Stefan A. F. Bon is a full professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Warwick, visiting professor at the university Claude Bernard Lyon I (spring 2014) and visiting professor at the University of Tasmania (summer 2014). He has studied chemical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUe) in the Netherlands (cum laude, 1989-1993). He did his Ph.D. (1993-1998) in the polymer chemistry group of prof.dr.ir. Anton L. German at TUe, after which he worked as a post-doctoral research assistant in the group of prof. David M. Haddleton at the University of Warwick (1998-2000). He was appointed as Unilever Lecturer in Polymer Chemistry at the University of Warwick in January 2001. During this period of research he focussed on the mechanistic aspects of living radical polymerisation in both homogeneous and heterogeneous systems, including the first ever living radical polymerization performed in emulsion.
From 2005 Stefan Bon shifted his research interests from living radical polymerization to supracolloidal chemical engineering. Current research focusses on the design of assembled supracolloidal structures and the synthesis of their colloidal and macromolecular building blocks through combination of polymer chemistry, colloid science, soft matter physics, and chemical engineering.
Stefan Bon is a Fellow of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), an invited member and 2013-2015 chair of the International Polymer Colloids Group (IPCG), was awarded the 2015-2016 Royal Society of Chemistry Materials Division Outreach Lecturer honour.
4th year phd student
Ross started his PhD in October 2013 after graduating from the University of York with an MChem degree. He spent the fourth year of his undergraduate degree at the Dutch materials company DSM, in Geleen, the Netherlands, where he worked on the research and development of polyamides.
Ross’ project explores the creation of responsive behaviour in soft matter polymer materials, such as vesicles, hydrogels, bulk polymer materials and composites. By using active responsive components such as catalytic particles, enzymes or responsive polymers, he designs new materials capable of interacting with their environments to yield responsive behaviour, whilst operating in a framework of soft polymer materials.
His first paper was published in RSC's Materials Horizons in 2016 and featured on the cover. Herein we explore the ability to control membrane permeability in vesicles, allowing for regulated transport of matter across the vesicular wall.
Vesicles can be seen as microscopic sacs containing a compartmentalized volume of liquid dispersed in a bulk liquid environment. Nature has devised sophisticated strategies to accomplish control of transmembrane transport, including endo- and exocytosis as well as the incorporation of transmembrane proteins into cell membranes. A variety of synthetic approaches have been explored by scientists in order to accomplish such control in manmade systems. In this paper, we show for the first time that the permeability of the membrane of polymer vesicles can be controlled by membrane-embedded catalytically active manganese oxide particles. The ability to chemically trigger activity of the catalytic particle hereby inducing a temporary increase of membrane permeability offers precise time-specific control of transmembrane transport. It is our belief that this concept can be applied to a wide variety of membrane-based systems.
Ross currently investigates the action of soft hydrogel objects that exhibit out-of-equilibrium behaviour. By utilizing simple chemical and biological tools we build time programming and communication capabilities into hydrogel objects, with the goal of developing autonomous materials.
His second paper was published again in Materials Horizons in 2017 entitled: Independent responsive behaviour and communication in hydrogel objects.
3rd year phd student
Formerly hailing from Bedfordshire, Brooke completed his Masters in chemistry at the University of Warwick in 2010 and was awarded a first class degree. Brooke is a long standing member of the Bonlab, having dipped into research during his undergraduate years by undertaking a placement working directly with Industry - Rockwood Additives (now BYK Additive).
Currently in the 3rd year of study for his PhD, Brooke considers his studies a happy marriage between chemistry and physics; the project involves colloidal synthesis through to microscopy and particle tracking. He works primarily to fabricate interesting anisotropic colloids, an escape from the spherical norm, and analyse their associated behaviour. At the core he works with self-propelling colloids and their motion on the microscopic length scale. He aims to provide insight, whether from a synthesis/fabrication perspective or a colloidal physics standpoint.
In his spare time he enjoys reading, playing guitar and rock climbing with his fiance. Brooke has recently gotten into basic programming and prototyping with arduino and brewing his own beer. As well as this he spends a good deal of time in the kitchen cooking and baking.
His first paper was published in Langmuir in 2015 and describes in detail how "matchstick"-shaped catalytic silica microparticles are made.
His second paper was published in Soft Matter in 2017 and reports on an elegant method to roughen up polymer microspheres. The diffusional behaviour of dispersed roughened microparticles are compared with their spherical analogues.
3rd year phd student
Patrik started his Masters in chemistry at the University of Warwick in 2010. During his undergraduate studies he temporarily joined the BonLab as part of the Undergraduate Research Support Scheme (URSS) as part of a project to fabricate anisotropic particles via emulsion and dispersion polymerization techniques.
In 2014 he graduated and began his PhD in the BonLab, sponsored by Unilever.
Now in his 3rd year of research, Patrik’s project consists of synthesising and characterising colloidal particles, as well as looking for behaviour which may find uses in real world applications. His work focuses on utilising calcium carbonate particles as templates for the addition of silica- or carbon-based polymers to form core-shell structures and the removing the core to produce hollow particles with chemistries and morphologies not currently directly accessible. He is currently working on altering the chemistry of these hollow objects to influence their behaviour towards each other and surfaces.
During his free time Patrik likes to play guitar and games, as well as experiment in his home lab (the kitchen).
His first paper was published in Food and Function in 2013 entitled: High internal phase agar hydrogel dispersions in cocoa butter and chocolate as a route towards reducing fat content
3rd year phd student
Originally from Leicester, Sam completed his MChem degree at the University of Warwick, spending part of his 3rd year working at Nanyang Technology University in Singapore. Following this he began his PhD in September 2014 with the BonLab. Sam’s work concerns associative rheology modifiers with a particular focus on shear thinning and thixotropic behavior and its applications. The scope of the project extends to polymeric and colloidal modifiers as well as organogels. In his spare time Sam enjoys camping and hiking (specifically in the Lake district) and also building contraptions with his friends. Sam also relaxes by playing his Banjo and visiting ale festivals in and around the East Midlands and Warwickshire.
2nd year PhD student
Andrea did his master degree in Industrial Chemistry in Milan, Italy. From October 2015 he is a PhD student at the BonLab. At the moment Andrea is working on pickering emulsion polymerization to make complex supracolloidal particles to enhance the physico-chemical properties of coatings and paints. In his free time he loves running, watching films and TV-shows and reading fantasy books and comics.
His first paper for the BonLab was published in Polymer Chemistry in 2017 and reports an in-depth mechanistic study of Pickering Emulsion Polymerization.
1st year phd student
Matt, an avid football fan and real ale enthusiast, started his PhD in October 2016 after graduating from the University of Warwick with a 2.1 MChem degree. His 4th year MChem project looked at the process of Polymerisation induced self-assembly, utilising RAFT polymerisation to obtain complex micellar morphologies.
Matt is currently working on a new branch of stabilisers in the suspension polymerisation of Vinyl Chloride monomer (VCM). Poly (Vinyl Chloride) (PVC) is the third-most widely produced synthetic polymer worldwide, however is under strict regulations, due to the toxicity of the precursor, VCM. Manufacturers must do all they can to remove the VCM from the produced PVC, a process which is made much easier if the PVC is porous. Current technology see’s Vinyl Chloride droplets stabilised in a continuous water phase, by Poly(Vinyl Alcohol)’s (PVA’s). Typically two PVA stabilising agents will be employed, One of high hydrolysis which will sit at the VCM/water interface to afford colloidal stability and a second with a lower degree of hydrolysis, which is wetted more by the VCM, and can start to influence the internal grain morphology. Matt is looking to improve this process by investigating new supracolloidal stabilising agents. Matt hopes to get a better understanding of the processes involved, and as a result help to optimise the formulation.
1st year phd student
After four years of study Melody completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Warwick in 2016, receiving a First Class degree as a Master of Chemistry. Melody worked within the Bonlab for her fourth year Masters project, looking into the polymorphism of calcium carbonate and its conversion to calcium fluoride.
Having just started her PhD project in late 2016, Melody is excited to start delving deeper into the world of Polymer and Colloid science. Her project involves the use of clays, both natural and synthetic, as Pickering emulsion stabilisers. Her primary interest lies within waterborne alkyd resin formulations, the production of which is a topic of particular interest to the paint and coating industry. Additionally, Melody is looking into formulating stable high molecular weight silicone gum emulsions, used for their anti-slip and mar properties.
To further develop the knowledge and experience required for her PhD project Melody has spent two weeks working with Development Chemists from BYK Additives in Widnes. During this time she has focused on studying Laponite, a synthetic hectorite clay used as a rheology modifier and film-formers. This experience will be of great use to her during her PhD project.
When she isn't in the lab, Melody can usually be found in the gym. As an avid weightlifter and aspiring powerlifter, she isn't shy to set goals and push herself in order to achieve what she strives for. As well as being active, Melody is a big fan of the creative arts, particularly drawing, painting and needlework.
Polymer MSc Student
Josh joined the BonLab in April 2017 to do his research project for his Polymer Chemistry MSc at Warwick. He will be working on a project designing branched polymers using emulsion polymerization.
Jacob joined BonLab in the summer of 2016 via the Undergraduate Research Scholarships Scheme at Warwick as a 2nd year student. He currently continues his research alongside his studies. Jacob works on the fabrication of anisotropic colloids and investigates their behavior in condensed fluid environments.
In his free time he enjoyes hiking up large mountains.
His first paper was published in Soft Matter in 2017 and reports on an elegant method to roughen up polymer microspheres. The diffusional behaviour of dispersed roughened microparticles are compared with their spherical analogues.
Ryan joined BonLab in November 2016 as a 2nd year undergraduate Chemistry student. In his free time he works in the BonLab and investigates the fabrication of hybrid nanocomposite polymer colloids by Pickering Emulsion Polymerization with the aim to explore the use of the so-called armored latex particles in a variety of application areas of commercial interest.
Fabio joined to BonLab in July 2017 and is investigating photo-active polymers for advanced material applications.
2nd year Phd student
Abiodun studied for a Bachelors in Industrial Chemistry from 2007 - 2011 at The Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria. Then in 2013, he won a Commonwealth scholarship to study for an MSc in Waste & Clean Technologies at the University of the West of Scotland, Paisley, UK. Now, Abiodun is a collaborating PhD student from the team of dr. Andy Clark at Warwick Chemistry who works with us on an NERC environmental project to extract and sort heavy metals from waste and contaminated grounds. Within the BonLab we make colloidal objects which are capable to selectively extract, store, and sort metal ions.
Final Year PhD Student
Chris is a PhD student from the team of Emily Hilder (University of Southern Australia/ University of Tasmania) and he is working on the fabrication of new stationary phases for separation science. He visited us for 6 months in 2016 and is currently in the final stages of his PhD.