Today, Sondre Hilmar Hopen Eliasson successfully defended his PhD thesis Mechanistic insight for improved catalytic conversion of fatty acids to linear alpha-olefins. This is his contribution to the ongoing world-wide effort of developing chemical transformations for molecular resources of biological origin into modern commodity and platform chemicals. Sondre was first exposed to catalysis research in 2010 as part of the Nano100 experience, where he worked with Karl Törnroos to determine the structure of a Ru-based metathesis catalyst. After completing an MSc in nanoscience at the physics department he returned to chemistry and the Jensen laboratory, and today completed the circle by becoming Philosophiae Doctor. Congratulations!
Sara Barranco Campos has recently joined the Department of Chemistry as a PhD student in organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry under Hans-René Bjørsvik supervision. The subject of the project is medicinal imaging dedicated to the design and synthesis of PET-precursors prepared for 11C labelling, in collaboration with the Bergen Tracer Development Centre (Bergen-TDC) financed by the Trond Mohn foundation and the Tromsø research foundation.
Sara holds a bachelor’s degree from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain) and a master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Bergen. The title of her master’s thesis was “Synthesis of imidazole core based small molecules for the treatment of SMA”.
Last Friday, Solmaz Ghoreishi successfully defended her PhD thesis Large-scale conversion of lignin to liquid through formic acid assisted solvolysis in aqueous and ethanolic reaction media: comparison of yields and product compositions. Solmaz has made signficant contributions to upscaling of the lignin-to-liquid process from small- to large-labscale (5L) reactors, which is an important step toward making it a viable industrial option. Both Solmaz and the two opponents did very well, making the disputation ceremony an interesting and enjoyable event for those present. Congratulations!
Parveen Gartan has joined our department as a PhD student. He will be supervised by Professor Nathalie Reuter. He will work on the project RESPOND3 financed by the Digital Life program of the NFR. The title of the project is “Towards better computational approaches and responsible innovation strategies in early drug discovery: application to antibiotics and COPD”. Parveen holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from University of Delhi (India) and a master’s degree from Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur (India). The title of his Master thesis was: “Calculations of absolute binding free energies of kaempferol binding to inflammation responsive protein ASC”.
Sofie Lekve has taken up a position with our department, with administrative responsibilities for the interdisciplinary study programs in nanotechnology & -science and medical technology. She holds a master’s degree in philosophy from UiB, with specialization in ethics. She has previous work experience from both administrative and academic positions. Her administrative work experience includes administrative work in the Philosophy Department, as well as being a Student Advisor at the Grieg Academy. She has also worked as a research assistant in projects within philosophy and social science and, moreover, held a position as a Lecturer in Philosophy at UiB. She is particularly interested in bioethics and generational ethics, as well as questions regarding ethics and AI.
Dr. Gabriel Jeantelot has joined the department of chemistry as a postdoctoral researcher. He will work with Associate Professor Erwan Le Roux on the catalytic hydrodeoxygenation of lignin-based compounds to aromatics, as part of an ENERGIX-funded project. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Université Blaise Pascal (France), and a Master’s degree and Ph.D from the KAUST university (Saudi Arabia), obtained under the supervision of Professor Jean-Marie Basset. He wrote his thesis on the surface chemistry of morphology-controlled titanium dioxide nanoparticles, used in photocatalytic water splitting after decorating them with metal complexes by surface organometallic chemistry.
Ludvik Espeland has joined the Department of Chemistry as PhD-student in organic synthesis and drug chemistry. He is funded by UiB's strategic program on global societal challenges. Ludvik holds a master's degree in chemistry from UiB (2019). He will work on the project "Inhibitors of bacterial fatty acid synthesis" where the goal is to identify inhibitors of the enzyme FabF, which is an important enzyme in the fatty acid metabolism of bacteria and thus can form the basis for development of new antibiotics. Ludvik will be supervised by Bengt Erik Haug, Jarl Underhaug and Ruth Brenk (Department of Biomedicine).
Lakshmi Suresh recently joined our department as a PhD student. She will be working with Assoc. Prof. Erwan Le Roux on organometallics and catalysis with a strong emphasis on tailor-made catalysts for the copolymerization of epoxides with CO2. She completed her integrated MSc in Chemistry from Pondicherry University (India) in 2019, and was awarded a scholarship for «Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research» (INSPIRE) conferred by the Government of India from 2014 to 2019. She also was a research intern at Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) in 2017.
A very sharp-looking Wietse Smit successfully defended his thesis Phosphine- and Indenylidene-Based Z-Selective Ruthenium Olefin Metathesis Catalysts and Catalyst Stability: Decomposition, Olefin Isomerization and Regeneration last Friday. Sincere and impressed gratulations!