PhD students

To achieve this ambitious project, we have brought together a cross-disciplinary team of nine Investigators, ten Post-doctoral Researchers, four PhD students, and a Project Manager spread across the Universities of Sheffield, Bristol and Exeter.  


Their combined expertise spans synthetic biology, photosynthesis, synthetic chemistry, nanotechnology, polymer science, plasmonics, molecular physics and theory. 

PhD Group members

Picture of Owen Gardner
Owen Gardner

Owen is a first-year Chemistry PhD at the University of Sheffield, working under the supervision of Prof. Graham Leggett. He graduated from the University of Liverpool with a bachelor’s degree in Medicinal Chemistry (BSc) before moving to Sheffield to complete his master’s in chemistry (MSc). His PhD research will focus on the development of plexitonic medical sensors, investigating the use of strong plasmon-exciton coupling to invoke reliable responses for diagnosis upon the binding of biological hall markers of disease.

Picture of Rob Gordon
Rob Gordon

Rob is a PhD student at the University of Sheffield, working under the supervision of Dr Jenny Clark. He completed his integrated master’s in Chemical Physics (MPhys) at the University of Sheffield in 2021 working with Professor Graham Leggett. His current research mainly involves characterising strongly coupled systems using ultra-fast spectroscopy and a variety of other spectroscopic methods. He has a particular interest in excitation energy transfer, where he aims to use newly developed microscopy techniques to uncover more on the topic. Outside of research he enjoys being active, either walking in the Peak District, climbing, or going for a swim!

Picture of Camery Ma
Camery Ma

Camery is a first-year Chemistry PhD student at the University of Sheffield, working under the supervision of Prof. Graham Leggett. She completed her Master of Chemistry (Honours) degree at the University of Manchester in 2021. Her current research areas mainly involve surface chemistry and nanomaterial chemistry. Particularly, she aims to investigate the potential of using strong plasmon-exciton coupling as a tool to manipulate the chemical reactivity of photo-reactive molecules.

Picture of Iona Ivalo
Iona Ivalo

Iona is a PhD student at the University of Sheffield, working under the supervision of Prof Julia Weinstein. Prior to this she completed a Masters degree in Chemistry (MChem) at the University of Edinburgh in 2021. Her PhD research will focus on control of electron transfer in light harvesting complexes possessing strong light-matter coupling to plasmonic modes. Through different ultrafast spectroscopic methods such as two-dimensional infrared (2DIR) spectroscopy, she hopes to control vibronic coupling and thus direct the outcome of light-driven processes.

Picture of Devy Pramudyah Wardani
Devy Pramudyah Wardani

Funded by The Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education

Devy is a PhD student in The University of Sheffield starting in 2022. She is working under the supervision of Prof Graham Leggett in the Department of Chemistry. She obtained her Physics degrees (BSc and MSc) from Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia and has worked as a physics junior lecturer since 2018 at the same university before taking her PhD. Her research since undergraduate study is in the field of plasmonic sensing. In her PhD, she will study how plasmonic strong-coupling could be utilised to detect disease biomarkers quantitatively in the hope that it can contribute to the advancement of non-invasive medical diagnostic techniques in the future.