Athena Swan

Launched in July 2005, the Athena SWAN recognises and celebrates good practice on recruiting, retaining and promoting women in SET (Science, Engineering and Technology) in higher education.

UCL and the Chemistry Department has been awarded the Bronze Award.  This award recognises that the University overall as well as our department has a solid foundation (the policies, practices, systems and arrangements) for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff. The Department of Chemistry is currently working towards achieving the Silver SWAN Award.  

Self Assessment Team (SAT)

The SAT consists of the following members who are working towards the Silver Award:

Simon Banks

Simon Banks

Working in central London makes balancing work and home life challenging, especially for those with very lengthy commutes. The principles behind Athena Swan can help to address this by encouraging flexibility - ultimately leading to benefits for all staff, both male and female 

Nicola Best

Nicola Best

Nicola has worked at UCL since 2001 in various departments and joined the Department of Chemistry in 2011 as the Executive Assistant to the Head of Department.  She has a flexible working arrangement and works from home two days per week.  In her spare time she likes walking her dog, exploring new countries and is a keen photographer. 

Marion Bartlett-Brooks

Marion Bartlett-Brooks

Marion is a PhD student jointly funded and supported by UCL and Uppsala Universitet, Sweden.   Her research involves using numerical methods and classical spin models to simulate magnetic materials and to study their phase behaviour.  Besides research, she is an appointed member of the Inclusion and Diversity committee for the Royal Society of Chemistry and has been involved in numerous public engagement events related in science e.g. “CEPMaBC Be a Polymath” and the “Royal Society Summer exhibition”. In all of this, Marion finds it is important to create an inclusive and diverse environment for people to work, study and engage.  

Jadranka Butorac

Jadranka Butorac

Jadranka completed her PhD in Physical Chemistry at UCL.   She really enjoyed working at UCL, and was very glad to have an opportunity to help postgraduate students through her new role as Teaching and Learning Administrator for Postgraduate Students here in the department.   The working atmosphere in the General Office is really family friendly therefore Jadranka can combine her full time job with her family commitments. 

Claire Carmalt

Claire Carmalt

Claire Carmalt joined UCL in 1997 as a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow. She started a lectureship at UCL in 2001 and was promoted to senior lecturer in 2002, Reader in 2004 and Professor in 2009. She is currently the Head of the Inorganic and Materials Chemistry section.  Claire has two daughters (Tory 12 and Rosie 9) and balances family life and work by working from home one day a week. Help from her partner Mike (and also Grandma in the holidays!) ensures that she can keep up with her large research group, managing the section and an active role in teaching. She also benefits from having some excellent postdoctoral researchers in her group who help with the smooth running of her laboratory and running many joint projects with her colleague Professor Parkin.  

Daren Caruana

Daren Caruana

Daren was born in Malta and mostly educated in the UK.  He graduated with a PhD in electrochemistry from the University of Southampton.  After holding postdoctoral positions at the University of Malta, University of Texas, Austin, and at UCL he settled in London.  He has been engaged in teaching and research at UCL since 1999. He is currently a Reader in Physical Chemistry.  He is a father to two young boys and a carer for his wife. 

Caroline Knapp

Caroline Knapp

Caroline E. Knapp graduated from University College London (UCL) in 2006 and remained at the institution to complete her PhD in 2010 in the field of precursor design and analysis with Professors Claire J. Carmalt and Paul F. McMillan. Following this she worked on highly reactive main group chemistry, particularly the isolation of low valent group 14 compounds and their subsequent reactivity at UC Davis, CA, with Professor Phil P. Power FRS. Following this she returned to the UK, with a post doc. at Imperial College under the supervision of Dr. Joachim H. G. Steinke working on the formulation and implementation of metal inks. Currently Caroline is working back at UCL, under the supervision of Professors Carmalt and Ivan P. Parkin concentrating on the design of novel molecular precursors to meet the challenges faced by the synthesis of transparent conducting oxide (TCO) materials via chemical vapour deposition (CVD). 

Helen Fielding

Helen Fielding

Helen Fielding joined UCL in 2003 as a professor of physical chemistry and is now Head of Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics.   Helen has three children (Katherine 17, David 14 and Charlotte 4). She has always worked full-time, but has benefited enormously from the department’s generous flexible working practices. Currently, she leaves early (after an early start) 3 days a week, has one long day at work and one shorter (school hours) day working at home. Of course, to manage teaching and departmental/university commitments requires the flexibility to work both ways and the newly introduced departmental policy of organising the teaching timetable in August for the year ahead is particularly helpful, in this respect. 

Liz Read

Liz Read

Liz is the Departmental Manager and DEOLO.  Liz has two adult sons and understands the need for flexible working arrangements.  In her spare time she enjoys reading and socialising with friends. 

Christoph Salzmann

Christoph is a University Lecturer and Royal Society University Research Fellow at the UCL Department of Chemistry. He heads a research group concerned with the Structural Chemistry of Complex Materials. Research highlights have included the discovery of three new phases of ice, new insights into the shapes of snow flakes and the preparation of a new graphene material. Outside work, he very much enjoys going to the children’s theatre with his three year old daughter Valentina. 

Sandeep Sehmi

Sandeep Sehmi

Sandeep has just started her second year of her Ph.D. She also completed her undergraduate degree at UCL in Chemistry with Mathematics. Sandeep has always felt part of the community within the Chemistry department and this encouraged her to continue her education here as well.  She likes to do different sporting activities to keep fit, socialise, and explore London. 

Tom Sheppard

Tom Sheppard

Dr Tom Sheppard joined the department as a postdoctoral researcher working with Professor Motherwell in 2004. In 2007 he was awarded an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship and appointed to a lectureship in the department. In 2010 he completed his probation period and was promoted to a Grade 8 lecturer, and in 2013 he was promoted to Reader in Organic Chemistry. 

Dorothy Hodgkins Fellowship

The Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship scheme has recently opened and we’re keen to promote this across the scientific community as the scheme provides support for those who require flexible working patterns. 

The Royal Society's Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship scheme is now open for applications (closing date 12 Jan 2015).

This scheme provides funding for outstanding, early-career scientists in the UK who require a flexible working pattern due to personal circumstances such as parenting or caring responsibilities or health issues. To find out more information including case studies about current holders, visit the Royal Society Website.

Working Dads

Below are a few websites aimed at working dads, whether you want to chat to other parents or get top tips, these sites are here to help:-

  1. www.dadzclub.com and #dadzclub on Twitter

This comprehensive website has articles on birth, babies, toddlers, teenagers, parenting & relationships. Website intro states dadzclub ‘is founded on the belief that no matter whether you’re an expectant dad or a dad of vast experience, we all need support from each other to encourage stronger relationships with our children and families.

2. www.mumsnet.com/Talk/dadsnet - This is the dads’ specific discussion forum, part of mumsnet 

3. www.sleepandhealth.com - Tips on how to cope with sleep deprivation from this US website

4. Working Families have a section on their website devoted to fathers, which includes a discussion forum


5. The Fatherhood Institute supports all aspects of making life easier for fathers

6. www.fathersworkandfamily.com - A US blog written by Scott Behson, dedicated to dads and work/life balance

7. www.huffingtonpost.com/parents The US site has a section devoted to parents.  There is also a UK-version.

Also here are a few popular blogs for dads:

  1. www.shoutydad.com
  2. www.first-time-daddy.blogspot.co.uk/
  3. www.singleparentdad.blogspot.co.uk/

And you can find Parenting for Professionals blogs on working dads:

  1. www.helpforworkingdads.blogspot.co.uk/
  2. www.flexibleparentalleave.blogspot.co.uk/