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 Kirsty Stark (Battelle UK)

  • Formulation
  • Emulsions
  • Suspensions
  • Microencapsulation
  • Nanoparticle synthesis and characterisation

Kirsty obtained her MChem in Chemistry from the University of Sheffield followed by a PhD in the Colloid and Polymer Engineering Group in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Leeds. Her thesis was focussed on preventing the loss of encapsulated actives by utilising an impermeable metallic film deposited onto an emulsion droplet template. Research interests include synthesis, characterisation and interfacial properties of colloidal systems such as metal nanoparticles and emulsions, polymer engineering, surface science and nanotechnology. Currently she is working in formulation development and evaluation in crop care using a broad range of colloidal materials and methods for both clients and unmet industrial needs.

Dr Nacho Martin-Fabiani-Carrato (Loughborough University)

Nacho is a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow in the Department of Materials at Loughborough University, working on the self-assembly of colloidal films for coatings applications. He is particularly interested in the use of X-ray and neutron scattering techniques to follow the self-assembly of nanostructures as well as polymer dynamics. He was awarded the Best PhD Prize from the Spanish Synchrotron User Association and recently received the Exchange Lectureship Award from the Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society.

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 Gemma-Louise Davies (UCL)

  • Inorganic and hybrid nanomaterials
  • Medical imaging using nanocolloids
  • Nanotherapeutics for targeted drug delivery
  • Environmental impact of nanomaterials

Gemma-Louise graduated from Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) with a Degree in Natural Sciences (Mod. Chemistry) and remained there to undertake a PhD in Inorganic and Materials Chemistry, which she was awarded in 2011. Following a brief industry-supported Postdoctoral position in Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), Gemma-Louise moved to the University of Oxford as a Postdoctoral Research Associate, staying there for 2 years before she was awarded a Global Research Fellowship from the Institute of Advanced Study at the University of Warwick, where she began her independent career in 2013. She joined the Department of Chemistry at University College London as a Lecturer in Materials in July 2017. Gemma-Louise’s research focusses on the design and development of nanostructured materials for three main applications: i) to understand and solve current healthcare challenges, with a focus on MRI contrast agents; ii) to overcome obstacles in important industrial processes, through the exploration of novel functional nanostructures; and iii) to assess the fate of commercial nanomaterials in the environment. Her work is highly interdisciplinary, collaborating with academics in Engineering, Physics, Life Sciences and Medicine as well as clinicians; she also engages with industrial partners to explore commercialisation of aspects of her work.

Dr Fiona Hatton (Loughborough University)

Fiona obtained her Masters degree (MChem) from the University of Liverpool and stayed there to pursue a PhD in Polymer Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Steve Rannard, awarded in 2014. Following her PhD she moved to Stockholm, Sweden to join the Division of Coating Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology as a postdoctoral researcher where she worked primarily with cellulose and biopolymers. In 2016, she returned to the UK as a postdoctoral researcher with Prof. Steven Armes at the University of Sheffield where her research focused on preparing functional polymer colloids using emulsion polymerisation. Fiona moved to Loughborough University in 2018 as a Lecturer in Polymer Chemistry based in the Department of Materials. Her research themes include preparation of polymers and polymer colloids from renewable resources, biomaterials for tissue engineering and stimuli-responsive materials.

ECCo 2020 Organiser

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