the team

Dr Adam Michalchuk

Originally from Canada's west coast, Adam moved to Scotland where he obtained his MChem from the University of Edinburgh in 2014. Adam remained in Edinburgh to pursue his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Colin Pulham and Prof. Carole Morrison, in theoretical solid state chemistry. During this time Adam simultaneously pursued a second qualification at Novosibirsk State University (Russia) under supervision of Prof. Dr Elena Boldyreva, in experimental solid state chemistry. In 2018 Adam moved to the group of Dr Franziska Emmerling at Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) in Berlin, Germany for post-doctoral research. His research focused on developing synchrotron-based techniques (X-ray diffraction and X-ray spectroscopy) for time-resolved in situ studies of mechanochemical reactions. Adam was also a guest scientist in the group of Prof. Dr Beate Paulus (Free University Berlin), working on theoretical studies of the mechanical behaviour of crystalline materials. From 2021 Adam was a Senior Scientist at the BAM, before beginning his independent career as an Assistant Professor at the School of Chemistry, University of Birmingham.

Professional Activity

Awards and Prizes

Post Docs

Dr Subrata Mondal

Originally from India, Subrata joined the team in early 2023 as an Adolf Martens Fellow offered by BAM. Subrata completed his PhD at the University of Hyderabad, India, focused on studying energetic materials and transition metal oxides using Density Functional Theory calculations. Subrata is currently exploring how energetic materials react under friction and mechanical impact.


PhD Students

Jakob Hein

From Berlin, Germany, Jakob completed his MSc in theoretical chemistry at the Free University Berlin in June 2022. Jakob joined the group for his PhD studies exploring the effects of pressure on the reactivity of energetic materials. While Jakob spends most of his time doing simulations, he occasionally makes measurements at synchrotron facilities to help support theoretical developments. 

Outside of science, Jakob is on the regional leadership team for the Scouts.

Jakob is co-supervised by Dr Ana Buzanich (BAM) and Prof Beate Paulus (FU Berlin).

Jake Wilson

Originally from Leeds, UK, Jake completed his MChem in Chemistry at the University of Bradford in June 2022. After a final year project in sustainable materials synthesis (with Dr D Crawford), Jake joined the group for his PhD on the mechanochemistry of battery materials with a focus on time resolved in situ analysis. 

Jake is a member of the joint University of Birmingham - BAM (Berlin, Germany) PhD programme, and is co-supervised by Dr Ana Buzanich (BAM) and Dr Phoebe Allan (Birmingham).


Mateusz Mojsak

Mateusz, originally from North-East Poland joined the group in 2023 after graduating with an MChem degree from the University of Edinburgh. In his work, he aims to develop new theoretical frameworks to accurately describe phonon scattering in molecular crystals. This involves computational modelling aided by experimental validation through neutron scattering and synchrotron studies.

During his time at Edinburgh, Mateusz worked on rationalising ligand action in metal recovery using DFT and the modelling of intermolecular interactions under the supervision of Prof. Carole Morrison, and he continues collaborating with her research group during his PhD studies.

Besides science, Mateusz enjoys an evening of board games, a hike in the mountains or a friendly jam session.


Tahlia Palmer

Tahlia, originally from Northamptonshire completed her MChem at the University of Bath in 2023 with a study year abroad completed at FU Berlin in the third year of her studies. In Berlin, she undertook a project in the Lauster group and on returning to Bath for her final year, her master’s project investigated methanimine analogues in a combined computational and synthetic project in the Webster group.

Now Tahlia has started her PhD at the University of Birmingham through the EPSRC CDT in topological design where she will be researching flexible crystals, co-supervised by Dr Yueting Sun.

In her spare time Tahlia enjoys either making banana bread, throwing a frisbee or trying to knit her scarf so she can survive the winter.


MSci Students

Katie Rosendale

Originally from Kent in the UK, Katie joined the team in September 2023 to undertake her Master’s project. She is using solid-state computational modelling to investigate the effects of high pressure on phonon scattering properties in energetic materials. 

Peter Graham

Originally from London, UK, Peter joined the group in September 2023 to study how the degree of nitration affects the reactivity of high-strain molecular crystals for the final year of his MSci degree at the University of Birmingham. 

In his free time Peter likes to do photography. 

Former Group Members

Bilal Haider (MSc Student)

Originally from Pakistan, Bilal completed his BSc in mechanical engineering before enrolling in the MSc Nanoscience and Technology programme at University Siegen, Germany. Bilal focused on mechanochemical synthesis of nanoparticle materials. Bilal completed his MSc in summer 2022.