light Source)

  • Amyloid fibrils
  • Interfaces
  • Lipids
  • Polymer brushes
  • Self-assembled systems
  • Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS)

Tim Snow is currently the Data Analysis Scientist for I22 at Diamond Light Source. He obtained his PhD from the University of Bristol in January 2016 where he subsequently obtained a post-doctoral position before joining Diamond in October 2016.
His current role at Diamond primarily is focussed developing new advances in software for SAXS data analysis for use with both synchrotron and laboratory sources. He also continues research, primarily through collaboration, in the fields of soft condensed matter and polymers on surfaces.


Dr Ben Cheesman (Aqdot Limited)

Ben is a Project Leader at Aqdot – a specialty chemical company, originally spun out of the University of Cambridge, that is focused on the application and commercialisation of cucurbiturils.  He leads Aqdot’s new product development activities, typically working with commercial partners to demonstrate how the unique supramolecular interactions of cucurbiturils can solve unmet market needs.
Prior to joining Aqdot, Ben was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Newcastle, Australia, investigating the synthesis and characterisation of polymer brushes.  Ben obtained his PhD from the University of Bristol covering the synthesis and potential medical applications of curable siloxanes under the supervision of Prof Terence Cosgrove and Dr Stuart Prescott.

Website and Social Media

Dr Guido Bolognesi (Loughborough University)

  • Colloid Transport
  • Soft Interfaces
  • Optical Trapping
  • Microfluidics

Guido graduated in Mechanical Engineering and then completed an international joint PhD in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics at the Sapienza University of Rome and University Claude Bernard Lyon 1. In 2012, he joined as post-doc the Department of Chemistry of Imperial College London, where he worked on the optical manipulation of soft interfaces. In 2016, he was appointed lecturer at the Department of Chemical Engineering of Loughborough University, where he co-funded the Particle Microfluidics Group. He is now senior lecturer and his current research focuses on experimental analysis and modelling of interfacial phenomena and transport processes in soft matter systems, and their application for biosensing, therapeutics and synthetic biology.

Dr Spyridon Varlas (University of Sheffield)

Dr Spyridon Varlas received his BSc degree in Chemistry and MSc degree in Polymer Science from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece) in 2014 and 2016, respectively. In September 2016, he moved to the UK to undertake an ERC-funded PhD in Chemistry initially at the University of Warwick and later at the University of Birmingham, working within the group of Prof Rachel K. O’Reilly. His PhD thesis focused primarily on the engineering of bio-mimicking polymeric vesicles with tunable membrane properties by polymerization-induced self-assembly. In July 2020, he joined the group of Prof. Giuseppe Battaglia at UCL as a Research Fellow. Since September 2021, Spyridon is a Research Associate within the group of Prof Steven P. Armes and he is working on an EPSRC-funded project involving both fundamental science and bio-applications of aqueous polymerization-induced self-assembly. In recognition of his research contributions, Spyridon has received the Macro Group UK 2020 Jon Weaver Prize for the best UK PhD thesis in polymer science, the 2021 Katharine Burr Blodgett Award for the best UK PhD thesis in colloid science and the 2022 ACS Global Outstanding Graduate Student Award in Polymer Science and Engineering, while he has been recently selected as a 2022 PMSE Future Faculty Scholar.

Industry Liaison

Dr David Growney (Lubrizol Limited)

David completed his undergraduate MChem and postgraduate PhD studies at the University of Sheffield. His PhD was supervised by Prof. Steve Armes and focussed on the understanding of contaminant soot dispersion in engine oil. Upon completion of his PhD in 2015, David took on the role of Chemist at Lubrizol Limited (a specialty chemical company), and has since progressed to the position of Research Chemist in the same company. David’s research concentrates on future-looking performance additive chemistries. More specifically, the work primarily focusses on the understanding of colloidal dispersions in both aqueous and non-aqueous media, and also emulsion formation and subsequent stability.

Ordinary Members

Dr Michael Cook (University of Hertfordshire)

Michael holds a BSc Natural Sciences and PhD on the subject of bacterial encapsulation from the University of Reading, under the supervision of Prof. Dimitris Charalampopolous and Prof. Vitaliy Khutoryanskiy. He then worked as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the Khutoryanskiy group developing animal-free biomimetic hydrogels. Since 2015 he has been a Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutics at the University of Hertfordshire. His principle research interest is in temperature-responsive polymers as in situ gelators, using controlled polymerisation to develop novel macromolecules and statistical designs to optimise existing materials.

Dr Priyanka Dey (Teesside University)

Dr Priyanka Dey is currently a Senior Lecturer in Chemistry at Teesside University, UK. She attained her Ph.D. in chemistry specialising in colloidal nanotechnology and optical spectroscopy, from Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Since then, her research has been directed toward designing hybrid plasmonic-polymeric nano-assemblies and developing analytical spectroscopic solutions for disease diagnosis. This has included work in enhanced Raman scattering (SERS and SESORS) in Australia and UK, nanoplasmonics and photonics in Germany and optical nanobiosensors for clinical and point-of-care devices in Spain. She has years of experience in the ever-growing domain of novel nanoplasmonics using cutting-edge enhanced optical spectroscopic solutions especially, Raman spectroscopy for clinical diagnostic needs. She loves teaching about materials and analytical chemistry and has been active in public speaking like Soapbox science UK.