EDI Team

The EDI Committee meet monthly and work proactively within the department to embed equality and diversity practices. 

 2023 -2024 Committee Members

The UCL Chemistry EDI Committee work to make the department a friendly and welcoming place for everyone where everyone can realise their full potential. To do this, the committee works in a number of ways. One is through the organisation of regular events, like coffee mornings and careers workshops, to provide socalising, networking and support opportunities. Another is through more formal routes, such as reviewing hiring and job advertising practices and further improving our widening participation schemes. We have representatives from different groups in the department to ensure a balance of views and issues are always heard.  

The committee is also responsible for ensuring adherence to the Athena Swan Charter in the department and supporting other departments and institutions in EDI best practice. We were awarded Silver in 2020 as a Department and you can read more about the Charter and what it means here.  

We are always open and welcome to new ideas for making the department a better place, so if you have suggestions, concerns or would like support in organising your own events, please do get in touch. Students at any stage of their studies and postdoctoral researchers are always welcome to join the committee, so if you are interested please contact the relevant working group lead listed above or come along to one of our regular drop in events.  

Dr Rebecca IngleCo-Chair
Dr Derek MacMillanCo-Chair
Rezwana AkhterCommittee Secretary
Claire GackiPSS Working Group Leader
Crosby MedleyPSS Working Group Leader
Mark IssacsHarwell Rep.
Dr Tamara AlhilfiCulture Working Group
Dr Samson KheneCulture  Working Group
Dr Adam ClancyPDRA Working Group Leader
Dr JL KiappesPGT Working Group Leader
Dr Guanjie HePGR Working Group Leader
Dr Sam Cassidy Widening Participation Lead
Dr River RileyLGBTQI+ Champion
Angelica Dunkley PGT Working Group Student Rep


The EDI Committee is currently committed to the following race pledges:

  • Develop a new mentoring scheme – the mentoring scheme will be for Early Career Researchers and we aim to open this up to PhD students to encourage them to stay on in academia and help bridge any BAME Attainment Gap. Training will be provided to both mentors and mentees.  Evidence for where mentoring has been successful is in the advancement of women academics in the department who have received active mentoring from senior colleagues (both male and female). Hence, our aim is to expand this success in all areas of diversity to our early career researchers and PhD students.

  • Continue to review student recruitment practices to encourage inclusivity and increase diversity across our student body. This will include ensuring that outreach and engagement activities are reaching underrepresented groups. With the increased use of remote activities, our aim would be to expand outreach activities to underrepresented groups in urban areas such as Bradford and Manchester. We would also look to potentially develop some summer internships after the successful teaching and remote internships this summer.

  • The recruitment process for staff positions. Previously, we proactively targeted female researchers in an effort to expand the numbers of women applying for academic positions, which was successful (7 out of 10 recent lecturer appointments in chemistry were female). We will attempt to proactively target BAME researchers in future positions and we will look to trial the use of a Fair Recruitment Specialist in one appointment round.

  • Expand the EDI committee with a targeted role. The Culture working group of the committee has an LGBTQ+ Champion and a Wellbeing Champion we will aim to expand this to also have a BAME Champion.  The LGBTQ+ Champion enabled an active network to be developed in the department so we would work with the BAME Champion to develop a similar network for this underrepresented group.

2021-2022 Members

Claire Carmalt 

Co-Chair and Staff Working Group Leader

As Head of Department, I take responsibility for ensuring that systems are in place that encourages a family-friendly, inclusive and supportive culture in order to improve the working life and careers of all and that equality culture is owned by all in the Department.

Dave Rowley

David Rowley 

Co-Chair and UG Working Group Leader

I am a physical chemist, specialising in atmospheric processes that affects our environment.  I am involved in chemistry outreach and joined the EDI committee to help maintain diversity in research, teaching and awareness of environmental issues.

River Riley

River Riley


LGBTQI+ Champion

Culture  Working Group



Tamara Alhilfi

Culture Working Group Leader

I am a Teaching Fellow in Experimental Synthetic Chemistry.  I joined the EDI Committee to help address the 'leaky pipeline' associated with women in academia and also the BAME attainment gap for home students.  I am also involved with LGBTQ+ charities outside the committee.  I believe firmly in the benefits of diversity wihin a team and how this contributes to the growth of society as a whole.

Claire Gacki

Claire Gacki

PSS Working Group Leader

I am the Chemistry Technician in the Teaching Lab.  I joined the EDI Committee because I want everyone to feel equal and included in whatever path they take, especially in Science.  I don't want anyone to think they can't achieve something because of their gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic background.


Saf Mendez

BAME Champion

Culture & PGR Working Group

I am a PhD Student currently working in the Materials Chemistry Centre at UCL.  My work revolves around energy storage systems and synthesising vanadium-based cathodes for high-performance aqueous zinc-ion batteries.  Having worked in various research settings, I have seen the underrepresentation of BAME (Black & Minority Ethnic) / BIPOC (Black, Indigenous & People of Colour) clearly. I have even witnessed ignorant and offensive language from peers and superiors, both intentional and unintentional, in work environments. This must change.

Derek MacMillan

Dr Derek MacMillan

PGT Working Group Leader

I am an organic chemist with particular interest in the study of glycosylated proteins (proteins with sugars attached).  I joined the EDI committee to perhaps highlight the pressures acting on working (academic) parents in bringing up their kids, particularly working dads."

Dr Yang Xu

Dr Yang Xu

PGR Working Group Leader

I am a lecturer in electrochemical energy storage and interested in developing battery electrode materials and battery chemistries. I joined the EDI committee and am involved in the working group of postgraduate research students, with the aim of building an inclusive environment for our students to achieve their goals and bringing the benefits of diversity and equality to everyone in the department.

Leila Nagahdar

Leila Negahdar

Harwell Working Group Leader

I am Marie-Curie Fellow in the Department of Chemistry based at Harwell campus, UCL.  I joined the EDI Committee to help improve the interactions of Harwell campus with main UCL Chemistry campus and to ensure the staff based at Harwell are integrated with those at the main campus.

Janis Romanopulos

Janis Romanopulos

PGT Working Group

I am a master’s student on the MRes Organic Chemistry: Drug Discovery course and I joined the EDI committee to represent postgraduate taught (PGT) students within the department. I hope to raise awareness about EDI issues among PGT students and ensure the department maintains and improves its inclusive practices, especially the ones that are related to PGT courses. 

Sam Ackrerley

Sam Ackerley

PGR Working Group

I am a second-year PhD student working in the Chemistry Department and UCL School of Pharmacy. My PhD project is looking at targeted drug delivery from nanocomposites using MRI as a way to track drug release. I also sit on the EDI committee in Pharmacy and have recently joined the Chemistry EDI committee. I want to support our department in being as inclusive as possible and make a positive difference.

Blake Parker

Blake Parker

Undergraduate Student Representative

I am a second-year undergraduate chemist with a preference for organic chemistry.  I joined the EDI committee to help improve and voice an undergraduate viewpoint on EDI issues within the department. I also hope to make strides towards a time when people feel they can achieve anything they want to regardless.

Crosby Medley…

Crosby Medley

PSS Working Group

I am the Chemistry Teaching Laboratory Operations Manager/ Technical Safety Officer. I joined the EDI Committee to help the department with its effort to provide a positive and supportive working environment for staff and students. 

Rebecca Ingle

Rebecca Ingle

PDRF Working Group Leader

I'm a lecturer in physical chemistry interested in developing and using ultrafast X-ray and optical spectroscopies to study photochemical processes. I have joined the EDI committee to promote the interests and improve the working environment for our postdoctoral research associates.

Lily Ellis-Gbbings

Lily Ellis-Gibbings

PDRA Working Group

I am an Australian working as a PDRA in Chemistry, studying how molecules are formed and destroyed in space and the atmospheres of exoplanets. I am very passionate about inequality, representation and work-life balance, and help run the chemistry and light seminars as well as events for postdocs. I joined the EDI committee to push for a better working environment for all in the Chemistry Department. 
Hunaida Bhabha

Hunaida Bhabha

PGT Working Group

I am a Master's student on the Chemical Research MSc at UCL. I hope to provide insights from my experiences as a Postgraduate BME Muslim Women to effectuate positive change in the department. I believe opportunity should be for all. After all, a diverse department is a strong one!!'


Tom Ashton

PDRA Working Group

I am a PDRA in Chemistry in electrochemical energy storage, developing new materials and understanding how they operate on an atomic scaled using synchrotron-based techniques. I joined the committee as I am a keen advocate for equal opportunities regardless of ethnicity, gender, beliefs or socioeconomic background
2020 - 2021 Members
  • Nicola Phillips 
  • Kristian Mears
  • River Riley
2019 - 2020 Members
  • Helen Fielding (Chair 2020)
  • Vijay Chudasama (Co-Chair 2019)
  • Claire Carmalt
  • Tamara Alhilfi
  • Aroa Duro Castano
  • Carlos Noble Jesus
  • Anna Roffey
  • Raul Quesada Cabrera
  • David Rowley
  • Derek MacMillan
  • Nicola Phillips (Deputy Chair 2019)
  • Claire Gacki
  • Yang Xu
  • Lorena Ruiz-Perez
  • Clare Bakewell
  • River Riley
  • Cesare de Pace
  • Miguel (Miko) Sipin
  • Aroa Duro Castano
2016-2018 members
  • Helen Fielding (Chair 2016 - 2018)
  • Vijay Chudasama 
  • Claire Carmalt
  • Martijn Zwijnenburg
  • Tracey Clarke
  • Anna Roffey
  • Mike Kelly
  • Jadranka Butorac
  • Eva Liatsi-Douvitsa
  • Nafsika Forte
  • Nicola Phillips
  • Elizabeth Read
  • Lorena Ruiz-Perez
  • Carlos Noble Jesus
  • Loris Rizzello
  • Maud Einhorn
  • Naomi Omori
  • Senio Campos de Souza
  • Oscar Williams
  • Ian Jonson
2014-2016 Members
  • Ivan Parkin
  • Claire Carmalt
  • Nicola Phillips
  • Tom Sheppard
  • Andrew Wills
  • Liz Read
  • Anna Roffey
  • Sacha Noimark
  • Metal Hirani
  • Susan Perkin