Since 2016 the IRMG has awarded a Young Investigator’s Award each year to recognise the exceptional contribution to the field by an independent academic researcher at an early career stage.

2020 Winner

Dr Claire McMullin, University of Bath

As a computational Chemist, Claire uses predominately Density Functional Theory (DFT) methods to investigate a range of organometallic and inorganic reaction systems. Through collaborations with a range of synthetic groups, her research has studied mechanisms for Rh and Ru C-H activation, Pd cross-coupling of aryl halides, Buchwald-Hartwig amination, the nucelophilicity and reactivity of group 2 boryl complexes, emerging alumanyl reactivity and much more.

2019 Winner

Dr Ruth Webster, University of Bath

My research spans the fields of organic, organometallic and coordination chemistry with a specific focus on iron-catalysed main group bond transformations and catalytic manipulation of phosphines. We are a synthetic methodology group, but use a range of physical organic techniques to probe mechanism. We also collaborate with experts in advanced spectroscopies and theoreticians to gain greater understanding of our chemistry.

2018 Winner

Dr Ulrich Hintermair, University of Bath

2017 Winner

Dr James Walton, Durham University

Research projects in the Walton group are linked through the design, synthesis and evaluation of organometallic complexes. One project is the study of Ru(η6-arene)Ln complexes in synthesis and catalysis. We have shown that π–coordination of arenes to Ru increases their reactivity towards SNAr, C–H activation and trifluoromethylation. However, the Ru–(η6-arene) bond is strong and a stoichiometric amount of Ru is required. Our goal is to develop systems in which the rate of arene dissociation/exchange is matched with the rate of arene reactivity, leading to a catalytic cycle. By understanding the mechanism of arene exchange in these systems, we can lower the activation barrier for dissociation through judicious choice of ligands, Ln, and incorporation of tethers. Our recent review on this area can be read here.

2016 Winner

Dr Sara Kyne, University of Lincoln

The goal of research in the Kyne group is to develop sustainable catalytic processes. To achieve this, we focus on elucidating the underpinning mechanistic details of these reactions to guide optimisation of activity and efficiency. We use a variety of spectroscopic and electrochemical techniques, in synergy with computational modelling.