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Personal profile

Research interests

My research focuses on the synthesis and development of new homogeneous catalysts. I use skills in synthetic main group chemistry to construct new ligands that include cooperative reaction sites to increase the potential for exciting new reactivity. Synthetic organometallic chemistry is exploited to form new transition metal and f-element catalysts for testing in challenging reactions such as dehydrocoupling and the catalytic functionalisation of dinitrogen.


Stephen started his undergraduate degree in 2001 at Imperial College London and graduated in 2005 working with Prof. Mike Hill for his MSci project on chiral ligands for enantioselective lanthanide catalysis, and winning the H.V.A. Briscoe prize for excellence in Inorganic Chemistry. In 2005 he moved to The University of Bristol and graduated in 2009 with a PhD under the joint supervision of Dr Chris Russell and Prof. Duncan Wass working on low valent and low coordination chemistry in the main group elements, with particular emphasis on developing new ligands for transition metals. He then undertook a one year post-doctoral position with Prof. Nick Norman researching boron-nitrogen analogues of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. In 2010 he moved to The University of Edinburgh undertaking research on small molecule activation using highly reactive uranium centres in the group of Prof. Polly Arnold. In 2013 he worked with Prof. Paul Raithby, Prof. Chick Wilson and Dr Andy Burrows at The University of Bath in a multi-disciplinary project on meta-stable functional materials before being appointed Lecturer at Heriot-Watt University in September 2013.

Key Research Words/Phrases

Homogeneous catalysis

Cooperative reactivity

Ligand design

Main group chemistry




  • QD Chemistry
  • Inorganic
  • Catalysis

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

Ligands Chemical Compounds
Chelation Chemical Compounds
Carbon Monoxide Chemical Compounds
ethylenediamine Chemical Compounds
Amides Chemical Compounds
Uranium Chemical Compounds
Alkali Metals Chemical Compounds
Benzyl Compounds Chemical Compounds

Co Author Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2006 2019

Open Access
Carbon Monoxide
Epoxy Compounds
Open Access
Alkali Metals

Unexpected multiple coordination modes in silyl-bridged bis(phosphinine) complexes

Cleaves, P. A. & Mansell, S. M., 11 Mar 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Organometallics.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Carbon Monoxide

Accessing alkyl- and alkenyl-cyclopentanes from Cr-catalysed ethylene oligomerization using 2-phosphinophosphinine ligands

Newland, R., Smith, A., Smith, D. M., Fey, N., Hanton, M. J. & Mansell, S. M., 26 Mar 2018, In : Organometallics. 37, 6, p. 1062−1073 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access


Activities 2015 2018

  • 4 Oral presentation
  • 3 Participation in Festival or Exhibition
  • 2 Participation in workshop, seminar, course
  • 2 Editorial activity

Oral presentation at UK Catalysis Hub meeting

Mansell, S. M. (Speaker)
18 Jun 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

PECRE funded research visit to LIKAT

Mansell, S. M. (Recipient)
16 Jul 20187 Sep 2018

Activity: Other

Dalton 2018 meeting of the joint interest groups

Mansell, S. M. (Speaker)
3 Apr 20185 Apr 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

Oral presentation at LIKAT

Mansell, S. M. (Speaker)
16 Jul 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

Oral presentation at the ICCC in Sendai, Japan

Mansell, S. M. (Speaker)
31 Jul 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

Press / Media