Professor Eva Hevia holding the model of a molecule prepared by the team she leads.

I am a Synthetic Chemist who, in general terms, can be described as a molecular architect. Our research focuses on finding new tools that enable the construction of useful molecules, of relevance to the pharmaceutical industry and, therefore, having a direct impact on society.

Professor Eva Hevia

We place special emphasis on the structures of reagents required to access these important molecules, in order to get a better mechanistic understanding that will allow the rational design of future synthetic strategies. The quest for sustainability underpins our research, and some of our most exciting recent work has been geared towards replacing toxic organic solvents with more environmentally benign alternatives, made of biorenewable components. Along with leading a vibrant research group, I enjoy teaching inorganic chemistry to undergraduate students. I am also a strong advocate for diversity and inclusivity and so regularly participate in outreach activities that promote and celebrate women in STEM.

Since my primary school days, I have always been fascinated with science. I did my undergraduate and PhD studies at the University of Oviedo in Spain, and in 2003 I joined the University of Strathclyde as a postdoctoral researcher, where I have remained until 2019.

Every day at work is different. Sometimes we have amazing moments; for example, when we make a breakthrough in a project or when some of our work is accepted for publication. Of course, sometimes we also have to face frustrating challenging times, but being part of a team often helps in finding solutions for those challenges. A special privilege of working in academia is to witness the spectacular progression that younger researchers make while working on their PhD or postdoctoral projects, as well as being able to share with them my enthusiasm for research and discovery.

Eva is holding the model of a molecule that the team she leads has prepared. It showed for the first time that we can use iron as an earth-abundant and sustainable alternative to metallate organic molecules.