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SynTech CDT students launch start-up to accelerate chemical synthesis

Photo credit: Nathan Pitt ©University of Cambridge

Read the full article of Chem@CAM here

Two PhD students from our department have launched a start-up which will democratise access to advanced optimisation strategies with a new, no-code software platform.

The new company, ReactWise, will provide software which enables organic chemists to efficiently select experiments, thus reducing time and cost, and increasing sustainability.

From PhD to start-up

Daniel Wigh and Alexander Pomberger have just completed their PhDs within the SynTech CDT programme, which provides cross-disciplinary training to students for the next generation of molecule-making techniques.

During their PhDs, Daniel and Alexander conducted research on how machine learning can be applied to make chemical synthesis more efficient.

Daniel, whose background is in chemical engineering, was supervised by Professor Jonathan Goodman in this department and Professor Alexei Lapkin in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. He realised that the algorithms he was creating could often only be used by other programmers. “After several coffee chats, I learned that the chemists within our department weren’t using computational tools as much as they could,” he says. “So, there was a usability gap to provide access to our methods without the necessity to code.”

Alexander, who was supervised by Professor Alexei Lapkin and Professor Matthew Gaunt, says: “As a trained organic chemist I started in a typical wet lab setting and learned the standard workflows. It was only during my PhD that I understood that chemical reactions are often so multidimensional, that it poses a challenge to efficient human decision making. We could see the need for easy-to-use software that bridges the gap between machine learning and chemistry.”

Continue reading the full article of Chem@CAM here 


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