Adaptive & Responsive Nanomaterials Group



The AdReNa group at UCL

The AdReNa group in January 2019: Alaric, Stefan, Jakub, Runzhang, Clarissa, Max, Mehzabin, Yang, Niamh, Gary, Yee Ting, Stefan, Barry, Adilah, Alberto, Jugal, Lixu, Rafael (left to right, Iro and Alero missing) .

Head of Adaptive & Responsive Nanomaterials Group

Stefan Gudin

Stefan Guldin

Stefan is the Head of the Adaptive and Responsive Nanomaterials (AdReNa) group and Associate Professor. He joined UCL in 2014.

From 2012 to 2014 Stefan undertook postdoctoral research with Professor Francesco Stellacci at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland.

In 2012 he obtained a PhD from the University of Cambridge for his work with Professor Ullrich Steiner on ''Inorganic nanoarchitectures by organic self-assembly'', mainly elucidating the structure-function relationship in self-organised materials. 

Previously, he studied applied physics with an emphasis on soft matter at the TU Karlsruhe and TU Munich.

For his work, Stefan has been awarded by the German Academy of Sciences, the German National Academic Foundation, the Cambridge NanoDoctoralTrainingCentre, Springer Publishing and the European Materials Research Society.

Group members

Alaric Taylor


Alaric Taylor

EPSRC Research Fellow

Alaric joined AdReNa in the summer of 2016 to pursue independent postdoctoral work as an EPSRC Research Fellow under the mentorship of both Stefan and Prof. Ivan P. Parkin (Chemistry Department). His work is focused upon the nanolithographic fabrication of functional materials, principally through the exploitation of colloidal monolayer self-assembly at the air-water interface. 

He obtained his PhD within the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at University College London under the auspices of the Photonic Systems Centre for Doctoral Training. His doctoral work focused upon the development of nanostructured temperature-responsive glazing. Alaric completed his BSc at Imperial College London (Department of Physics, Quantum Optics and Laser Science group) and his MRes at the University of Cambridge (Engineering Department, Electronic Materials and Devices group).

Dr Alberto Alvarez Fernandez

Dr Alberto Alvarez Fernandez

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Alberto joined AdReNa in November 2018 as a postdoctoral researcher on the EPSRC project block copolymer-enabled mesopore sensing. 

He obtained his PhD in the University of Bordeaux as part of a LabEx AMADEus collaborative project between the LCPO (Guillaume Fleury) and the CRPP (Virginie Ponsinet), focused on the development of plasmonic nanostructured surfaces using block copolymers. 

Clarissa Lorraine Grace Harman

Clarissa Lorraine Grace Harman

Doctoral researcher

Clarissa is a PhD student within the CDT in Advanced Therapeutics and Nanomedicines since 09/2017. After a foundation project on layered terbium nanoparticles for drug delivery and an industrial placement at AstraZeneca, she is now investigating nanoparticle-based micro-assemblies for encapsulation and precision release of target compounds, as part of an inter-departmental collaboration with the School of Pharmacy and the Department of Chemistry. 

Clarissa obtained her Master of Chemistry from the University of Sheffield (MChem 2.1), investigating the reactivity of rhodium-complexes. Clarissa’s undergraduate studies also involved a year exchange at the University of Adelaide, Australia. 

Jugal Suthar

Jugal Suthar

Doctoral researcher

Jugal started his PhD in exosome isolation and therapeutics in September 2016, as part of the CDT in Nano-medicine and Targeted Therapeutics. Jugal, and lead supervisor Gareth Williams, are based in the UCL School of Pharmacy, marking an inter-departmental collaboration for the development of nano-sized biological solutions for unmet clinical needs. 

Jugal is a registered and practicing pharmacist (MPharm, UCL - 1st class hons), with considerable industrial experience, having conducted placements for GSK and Pfizer in the UK, and Piramal Enterprises in India.

Maximiliano Jara Fornerod

Maximiliano Jara Fornerod

Doctoral researcher

Max conducted very exciting research with us during his M.Sci. programme on projects titled "Liquid crystal microfluidics" and "Gold nanoparticle assembly for stretchable plasmonic mats". After returning to Chile as a Senior Reliability Engineer at Empresa Nacional del Petroleo ENAP in Chile, he is now back for a Ph.D. on a project titled "Mesopore biosensing".  

Max holds an Engineer’s Degree with maximum distinction in Materials Engineering and a diploma in Process Engineering from the University of Concepcion, Chile as well as a M.Sci. in Materials Science & Engineering from EPFL, Switzerland. 

Mehzabin Patel

Mehzabin Patel

Doctoral researcher

Mehzabin started her EngD research in 10/2016 on an EPSRC Studentship with BASF. She is working on soft matter-directed materials assembly with an emphasis on emulsion templating. 

She holds a BSc and MSc in Chemistry from University of Leicester.

Niamh Mac Fhionnlaoich

Niamh Mac Fhionnlaoich

Doctoral researcher

Niamh started her PhD in 09/2015 and is studying the interplay between nanoparticles and liquid crystals. 

She studied chemical engineering at the University of California in Davis and received her B.Eng (1st class Hons) from the University College Dublin. There she won the Carthy Graduate Research Project Award for her final year research project which was also Highly Commended in the Undergraduate Awards.  


Photo of Yann Mamie

Yann Mamie (2019/20)

Visiting researcher

Yann was a visiting M.Sci. student from EPFL in Switzerland.

He was studying the arrangement of nanoparticles at the air-water interface of Langmuir-Blodgett troughs with the aim to implement an ellipsometry technique for the characterisation of their contact angle and successfully defended his thesis (title: "Determining the contact angle of nanoparticles by ellipsometry") to earn a M.Sci. in Materials Science & Engineering from EPFL

Dr Ye Yang (2015-2020)

Postdoctoral research fellow

Yang's history with AdReNa lab is long and successful. He initially started working with Stefan during postgraduate research at EPFL, mainly focussing around the use of nanoparticle probes as supramolecular receptors for doxorubicin. Yang then joined our lab in 10/2015 on an UCL Graduate/Overseas Research Scholarship to work on ligand-shell mediated nanoparticle-stimuli interactions. After successful defense of his PhD thesis (title: "On the interplay of nanoparticles with small molecules"), he continued as postdoctoral research fellow on a CNIE inspiration grant before accepting a postion as senior scientist at Novozymes, Beijing. 

He holds a B.Eng. from Tsinghua University, a M.Sci. in Materials Science & Engineering from EPFL and a PhD from UCL. 


Dr Barry Reid (2015-20)

Doctoral researcher

Barry started his doctoral research in 05/2015 as AdReNa lab PhD student #1 on an EPSRC Case Studentship with BASF. After highly productive doctoral research, he successfully defended his thesis titled "Block copolymer-directed Assembly of mesoporous inorganic architectures". In 2019 took up a research technician role in the department. 

Barry graduated with a First Class Honours B.Sci. in Analytic Science from Dublin City University and holds a Ph.D. from University College London.

Dr Lixu Yang (2018/19)

Postdoctoral research fellow

Lixu joined the group in July 2018 to start independent research on a CNIE inspiration grant. She was working on converting plastic waste into functional materials with a supramolecular approach.

Lixu conducted 3 years postdoc research with Prof. Neil Champness at the University of Nottingham (2013 – 2016). Her research focused on the molecular self-assembly on surfaces and rotaxane synthesis. She obtained her PhD with Dr Scott Cockroft at the University of Edinburgh (2009 - 2013), where she studied the fundamental aspects of non-covalent interactions. Lixu received her Bsc in Chemistry from Nankai University (2004 - 2008), where she spent two years working on molecular sensors and switches in Prof. Yu Liu’s group.

Image of researcher Camille Daganaud

Camille Daganaud (2019)

Visiting postgraduate researcher

Camille studies Materials Engineering in her 4th year at EPFL. She joined the lab for a summer internship; where Camille worked on a project involving microfluidics to produce Pickering emulsions for drug delivery.


Runzhang Qi (2016-19)

Undergraduate Researcher

Runzhang recently graduated in 2019 from UCL Chemical Engineering as the top student of his class. After two summer projects on cellulose nanocrystals and quantified thin layer chromatography in the  AdReNa group, he is now conducted his final year MEng research project on ‘Selective fluorophore conjugation for thin layer chromatography quantification’ together with Adilah Binti Ashari. Runzhang now conducts a PhD with Tuomas Knowles at the University of Cambridge funded by a Trinity College Scholarship. 

Photo of Rafael Bilger

Rafael Pascal Bilger (2019)

Undergraduate Researcher

Rafael was a visiting student from RWTH Aachen University, Germany. He joined the AdReNa group to conduct his final research project for his MSc in Industrial Engineering with focus on Chemical Engineering. His research work in our group was focused on electrochemical-based mesopore biosensing.

Dr Jakub Trcinski (2018/19)

Dr Jakub Trcinski (2018/19)

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Jakub joined our group in 2018 as a postdoctoral researcher on the EU H2020 DIACHEMO project "Point-of-care microfluidic device for quantification of chemotherapeutic drugs in small body fluid samples by highly selective nanoparticle extraction and liquid crystal detection".

He obtained his PhD in the group of Enrico Dalcanale (Univ Parma). His doctoral research was focused on the design and synthesis of a novel supramolecular receptor for benzene detection in air. Prior to coming to UCL, he worked with  Paolo Scrimin’s group at the Padova University to work on the development of gold and polymeric nanoparticles for nanomedical applications.

Adilah Binti Ashari (2018/19)

Adilah Binti Ashari (2018/19)

Undergraduate Researcher

Adilah joined AReNa in her 4th year at UCL Chemical Engineering to conduct her final year undergraduate research project. Together with her research partner, Runzhang, she was looking into selective fluorophore conjugation for thin layer chromatography quantification as a route to monitor the pharmacokinetics of non-fluorescent therapeutic drug molecules.

Gary Wong (2018/19)

Gary Wong (2018/19)

Undergraduate Researcher

Gary studies Chemical Engineering (MEng) in his 4th year at UCL. He joined the lab for his final year research project on microfluidic ligand exchange of gold nanoparticles, which he was conducting together with Yee Ting.

Yee Ting (2018/19)

Yee Ting (2018/19)

Undergraduate Researcher

Yee Ting joined the group in her final year of Chemical Engineering (MEng) at UCL. Together with Gary, Yee Ting was working on the microfluidic exchange of gold nanoparticles as her undergraduate research project.

Stefano Peressutti (2018/19)

Stefano Peressutti (2018/19)

Undergraduate Researcher

Stefano was a visiting student from the University of Trieste. He joined the group to carry out the final year research project on stretchable plasmonic 2D arrays as part of his degree in Materials and Processes Engineering. 

Aneeq Farooq (2018)

Aneeq Farooq (2018)

Undergraduate Researcher

Aneeq is a 4th year Pharmacy student at University of Hamburg. 

He joined the AdReNa group in summer of 2018 as a research intern to work on robotic processing of patient samples for automated therapeutic drug monitoring.

Andrew Redfearn (2018)

Andrew Redfearn (2018)

Research Associate

Andrew completed his PhD in the department of Mechanical Engineering and carried out some much appreciated design work in our group related to our prototype development for therapeutic drug monitoring. 

He now works for Matlab. 

	 Silvia Boccardo (2018)

Silvia Boccardo (2018)

Doctoral researcher

Silvia started her PhD in 11/2015 at the University of Trieste on the interaction of nanoparticles at the biointerface. She joined our group for three months in 2018 to combine her computational investigation with our experimental efforts. 

She holds a bachelor’s degree in information engineering at the University of Padua and a master degree in clinical engineering at the University of Trieste.

Muhamad Hafiz Ismail (2017/18)

Muhamad Hafiz Ismail (2017/18)

Undergraduate Researcher

Hafiz is a 4th year MEng Chemical Engineering student at UCL. He worked with the AdReNa group on "Low temperature removal of organic template from mesoporous inorganic architectures" together with Shatakshi Sharma for his final year undergraduate research project.

Shatakshi Sharma (2017/18)

Shatakshi Sharma (2017/18)

Undergraduate Researcher

Shatakshi joined the group for her final year research project as part of her MEng Chemical Engineering degree. She worked on low temperature removal of organic templates for mesoporous inorganic architectures, a project that was conducted jointly with Mohammad Hafiz.

Jin Hao (2017/18)

Jin Hao (2017/18)

Undergraduate Researcher

Jin Hao joined the lab group during his final year of MEng Chemical Engineering in UCL. Together with Wei Lik, Jin Hao was working on a research project focusing on drug quantification analysis by thin layer chromatography (TLC) and optical imaging.

Wei Lik (2017/18)

Wei Lik (2017/18)

Undergraduate Researcher

Wei Lik was a final year MEng Chemical Engineering student at UCL. He carried out his research project working on "Quantification of analytes by Thin-Layer Chromatography and optical imaging" together with Jin Hao.

Dr Luis Antonio Serrano Gonzalez (2015-2017)

Dr Luis Antonio Serrano Gonzalez (2015-2017)

Now: Researcher at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.

Luis worked in AdReNa as postdoctoral research associate from 08/2015 to 11/2017 on the EU H2020 DIACHEMO project "Point-of-care microfluidic device for quantification of chemotherapeutic drugs in small body fluid samples by highly selective nanoparticle extraction and liquid crystal detection".

He holds a B.Sci. (1st Class Hons) from the University of Extremadura. Recently he received a Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow for his work with Graeme Cooke on synthesis and characterisation of redox active molecules for optoelectronic applications.

Dr Stuart Ibsen (2016/17)

Dr Stuart Ibsen (2016/17)

Now: Assistant Professor at Oregon Health & Science University and Knight Cancer Institute. Portland, USA.

Stuart worked with AdReNa from 04/2016-09/2017 on a microfluidic platform for point-of-care diagnostics within the EU H2020 DIACHEMO Project. 

Stuart holds a PhD in Bioengineering from the University of California San Diego working with Sadik Esener as well as a PhD in Zoology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa working with Paul Nachtigall and Whitlow Au. His previous research includes the design of point of care microfluidic/dielectrophoresis devices for detection of disease biomarkers in human blood as well as the design of light activatable drug delivery mechanisms for chemotherapy agents including doxorubicin.

Yini Weng (2017)

Yini Weng (2017)

Now: 4th year UG Student in Materials Science & Engineering (M.Eng.), Imperial College London, UK.

Yini is studying materials science at Imperial College in her third year. During the summer of 2017 she carried out a research internship in our lab. Her project was focussed on using the quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation to characterise surface adsorption phenomena. 

Ludovic Bescher (2016/17)

Ludovic Bescher (2016/17)

Now: Process Engineer at STMicroelectronics, Grenoble, France.

Ludovic was a visiting student coming from EPFL Switzerland to carry out his final year research project for a MSc in Materials Science & Engineering. He spent 6 months in the group on a project titled "Fundamental aspects of microfluidic phase transfer and extraction and thermally controlled generation of liquid crystal microdroplets".

Aina Vidal Lorente (2016/17)

Aina Vidal Lorente (2016/17)

Now: Trainee in Engineering Consultancy, Barcelona, Spain.

Aina graduated with a MEng in Chemical Engineering from UCL. She worked with the AdReNa group on "Gold nanoparticle assembly for stretchable plasmonic mats" together with Anastasia Kislyak for their final year undergraduate research project.

Anastasia Kislyak (2016/17)

Anastasia Kislyak (2016/17)

Anastasia graduated with a MEng in Chemical Engineering from UCL. After having pursued a summer research project in the AdReNa group on Langmuir Blodget assembly, she was working on "Gold nanoparticle assembly for stretchable plasmonic mats" together with Aina Vidal Lorente for their final year undergraduate research project.

Anmol Jnawali (2016/17)

Anmol Jnawali (2016/17)

Anmol graduated from UCL with a MEng in Chemical Engineering. He worked in the group on his final year research project titled “Emulsion templating of inorganic nanoarchitectures through assembly at the air-water interface”, which he carried out jointly with Bilaal Ali Tariq.

Bilaal Ali Tariq (2016/17)

Bilaal Ali Tariq (2016/17)

Bilaal received a MEng in Chemical Engineering from UCL. Together with Anmol Jnawali, he conducted his final year research project in the group, titled “Emulsion templating of inorganic nanoarchitectures through assembly at the air-water interface”. 

Chinedu Okeke (2016/17)

Chinedu Okeke (2016/17)

Chinedu joined the group for his final year research project as part of a MEng degree in Chemical Engineering. He worked on the characterisation of porous inorganic nanoarchitectures by environmental ellipsometric porosimetry, a project that he carried out jointly with Jack Hughes.

Jack Hughes (2016/17)

Jack Hughes (2016/17)

Now: UG Student in Medicine (MBBS) at Hull York Medical School

Jack carried out his final year research project in our lab as part of his MEng degree in Chemical Engineering. His work focused on the characterisation of porous inorganic nanoarchitectures by environmental ellipsometric porosimetry, a project that he was carrying out jointly with Chinedu Okeke.

Melvin Ting (2016)

Melvin Ting (2016)

Now: PG student in Advanced Chemical Engineering (M.Phil.) at University of Cambridge

During his undergraduate studies at UCL Chemical Engineering Melvin was awarded by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Scheme (UROS) to conduct research as summer student in our labs on "Gold nanoparticle assembly for stretchable plasmonic mats".

Hanrui Zheng (2015/16)

Hanrui Zheng (2015/16)

Now: PG Student at University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

Hanrui worked for his final year MEng project and later as a research assistant in our lab. His work was focused on "Molecular Recognition and Surface Adsorption".

Elwin Hunter-Sellars (2016)

Elwin Hunter-Sellars (2016)

Now: Ph.D. Student at Imperial College London, London, UK.

Elwin spent a summer in our group after being awarded an EPSRC Undergraduate Vacation Bursary to work with Dr. Stuart Ibsen, Dr. Anand Pallipurathand Prof. Asterios Gavrilidis on "Phase Separation and the Physics of Droplet Formation in a Microfluidic System". He graduated from UCL with a MEng in Chemical Engineering with study abroad at Columbia University. 

Swan Choy (2015/16)

Swan Choy (2015/16)

Now: R & D Executive at Chemical Company of Malaysia (polymers division).

Swan conducted her final year project in our group and graduated with an MEng in Chemical Engineering for her work on "Mesoporous thin film architectures using block copolymer self-assembly".

Yinong Chen (2015/16)

Yinong Chen (2015/16)

Now: Administrative Coordinator at University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China.

Yinong carried out a research project in our group titled "Effect of humidity on the performance of anti-reflective coatings" in partial fulfillment of her MSci degree in Chemical Process Engineering. 

Eu Jin Ong (2015/16)

Eu Jin Ong (2015/16)

Now: Graduate Process Engineer at Repsol, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Eu Jin studied Chemical Engineering at UCL and conducted his MEng final year research with the group. His project was titled "Solvent vapour annealing of block copolymer composites". 

Saja Muwaffak (2015)

Saja Muwaffak (2015)

Now: Ph.D. Student, School of Pharmacy, University College London, London, UK.

Saja is a PhD student at the UCL CDT programme in Advanced Therapeutics and Nanomedicines. She joined the group for a 3 month research project in supramolecular recognition and stimuli-induced interaction between gold nanoparticles and small molecules.

Jehan Moingeon (2014/15)

Jehan Moingeon (2014/15)

Jehan worked with us as a semester student at EPFL. His project was titled “Morphology-induced dipole moment in monolayer protected gold nanoparticles”. 

	 Malavika Nair  (2014)

Malavika Nair  (2014)

Now: Ph.D. Student, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Malavika conducted research with us in the summer of 2014, working on “Investigating a family of liquid crystal mesogen capped gold nanoparticles via a thiol-for-OAm ligand exchange - synthesis, cleaning and characterisation”. 

For her accomplishments, she was awarded with the Armourers and Brasiers Company European Placement Prize.

After completing her M.Sci. in Materials Science at the University of Cambridge she remained in Cambridge to pursue doctoral research. 

Edward Jones (2013)

Edward Jones (2013)

Now: Teacher of Mathematics, Wellington College, Swindon, UK

Ed spent the summer of 2013 in our labs at EPFL as an exchange student from the University of Cambridge. 

His research project was titled “Monolayer protected gold nanoparticles: interaction and assembly”. 

Tjonnie Li (2008/09)

Tjonnie Li (2008/09)

Now: Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Tjonnie carried out his final year research project in our lab as part of his M.Sci. degree in Natural Sciences. 

His research project was titled “Plasmonic enhancement of dye-sensitized solar Cells”. 

After a PhD in subatomic physics, Tjonnie was a Rubicon Postdoctoral Fellow at Caltec and now leads his own group as a Professor for gravitational-wave physics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

Past group pictures

Group Photo 2018

February 2018: Wei, Shatakshi, Muhamad, Ruslan, Jakub, Niamh, Max, Stefan, Jin, Barry, Runzhang, Mehzabin, Stuart (visiting), Jugal, Alaric, Yang (left to right, Andrew missing) .

Group Photo 2016

November 2016: Bilaal, Melvin, Ludovic, Yang, Barry, Hanrui, Anmol, Stefan, Anastasia, Niamh, Luis, Aina, Stuart, Alaric, Chinedu, Jack, Mehzabin, Shan (left to right). 

August 2016: Stuart, Hanrui, Stefan, Barry, Luis, Niamh, Melvin, Swan, Elwin, Yinong (left to right).

Group Photo 2015

December 2015: Top row: Yang, Max, Barry, Yinong (left to right) Bottom row: Saja, Swan, Eu Jin, Stefan, Luis, Hanrui, Niamh.