Core Staff

Core staff at the Institute for Materials Discovery. The academic and teaching staff of the Institute perform world leading materials research, lecture on the MSc Advanced Materials Science course and provide supervision to PhD students. Continue reading below to find out about their research interests and modules that they lecture.

kwang leong choy

Prof Kwang-Leong Choy, Institute Director

Prof Kwang Leong Choy (D.Phil., DSc, FIMMM, FRSC, CSci) is a renowned expert in the eco-friendly and cost-effective chemical vapor synthesis of multi-functional inorganic thin films and nanocomposite coatings for a wide range of applications in transport, clean energy, engineering and healthcare. She has authored over 250 peer-reviewed publications, including 4 books and over 20 patents in nanomaterials, thin films and coatings for structural, functional and biomedical applications. See her research page for details of her research interests and accomplishments. 

Prof Choy founded the Institute for Materials Discovery in 2014, and has overseen its development into the dynamic, multidisciplinary research institute it is today. In addition to her responsibilities as Director and active research, she also lectures on the MSc Advanced Materials course and supervises Masters and PhD students. 

Previous Experience

  • Professor of Materials, University of Nottingham
  • Reader, Imperial College London
  • Grovernors Lecturer, Imperial College London
  • Violette and Samuel Glasstone Research Fellow, Oxford University
  • PhD in Material Science, Oxford University


email: k.choy@ucl.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 3855
Internal: 33855

tung chun (john) lee

Dr. Tung Chun Lee, Lecturer

My interdisciplinary research group focuses on the design and discovery, fabrication, synthesis and self-assembly and characterisation of exotic nanomaterials and nanodevices for potential applications in photonics, catalysis, sensing, biomedicines, nanomachines and nanotechnology. We are motivated and equipped to tackle challenges in a broad realm ranging from fundamental science to real-life applications. Ongoing research topics include self-assembly (molecules, polymers and nanoparticles), surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, nanomotors and metamaterials. For more information, please visit his UCL iris Page and his group page.

Previous Experience

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems
  • PhD in Chemistry, University of Cambridge
  • Bsc Chemistry, University of HongKong


email: tungchun.lee@ucl.ac.uk

yohan dallagnese

Dr. Yohan Dall'Agnese, Lecturer

My research interests lie in the design, synthesis and electrochemical characterisation of novel nanomaterials for energy storage and conversion (lithium ion batteries, sodium ion batteries and supercapacitors, solar cells, photocatalysis, etc.) and other applications. One of the main focuses of my research group is the fundamental and applied studies of an outstanding new family of two-dimensional materials called MXenes. More information on my research can be found on my iris page.

Previous Experience

  • Associate Professor, Jilin University
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Shinshu University
  • PhD in Materials Science and Engineering, Paul Sabatier University & Drexel University
  • MSc in Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion, Paul Sabatier University, Université de Provence, Université de Picardie Jules Vernes, Warsaw University of Technology, Universidad de Cordoba


email: y.dallagnese@ucl.ac.uk

Dr Mojtaba Abdi Jalebi

Dr. Mojtaba Abdi-Jalebi, Lecturer

My research focuses on material, optical and electronic properties of emerging semiconductors such as halide perovskites and organic semiconductors for low-cost electronics applications with a particular focus on solar-photovoltaics and lighting applications. My research aims to develop and incorporate new inexpensive materials in optoelectronic devices to alter the energy landscape by reducing the cost of both energy production and consumption. For more information on my research, publications and media activities, please visit my UCL iris page.

Previous Experience

  • Junior Research Fellow, Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, UK
  • PhD in Physics, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK
  • MSc in Materials Science and Engineering, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
  • BSc in Materials Science and Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Iran


Email: m.jalebi@ucl.ac.uk

mengyan nie

Dr. Mengyan Nie, Teaching Fellow

Dr Nie performs research into a wide range of topics including: materials performance testing of advanced materials; self-assembled monolayers on engineering materials; multifunctional materials for engineering applications; corrosion and structural health monitoring; microfluidics and micro total analysis systems; Bio-nanotechnology, molecular modelling and high throughput analysis.

Dr. Nie oversees and lectures on the MSc in Advanced Materials Science, as well as performing his own research. He is a good point of contact for enquiries about the MSc in Advanced Materials Science.

Previous Experience

  • Visiting Research Fellow, University of Southampton
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Reading
  • Heidelberg University, Germany
  • Doshisha University, Japan
  • PhD, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • MSc in Analytical Chemistry, Lanzhou University, China
  • BSc in Analytical Chemistry, Lanzhou University, China


email: mengyan.nie@ucl.ac.uk

MingQing Wang

Dr. MingQing Wang, Research Officer

Dr Wang's research interests are renewable energy related materials and devices, particularly CIGS/CZTS thin film solar cells, polymer/inorganic hybrid solar cells, transparent electrodes, and materials for water splitting. Dr Wang is the IMD research officer, coordinating research activities and managing the institute's research facilities, as well as conducting her own research. For enquiries about access to facilities, please contact her.

Previous Experience

  • Research Associate (EU FP-7 SCALENANO) at University College London
  • Research Associate (EU FP-7 SCALENANO) at the University of Nottingham
  • Research Associate (polymer/inorganic hybrid solar cells) at Dalhouse University, Canada
  • Research Associate (device optimization) at Aix-Marseille Université CNRS, France
  • Research Associate (nanomaterials synthesis) at the University of Dayton, USA
  • PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Tsinghua University, China


email: mingqing.wang@ucl.ac.uk 

prospero taroni junior

Dr Prospero Taroni Junior, Teaching Fellow

Dr Prospero Taroni Junior is working towards the development of smart advanced coating for energy generation, storage and other functional applications. His research aims are to discover, design and optimise the next generation of smart nanostructured films and nanocomposite inorganic/organic hybrid coatings with tailored properties, for example self-healing and electro-active films. These goals are to be achieved via materials simulation combined with experimental methods.

Previous Experience

  • PhD in Materials Sciences at Queen Mary University of London, developing novel organic materials and device architectures for thermoelectric applications.
  • MRes in Plastic Electronics Materials at Imperial College London.
  • B.Sc. Chemistry cum laude at the London Metropolitan University.
  • R&D experience at PPG Industries on the search of new polymer products for the coating industry


email: p.taroni-junior@ucl.ac.uk


Ms. Jo Donkin, Institute Administrator

Ms. Donkin is the Institute Administrator. She oversees the day-to-day workings of the Institue, providing invaluable support to its many Academics, Researchers and students. As she is very knowledgable about the workings of the Institute, she is a good point of contact for general enquiries.


email: j.donkin@ucl.ac.ukenquiries.materialsdiscovery@ucl.ac.uk


Dr Robin Perry, Principle Research Fellow


email: robin.perry@ucl.ac.uk