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The Team

Who We Are

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Spring 2022

PhD students


Luca Denkler

PhD student-2021



Luca grew up in Schöppingen, a small village at the border of the Netherlands. In 2014, she moved to the University of Cologne, where she obtained a bachelor's and master's degree in Chemistry. During her master, she specialized in "Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis" and published a project involving Ni, Pd, and Pt complexes.  Then Luca moved to Bonn in 2021 to continue her doctoral studies in the working group of Ala Bunescu. Lucas' PhD thesis focuses on developing new earth-abundant metal-catalyzed decarboxylative cross-coupling reactions via light-induced LMCT.



Clemens Maurer

PhD student-2022


Clemens grew up in the area of Bonn. After finishing High School, he did a volunteer year in a hospital in Bonn and then started his B. Sc. at the University of Bonn in 2014. He completed his bachelor thesis in 2018 in the working group of Prof. Höger with the emphasis on the synthesis of a large aromatic precursor. Then, after an internship at Peter Greven in Bad Münstereifel, he started his master degree in chemistry at RWTH Aachen in 2019. Clemens conducted his master thesis and continued his PhD studies in the group of Prof. Dr. Ala Bunescu at Bonn. His PhD work focuses on Ni- and Co- catalyzed C–H functionalization of arenes and arene chromium complexes. In his spare time, his daily routine includes physical training and enjoying a nice cup of coffee.


Tak Shing Jason Ngan

PhD student-2022



Jason was born and raised in Hong Kong. He received his Bachelor's degree at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2018, in which he had been working in Prof.Wing Yiu Yu's group for two years on the study of Ligand-assisted, Transition metal-catalyzed regioselective C-H activation/functionalization reaction. In 2019, he decided to come to Bonn to pursue his Master's degree and worked for his master's thesis in Prof. Dr. Bunescu's group on the development of multi-catalytic systems for the dearomative difunctionalization of arenes. After graduating from the Master's program in 2022, he stayed in Prof. Bunescu's group for PhD's study and continue the study on the dearomative difunctionalization of arenes. In his free time, he likes to play guitar, go for hiking or backpacking, and cooking delicious foods.

Master students


Frédéric Bernhard

Master student-2021


Frédéric did his BSc degree in chemistry and physics in Bonn. In his Bachelor thesis in the group of Prof. Olav Schiemann, he worked on the synthesis of a Trityl-based spinlabel for EPR-spectroscopy. During his Master studies in chemistry, his interest in sustainability-related subjects like catalysis and batteries increased. After working for a semester at the Fraunhofer ICT in Karlsruhe on sodium ion batteries, Frédéric decided to focus on (photo)catalysis. In his Master’s thesis in the group of Prof. Ala Bunescu he is working on copper-catalyzed decarboxylative functionalization of alkenes. Besides chemistry, he is interested in a wide range of topics and activities such as economics, politics, chess, playing the piano, couple dancing as well as the Spanish language and Latin America.



Ruben Fleischer

Master student-2022


Ruben was born in Nordhausen (Thüringen, Germany) in 1998 and finished high school in 2016 in Herzberg am Harz (Niedersachsen, Germany). He moved to Bonn in 2017 for his Bachelor studies and received his B.Sc. in 2020. His Bachelor thesis investigated the topic of carbene-stabilized low valent silicon compounds using computational chemistry in the working group of Professor Alexander C. Filippou. Since then, he is working towards his Master's degree and is currently studying Ni-catalyzed C-H borylation of π-arene Cr complexes. In his free time, Ruben likes spending time with friends, traveling to big cities and islands around Europe, and playing soccer.


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