Physical organic chemistry PhD studentship available

A PhD studentship is available in the area of physical organic chemistry and computational chemistry to compare and understand the energetics of interactions occurring in solution relative to those that are calculated. Experience in computational chemistry OR synthetic chemistry is required (experience in both is highly desirable). More details including how to apply are here:

Congratulations to Louis

Congratulations on getting his article entitled 'Context-dependent significance of London dispersion' published in Accounts of Chemical Research. Louis' article contrasts our own experimental findings with those from other research groups to reveal the striking context-dependent nature of the energetic significance of London dispersion. The work addresses the pressing issue of why the influences of dispersion forces manifest in some systems while in others they are cancelled out or dominated by other contributions, and particularly solvent effects.

Congratulations to Tim

Congratulations to Tim on winning the runner-up prize on his presentation on the molecular simulation of molecular machines at the Organic Section Firbush postgraduate conference, 30 Aug to 1 Sept 2023 on the banks of Loch Tay.

Congratulations to Andrew, Nick, and Ivan

Congratulations to Andrew West, Nick Dominelli-Whiteley and Ivan Smoliar on getting their work on measuring the energetics of halogen-arene van der Waals contacts in solution published in Angewandte Chemie. Spoiler alert: they aren't worth very much! The finding is remarkable as it might be anticipated from x-ray structures, gas-phase calculations and chemical intuition that bringing a polarisable halogen (especially iodine) into contact with a polarisable aromatic ring might result in substantial favourable London dispersion interactions, but this seems not to be the case; at least not in the Wilcox molecular balance that we employed for the study. All the halogen-arene interactions were disfavoured, with iodine being the most disfavoured. In stark contrast, the methyl-arene interaction was weakly favourable. The work was also highlighted in Chemistry Views:

Halogen arene interactions

5th ERC Grantees' Conference

Thank you to all members of the Cockroft group and Oren Scherman for helping in the organisation, and hosting of the 5th ERC Grantees' conference held here in (not-so-sunny) Edinburgh 11-13 July. The conference was a huge success and greatly enjoyed, so much so that we now have volunteers to host future events well into the 2030s! Arri Priimägi and Olli Ikkala will host the 6th Edition in Finland, summer 2025, with a prospective theme of "From Responsive Molecules to Interactive Materials". Francesco Ricci and Alberto Credi, are proposed to host the 7th Edition in Italy, 2027 (and as a reserve location for 2025).

5th ERC Grantees conference 11-13 July 2023

Congratulations to Dan

Congratulations to Cockroft group PhD student, Daniel Edwards on winning poster prizes at Bioorthogonal and Bioresponsive 2023 and The 5th ERC Grantees' conference, both held in Edinburgh in June/July. Thank you to Chem (Cell Press) for sponsoring the final prize. Dan's poster presented collaborative work on pore-forming peptides performed with Tell Tuttle (University of Strathclyde) and Nanna Lilienkampf (University of Edinburgh). The work was recently submitted for publication and we are keeping our fingers crossed.

Congratulations to Dom

Congratulations to Dom on passing his PhD viva. Many thanks to Nicholas Mitchell (University of Nottingham) and Chris Coxon for grilling Dom on the supramolecular chemistry of nanopores!

Dom after his viva

Welcome Dongning and Justin!

We are delighted to welcome our new PhD candidate Dongning and BSc research student Justin to the Cockroft group starting their research projects in September 2022. Past, current, and joining group members came together at our recent group BBQ, enjoying the last of the Scottish sun.

Welcome Dongning and Justin!

Hot paper and Nature Reviews Chemistry Highlight (again!)

Congratulations to Nicole, Stefan, and Ivan on getting their work on dissecting solvent effects on hydrogen bonding published in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. and highlighted as a "hot paper"! Thank you to Syngenta for funding this project and to Dr Kenny Ling and Dr Chris Baker for supervising Nicole during her project and placement at Jealott's Hill.

Update: (09/06/2022): we have just learned that the article will also be featured in a dedicated Research Highlight in Nature Reviews Chemistry!


Congratulations to Andrew

Congratulations to Andrew on passing his PhD viva. Many thanks to Sarah Pike (University of Birmingham) and Paul Lusby for grilling Andrew on all things related to interactions involving halogens and beyond!

Andrew after his viva