Prof Helen Fielding

Prof Helen Fielding

Professor of Chemical Physics

Dept of Chemistry

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Sep 2003

Research summary

Helen Fielding’s group carries out research in the field of spectroscopy and dynamics of excited state of molecules. During the last 15 years, they have designed and built four separate experiments employing UV photoelectron spectroscopy to study small neutral molecules in the gas-phase, large molecular anions in the gas-phase, molecules on surfaces and, most recently, molecules and anions in solution. They have recently been awarded EPSRC funding for a new ultrafast laser facility that will provide the additional capability for EUV photoelectron spectroscopy, femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy and femtosecond stimulated Raman spectroscopy. They also have expertise in electronic structure theory. They have a long-standing collaboration with Professor Graham Worth and current collaborations with Professor Jim Anderson, Professor Helen Hailes, Professor Geoff Thornton (UCL) and Professor Anastasia Bochenkova (Moscow State University). 

Teaching summary

Helen has taught core and specialist physical chemistry lecture courses across all 4 years of the UCL Chemistry degree programme and has served as course coordinator for several courses and the second year physical chemistry laboratory course. In 2020/21 she is teaching second year core physical chemistry lectures on spectroscopy, second year lectures on laser spectroscopy and dynamics in the chemical dynamics course and second year physical chemistry tutorials and laboratory demonstrating. She also supervises MSc and MSci students and 3rd year literature projects. She also provides support for a 1st year personal tutor group.  


University of Cambridge
Other higher degree, Master of Arts | 1993
University of Oxford
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1992
University of Cambridge
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts | 1989


Helen Fielding is Professor of Physical Chemistry. Her research is focused on the spectroscopy and ultrafast dynamics of excited states of molecules and protein chromophores in the gas-phase and in solution. She was Head of Physical Chemistry (2013-18), chair of the departmental Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) committee (2014-18, 2019-20), member of the MAPS Faculty EDI working group (2014-18, 2019-20), member of the UCL Athena SWAN self-assesment team (2018) and chair of the Institutional Athena SWAN action planning group (2018). She has undertaken numerous roles for the Royal Society of Chemistry, including Chair of Publishing Board (2012-16) and member of RSC Council and Trustee (2003-5, 2009-16) and is currently a member of the Faraday Division Awards Committee. She is also chair of the Ramsay Trust Advisory Board. Before coming to UCL in 2003, she worked at King’s College London (Lecturer 1994-1997; Reader 1997-2002; Professor 2002-2003). Prior to this, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Amsterdam, working with Professors Ben van Linden van den Heuvell and Wim van der Zande (1993-1994), a scientist at the National Physical Laboratory (1992) and a DPhil student, first at Cambridge then at Oxford, working with Professor Tim Softley (1989-1992).