Our Team

Dr Lucy Clark


Lucy is a Materials Innovation Factory Lecturer at the University of Liverpool and our team leader.

Lucy obtained a First Class MChem Chemistry with Mathematics degree from the University of St Andrews in 2010. She was then granted a Principal’s Career Development PhD Scholarship from the University of Edinburgh, which allowed her to pursue her post-graduate studies in the School of Chemistry under the supervision of Prof J. Paul Attfield FRS. In 2013, she was awarded her PhD for her thesis entitled “Synthesis and Study of Frustrated Oxide and Mixed Anion Materials.” A major focus of her thesis work comprised a study of correlated anion disorder in oxynitride materials using powder neutron diffraction. In addition, Lucy was awarded the 2012 Royal Society of Chemistry Roy Prize for her work on the magnetic properties of novel oxyfluoride compounds, which also formed part of her thesis.

After her time in Edinburgh, Lucy went on to a post-doctoral position with Prof Bruce D. Gaulin in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. There she learnt to apply the technique of inelastic neutron scattering to the study of frustrated magnets. She subsequently returned to the UK, and to the University of St Andrews, to work on the development of ionothermal and solvothermal synthetic chemistry for the discovery of new advanced materials.

In 2017, Lucy was appointed to her current role at the University of Liverpool where she holds a joint academic position across the Departments of Chemistry and Physics.

Kate Tustain

KateKate is a 2nd-year PhD student in the group.

Kate is a graduate of Durham University, where she obtained a First Class MChem in Chemistry in 2016. As a final-year project student, Kate worked with Dr Karen E. Johnston towards elucidating the complex structural phase diagram of ferroelectric Nb-based perovskites using powder diffraction and solid-state NMR methods. Now in Liverpool, she is dedicated to the synthesis of quantum kagome antiferromagnets and exploring the complex magnetic phases that arise within them. In the chemistry lab, Kate widely employs solvothermal synthesis methods to prepare materials. She is also developing expertise in the collection and analysis of neutron diffraction and muon spectroscopy data.

Aly Abdeldaim

AlyAly is a 1st-year PhD student in the group.

Aly joined the group from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, where he completed his MSc in Materials Chemistry with distinction in 2018. During his time at Chalmers, Aly explored the synthesis and characterisation of a family of anhydrous alums as candidate spin liquids. Now, Aly is the recipient of an ISIS PhD Facility Development Studentship in which he is searching for new metal-organic framework solids for quantum materials applications. He is co-supervised by Dr Gøran Nilsen from the Excitations and Polarised Neutrons Group at the ISIS Neutron and Muon Facility. A key component of Aly’s project is the development of the deuterated single crystal growth capabilities within the ISIS Deuteration Facility.

Jennifer Graham

JenJennifer is a 4th-year MPhys project student in the group.

After completing an EPSRC-funded vacation project with us in Summer 2018, Jennifer decided to stay in the group for her final-year research project in Physics. Jennifer’s project targets the synthesis of possible rare-earth-based materialisations of the Kitaev quantum spin liquid ground state. In particular, she uses solid-state synthesis methods and powder X-ray diffraction to characterise the materials she prepares. Jennifer’s project is a collaboration with Dr Roger Johnson and Prof Radu Coldea in the Quantum Materials Group at the University of Oxford.

Adam Hayward

AdamAdam is a 4th-year MChem project student in the group.

Adam joined the group to undertake a collaborative project with Dr Frédéric Blanc in our Department of Chemistry for his final-year research in Chemistry. Adam is developing solid-state NMR methods to reveal the local crystal structure of a family of quantum kagome antiferromagnets. Adam’s local structural studies ideally complement the powder neutron diffraction work Kate has been leading as part of her PhD research. In addition, Adam has been preparing his samples in our lab and characterising them by powder X-ray diffraction.

Brendan Ward-O’Brien

BrendanBrendan is a 4th-year MChem project student in the group.

Brendan re-joined the group for his final-year research project in Chemistry after completing his 3rd-year 10-week research placement with us in 2018. Brendan’s current project seeks to unravel the complex relationships between chemical and magnetic disorder in materials by combining computer-aided materials design with solid-state synthesis methods. His project is part of a wider collaborative effort with Dr Matthew Dyer in the Department of Chemistry and is supported of our 2018 Royal Society Research Project.

Former Group Members

Lewis Farrar – MChem Project Student – 2017-18

Jennifer Graham – EPSRC Vacation Bursary Student – 2018

Rich Lyons – Liverpool Department of Chemistry Summer Student – 2018

Brendan Ward-O’Brien – 3rd-Year Project Student – 2018