SilviaGroup Leader

Dr Silvia Díez-González 

Dr. Silvia Díez-González received her MSci in organic chemistry from the Universidad del País Vasco (Spain) and the Université Paris XI (France) in 2000 and her Ph.D on organosilicon chemistry from the Université Paris XI under the supervision of Dr Luis Blanco.

Silvia first joined the Department of Chemistry at Imperial as part of the first promotion of Imperial College Junior Research Fellows, where she is currently a Senior Lecturer in Catalysis.

For more information, visit Silvia's website

Visiting Professor



Doctor in Organic Chemistry (UCM annual award, 1996).

Postdoctoral stay (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, M. Brookhart, 1996-1997).

Assistant Professor in the Universidad San Pablo CEU from 1997 to 2001 when he joined the Eli Lilly I+D Department in Spain as a Research Scientist. 

In January 2006 he returned to the Universidad Complutense de Madrid as a Ramón y Cajal researcher. In February 2008  Luis became Profesor Titular in the Organic Chemistry Department. His wide research interests go from catalysis, scale-up, organometallic chemistry and mechanisms to organic synthesis or catalytic hydrogen production. He joined the group in June 2017 for one year as a visiting researcher to carry out computational mechanistic studies.

Postgraduate students

Ethan RICHARDS, 3rd Year PGEthan RICHARDS, 4th Year PG

Ethan is from Southampton and graduated from the University of Birmingham with an MSci in Chemistry. In his third year he completed a 12 month placement at GlaxoSmithKline working in medicinal chemistry and during his final year Ethan’s MSci project was to investigate the synthesis of “drug-like” azetidines, under the supervision of Dr John Fossey. Ethan started his PhD in October 2014, under the joint supervision of Dr James Bull and Dr Silvia Díez-González, to investigate well-defined copper-catalysts for N-arylation reactions.

Outside of the lab Ethan enjoys attending music concerts and festivals, supporting Southampton football club, running and fencing.

Filip SEBEST, 3rd Year PhDFilip SEBEST, 4th Year PhD

Filip is from Bratislava, Slovakia and and he completed his undergraduate degree at Imperial College. His MSci project involved studies towards a novel total synthesis of pseudopterosin natural products, under the supervision of Prof Donald Craig. He started his PhD in October 2014 and his current research is based on copper-catalysed cycloadditions with alkenes.

Outside of chemistry, Filip likes travelling around Europe, watching TV and playing sports and board games.


Lalita is from Thailand. She completed her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Chulalongkorn University and her MRes degree in Catalysis at Imperial College London. Her master project focused on copper(I)-NHC complexes for the Goldberg coupling, under supervision of Dr. Silvia Díez-González and Dr. James Bull. Lalita started her PhD in June 2016 working on direct nucleophilic substitution reactions of propargylic alcohols.

Outside of chemistry, Lalita plays dodgeball competitively and likes traveling, photography, playing table tennis and board games

Rebecca LANE, 1st Year PhD                                                                                                                                                          

Rebecca graduated from the University of Leeds with an MChem in Chemistry in 2017. In her third year, she completed a placement year at AstraZeneca working as a process chemist on new route work and route optimisation for late stage drug development.  Her master’s project, supervised by Professor Steve Marsden, involved developing novel chiral catalysts for asymmetric C-H activation reactions.

Rebecca started her PhD on investigating copper catalysts for N-arylations in October 2017, under the joint supervision of Dr Silvia Díez-González and Dr James Bull. Outside of the lab, Rebecca is involved with charity work and enjoys musical theatre and bouldering.

MSci/BSci students



Dr Benjamin Zelenay (Sept 2013 - August 2017)

‘Structural and catalytic studies on novel copper complexes’

Current position: Operation Chemist at Lonza


 Dr Sarah Gates (Nov 2012 - July 2016)

‘Investigating metal formyl complexes for homogeneous syngas conversion’

Current position: Policy Adviser at DCMS

Dr John M. Collinson

 Dr John M. Collinson (Oct 2010 - August 2014)

‘Immobilised N-heterocyclic carbene metal complexes in catalysis’


Current position: Chemist at Johnson Matthey

Dr Steven Lal

 Dr Steven Lal (Nov 2009 - July 2013)

‘Metal complexes as catalysts for the synthesis of heterocycles’


Current position: Senior Scientist at Lonza