Doctoral Inaugural Lectures - College of Science and Engineering


Thursday 11th May 2017 17:30-18:30
Bennett Building, Link Theatre

Dr Gemma Geary, 'Taming Fluorine: The Preparation of a New Fluorinating Reagent for the Synthesis of 21st Century Medicines'

Dr Peter Dong, 'Discontinous Galerkin Methods for Solving Partial Differential Equations on Polytopic Meshes'

Entry is Free and All Welcome to Attend - Book Your Seats Now

The Graduate School and the College of Science and Engineering are pleased to announce the College's 2016-17 Doctoral Inaugural Lecturers:

Dr Gemma Geary, Department of Chemistry

Taming Fluorine: The Preparation of a New Fluorinating Reagent for the Synthesis of 21st Century Medicines

Gemma Geary Research ImageOrganofluorine compounds are virtually absent in nature, however, they are widely used in both the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. This is demonstrated by the fact that approximately 25% of all drug molecules and 25% of all licensed herbicides contain at least one fluorine atom. The incorporation of fluorine into a molecule has a profound effect on its biological properties, such as metabolic stability, bioavailability and binding affinity. Notable examples of drugs containing fluorine include Lipitor, a cholesterol lowering drug which is one of the best selling drugs globally and the anti-depressant, Prozac, which is named on the World Health Organisations Model List of Essential Medicines.

The easiest way to introduce fluorine into a molecule is to use a source of the fluoride anion since these reagents are generally cheap and readily available. This method will not work, however, for electron rich molecules and for this, more powerful reagents are required which are either dangerous or very expensive. We have prepared a novel fluorinating reagent suitable for this purpose from a cheap and readily available source of the fluoride anion. The synthesis of this new reagent is simple and requires no complicated purifications. The new reagent has been used for a variety of fluorination reactions to furnish new fluorinated structural motifs which will be valuable in the development of new fluorinated drugs.


About Dr Gemma Geary

Dr Gemma GearyGemma completed her Master’s degree in Chemistry at the University of Leicester in 2011. She then continued in Leicester for her PhD studies under the supervision of Prof Eric Hope and Dr Alison Stuart in the Department of Chemistry. Having completed her PhD in 2015, she moved to her current position at the University of Nottingham as a Research Fellow in Organic Chemistry with Prof Chris Moody. She is interested in medicinal chemistry and the discovery of new synthetic routes to medicinally relevant molecules. She is also interested in the promotion of chemistry to a wider audience and finding new ways to engage the next generation of chemists.



Dr Peter Dong, Department of Mathematics

Discontinuous Galerkin Methods for solving partial differential equations on Polytopic Meshes

Peter Dong ImageMathematical modeling with partial differential equations (PDEs) is widely used in diverse areas, from computational fluid dynamics, solid mechanics and optimal control, to finance, biology and geology. Many natural phenomena, e.g. diffusion, convection and reaction, can be accurately modeled by using PDEs. In the last six decades, finite element methods (FEMs) and finite volume methods (FVMs) have been widely used and accepted by mathematicians and engineers as one of the most powerful tools for solving a wide range of PDEs problems. However, classical FEMs are known to lack sufficient stability properties for transport dominated PDE models and the convergence of rate of FVMs is usually low. An extremely promising class of high–order numerical schemes referred to as discontinuous Galerkin finite element methods (DGFEMs). Loosely speaking, DGFEMs can be considered to be a hybrid between classical FEMs and FVMs, which inherits the high order accuracy from FEMs and stability for transport dominated PDEs from FVMs.

In this talk, Zhaonan gives a general introduction to DGFEMs, discuss the stability and flexibility of DGFEMs on general polytopic meshes through several commonly used PDE models; for instance, general advection-diffusion-reaction model, heat-conduction model. He also discusses the theoretical analysis and practical performance of the hp-version DGFEMs,  which can achieve very high-order accuracy (even exponential convergence) with low computational complexity.


About Dr Peter Dong

Dr Peter DongZhaonan Dong came to University of Leicester in 2011. He completed a MSc in Financial Mathematics and Computation in 2012. Following this, he obtained his PhD in Mathematics under the supervision of Prof Emmanuil Georgoulis and Dr Andrea Cangiani in 2016, with his thesis being titled ‘Discontinuous Galerkin Methods on Polytopic Meshes’. In September 2016, he became a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Mathematics at University of Leicester.


His research interest is in computational methods for partial differential equations arising in mathematical modelling. In particular, continuous and discontinuous finite element methods, hp-version finite element methods, adaptivity finite element methods and polynomial approximation

All University staff and students and members of the public are invited to attend the Doctoral Inaugural Lectures. Entry is free, but seats must be booked in advance - book seats now.

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