I have the privilege of tackling scientific and arts research with these folks:

Michael O’Connor | PhD Student since Oct 2014

O-Connor-mugshotMike obtained his undergraduate and masters degrees in computer science and mathematics at Bristol, receiving no less than four awards along the way for his achievements. His final-year project investigated the use of GPUs to solve graph theory problems. His interest in computational molecular dynamics (MD) arose during a summer research project spent developing interactive high-performance algorithms for the Nano Simbox. His PhD is funded by the EPSRC, and focused on accelerating MD simulations in high-dimensional systems, using virtual reality, hardware-adapted parallelism, and new sampling algorithms.

Mike’s site
Mike’s email

Robert Arbon | PhD Student since Oct 2015

Rob-mugshotRob obtained his undergraduate and masters degrees in chemistry from Oxford, where he worked on a ring-polymer molecular dynamics project with Prof. David Manolopoulos.  After obtaining a masters from Harvard, Rob took time away from science, working in London as a financial consultant, where he learned a lot about big data analysis. Rob’s PhD project is funded by the Royal Society, and broadly focused on the topic of conformational dynamics in enzyme catalysis – i.e., exploring the extent to which coupled kinetic networks on rugged potential energy topologies impact phenomenological enzyme kinetics.

Rob’s site
Rob’s email

Lisa May Thomas | Masters & PhD Student since Oct 2015


Lisa is an award-winning contemporary dance artist, director, and writer who was trained at London’s Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Over the past few years, Lisa has played a key role in developing the Hidden Fields project. Her masters & PhD project (joint between the Depts. of Computer Science and Drama) is focussed on exploring how digital technologies mediate physical and non-physical interaction between human bodies, and ways in which digital tools can be used to develop an aesthetics of interaction. Lisa is supported through an award from interactive Scientific, as their first hybrid arts scholar.

Lisa’s website
Lisa’s email

Stephen Ingram | PhD Student since Oct 2015


Stephen obtained his MSci degree in chemistry from Imperial College London, with a focus on molecular physics. His 4th-year project with Prof Fernando Bresme used molecular dynamics simulations to understand the dynamical properties of glassy aerosols composed of aqueous/organic mixtures. Funded by NERC, Stephen’s PhD weaves together both modelling and experiments (in the Bristol aerosol lab). He’s working on simulations that provide insight into the microstructure of organic atmospheric aerosols, and also non-equilibrium microscopic transport kinetics in glassy aerosol experiments.

Stephen’s email

Dr. Robin Shannon | Post-Doctoral Scholar since Mar 2016


Robin has undergraduate degrees in chemistry and maths along with a physical chemistry PhD from the University of Leeds. His research interests concern theoretical methodologies in chemical kinetics. He has been involved in developing the open-source master equation code MESMER. His post-doctoral appointment, funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, is joint between Bristol and Stanford. His focus is on combining molecular dynamics and statistical mechanics to automate kinetic mechanism generation in combustion and atmospheric chemistry.

Robin’s papers
Robin’s email

Dr. Basile Curchod | Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow since May 2016


Basile obtained his undergraduate and PhD degrees from EPFL in Lausanne, where he studied theoretical and computational chemistry and specialized in non-adiabatic dynamics. After his PhD, he spent time at both Stanford University with Prof. Todd Martinez (funded by a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation) and also at MPI-Halle working with Prof. Hardy Gross. He holds an EC-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship for a project entitled “NAMDIA”, which is designed to investigate first-principles Non-Adiabatic Molecular Dynamics of Intermediates in Atmospheric chemistry.

Basile’s website
Basiles’s email

Dr. Simon Bennie | Post-Doctoral Scholar since June 2016


Simon holds an MChem and a PhD in theoretical chemistry from the University of Manchester. His PhD focused on zero-field splitting of inorganic systems for use in single molecule magnets. He then worked on quantum embedding methods with Fred Manby, with applications to enyzme systems with Adrian Mulholland. His interests are in developing and coding electronic structure methods for application to chemically interesting systems. Simon is funded by EPSRC, in a project designed to apply accurate molecular dynamics methods to problems in gas-surface scattering and spectroscopy.

Simon on LinkedIn
Simon’s email

Silvia Amabilino | PhD Student since Sept 2016


Silvia has an undergraduate Chemistry degree from the University of Warwick, with industrial experience gained on an Erasmus placement in Toulouse. Silvia worked on a range of projects during her degree (including experiments); she won 2 awards for high achievements, and contributed to 2 published papers. She obtained her masters degree at the EPSRC-funded TMCS (Theory & modelling in the Chemical Sciences) centre for doctoral training. She is working on rare event acceleration and path sampling in high-dimensional systems, by combining the adaptive BXD algorithm with new classes of machine learning.

Silvia’s email

Helen Deeks | PhD Student since Sept 2016


Helen is interested in applying computational methods to problems within pharmacology. After gaining an MPharm and qualifying as a Pharmacist, she consolidated her knowledge of in-silico drug design during an MSci in computing science (including a bioinformatics research placement at the Earlham Institute) at the University of East Anglia. Funded by the EPSRC and joint between the departments of chemistry and computer science, her research sits at the interface of biochemistry, molecular simulation, and human-computer interaction. She is investigating how the power of interactive virtual reality frameworks developed within the group may harnessed to solve problems in pharmacology. 

Helen’s email

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