Prof. Rachel O'Reilly

Rachel was born in Holywood, Northern Ireland and then got her first degree from the University of Cambridge, working with Professor Brian Johnson FRS for her Masters project. She then went on to complete her PhD at Imperial College, London in 2003, working with Professor Vernon C. Gibson. Her PhD was in collaboration with BP and focused on organometallic catalysts for radical polymerisation.  She then moved to the US to under the joint direction of Professors Craig J. Hawker (IBM Almaden) and Karen L. Wooley (Washington University in Saint Louis). In 2004 was awarded a Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 research fellowship which she held in the US for 1 year before returning to the UK in 2005. She then started her independent career in 2005 at the University of Cambridge as a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship. Then in 2008 she moved to the University of Warwick and in 2012 was promoted to full Professor. In 2018 she took up the position of chair and head of school in the Chemistry Department at the University of Birmingham.

Positions and grants

January 2018 – to date
Chair in Chemistry and Head of School
University of Birmingham, School of Chemistry, Edgbaston, B15 2TT,
February 2015 – to date
ERC consolidator grant awardee
University of Warwick, Department of Chemistry, Gibbet Hill Road, CV4 7AL
June 2012 – December 2017
Full Professor
University of Warwick, Department of Chemistry, Gibbet Hill Road, CV4 7AL
October 2009-May 2012
Associate Professor
University of Warwick, Department of Chemistry, Gibbet Hill Road, CV4 7AL
January 2009-September 2009
Assistant Professor
University of Warwick, Department of Chemistry, Gibbet Hill Road, CV4 7AL
January 2009-September 2014
ESPRC career acceleration fellow (CAF)
University of Warwick, Department of Chemistry, Gibbet Hill Road, CV4 7AL
September 2005-December 2008
Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship & Mays Wild Research Fellowship, Downing College
University of Cambridge, Department of Chemistry, Lensfield Road, CB2 1EW, UK
October 2004-September 2006
Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Research Fellowship
University of Cambridge, Department of Chemistry, Lensfield Road, CB2 1EW, UK
IBM Almaden Research Center, 650 Harry Road, San Jose, California, 95120-6099, USA
June 2003-August 2005
Post-Doctoral research position
IBM Almaden Research Center, 650 Harry Road, San Jose, California, 95120-6099, USA
Washington University in Saint Louis, One Brookings Drive, Saint Louis, Missouri, 63130, USA
Supervisors: Prof. C. J. Hawker FRS and Prof. K. L. Wooley

Project: Preparation of uniquely derivatised block copolymers, their modification and assembly into novel nanostructured materials.

October 1999-May 2003
Ph.D. in Chemistry
Imperial College, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2AY, UK
Supervisor: V. C. Gibson FRS

Thesis title : Novel catalyst design for utilisation in controlled radical polymerisations.

October 1995-June 1999
M.Sci. hons, 1st class in Chemistry (June 1999)
B.A. hons, 1st class in Natural Sciences (June 1999)
University of Cambridge, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, CB3 0DG, UK

Academic awards

2020 – Royal Society of Chemistry Corday-Morgan Prize
2020 – Royal Society of Chemistry Polymer Chemistry lectureship award
2019 – UK Finalist (Chemistry) in the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists
2018 – Industry-Academia Collaboration of the Year (with BP) from the Royal Society of Chemistry
2018 – Journal of Polymer Science Innovation award
2018 – Covestro Distinguished Lectureship from Texas A&M University
2017 – Macromolecules/Biomacromolecules Young Investigator award
2016 – Gibson-Fawcett award from the Royal Society of Chemistry
2014 – McBain medal from the Royal Society of Chemistry/Society of Chemical Industry
2013 – Elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry
2013 – ACS Mark Young Scholar award
2012 – Samsung-IUPAC Young Polymer Scientist Award
2012 – RSC Hickinbottom Medal
2008 – Macro group UK young researchers medal
2007 – RSC Meldola Medal
2007 – Awarded chartered Chemist status

Academic Honours

2021 – Elected as a fellow of the European Academy of Sciences
2020 – Dow lecturer at the University of Victoria, Canada
2018 – Covestro Distinguished Lectureship from Texas A&M University
2013 – Elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry
2007 – Awarded chartered Chemist status
2006 – Elected as the Mays Wild Fellow at Downing College
2005 – Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow
2005 – Research Fellow Downing College
2004 – Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, Research Fellow
 

Academic Appointments

2020 – Member of REF 2021 sub-panel UOA 8, Chemistry
2020 – Expert committee member of the Novo Nordick Foundation, committee on interdisciplinary research
2019 onwards – Member of the Science and Engineering Fellowship Committee for the 1851 Commission
2019 onwards – Panel Member of the ERC Advanced Grant program
2018 – Council member of the High Polymer Research Group

Editorial Positions

2021 – Journal of the American Chemical Society, Associate Editor
2018-2021 – Macromolecules, Associate Editor
2016 – Reviewing editor for Science
2014 – Member of the editorial advisory board of ACS journal Bioconjugate Chemistry
2011 – Member of the editorial advisory board for Wiley journal, J. Polym. Sci. Part A: Polym. Chem.
2009 – Member of the editorial advisory board for RSC journals, Chemical Science and Polymer Chemistry