3MT Win for Aisha

Aisha took part in the Durham University heats for the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition. She made it through to the university final, having won first place in the Faculty of Science round. Congratulations, Aisha!

The 3MT is an international competition that celebrates the work of PhD students by challenging them to explain their research in a compelling, short presentation, using language suitable for a non-specialist audience.

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MASC 2016

The McGonigal Group ended the year by attending the RSC’s annual macrocyclic and supramolecular chemistry meeting (MASC), which was held in Edinburgh this year. The meeting was a great opportunity for us catch up on the latest developments in the field, meet other reseachers from around the UK, and to see the first lecture from Nobel Laureate, Prof Fraser Stoddart, after he received his award in Stockholm.

Aisha presented a poster of  her recent results, which was awarded one of the five poster prizes on the final day. Congratulations, Aisha!


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Andrew, Mary, and Edward Get Started

October marked the beginning of the new academic year and brought three new members to the McGonigal group. Andrew Turley (MChem, Newcastle University 2016) began his PhD at the same time as Durham undergraduates Mary Gibbins and Edward Mitchell officially started their final-year research projects.


For more information about Andrew, Mary, and Edward, see the group members pages.


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Brette Arrives from Across the Pond

Brette Chapin joined the McGonigal Group at the start of September, having recently completed her PhD at UT Austin. During her PhD in the Anslyn Group, Brette investigated the fluorescent response of boronic acid hosts to saccharide binding. In Durham, she’ll use her background in physical organic chemistry to study shapeshifting cations and redox active hosts.

Brette Chapin


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Doing it by the Büchi

We recently received delivery of two Büchi R-100 rotavap systems for laboratory CG233.


Thanks to Jiří for setting them up. They’ll come in very handy later in the year when things get even busier in the McGonigal, Walton, and Avestro Groups.


For more photographs of our laboratory space, see the virtual Laboratory Tour.

Posted in Lab Updates

Gemma Sends Herself to Coventry

MChem student Gemma Parker has graduated from the McGonigal Group and Durham University. After a well-earned break over the summer, she will move to the University of Warwick, Coventry, to study for a PhD in the Chaplin Group, where she will investigate agostic interactions in organometallic complexes. Good luck, Gemma!

Gemma Prize

Gemma had a run of success towards the end of the academic year, graduating with a first class honours degree and winning two poster prizes – one for the best MChem Project Poster in the Chemistry Department (the David Brinley Adams Prize) and the second at Durham University’s 2016 Rising Stars Research Symposium. The photo below shows Gemma being awarded the David Brinley Adams Prize by the Head of Department, Prof Mark Wilson.

Gemma - David Brinley Adams Prize

Posted in Group Member Updates

Aisha Wins Again

Aisha picked up her second poster award in a month, winning the second-place prize at the RSC’s 2016 North West Organic Division Regional Meeting at the University of Central Lancashire.

Aisha Poster Prize May 2016

The conference gave Aisha the opportunity to return to her alma mater for the first time since graduating a year ago. Congratulations on the successful homecoming, Aisha!

Aisha Poster Prize May 2016 2

Posted in Group Member Updates

First-Place Finish for Aisha

Aisha has been awarded the a prize for the Best Faculty of Science Poster at the Durham University Reserachers’ Poster Competition. The goal of annual university-wide competition is to effectively communicate research to members of the public and to fellow students from different disciplines.

The Chancellor of Durham University – Sir Thomas Allen – presented Aisha with her award. Congratulations Aisha!

Posted in Group Member Updates

Poster Prize for Jiří

On April 6, the McGonigal Group made the short trip north to Newcastle to attend the RSC’s Organic Division North East Regional Meeting 2016. Jiří’s poster ‘Cycloheptatrienes – a New Class of Luminogenic Materials’ was awarded a Poster Prize, sponsored by AstraZeneca. Congratulations Jiří!

As well as presenting posters, Paul, Aisha, and Jiří had the chance to hear about some exciting chemistry coming out of universities in the North East and to listen to plenary lectures from two RSC prize winners, Professors David O’Hagan and Michael Krische.

Posted in Conferences, Group Member Updates

Realising Our Potential

We now have an EmStat3+ Potentiostat set up and running in the lab. The instrument will allow us to perform bulk electrolysis experiments and to analyse the electrochemical properties of the new compounds that we are synthesising.

For more photographs of our laboratory space, see the virtual Laboratory Tour.

Posted in Lab Updates