Fairlamb Research Group

Catalysis, Synthetic and Mechanistic Chemistry

Brief CV of IJSF


  • 2003 RSC Meldola Medal for organic chemistry. 
  • 2004-2012 Royal Society University Research Fellowship. 
  • 2005 Set-for-Britain prize. 
  • 2007 Astra Zeneca younger researcher award. 
  • 2012 Vice Chancellor's Gold Award for leading Research Support at University of York.
  • 2015 Research Supervisor of the Year Award at University of York (YUSU).
  • 2016 RSC Corday-Morgan Prize and Medal.


  • Plenary speaker, Syngenta Chemistry Collaborative Research Conference, September 2017 (Jeolott's Hill, UK)
  • Invited speaker, Practical Aspects of Green Chemistry in the Pharmaceutical Industry, IMI-Chem21 Workshop, 2016 (UK)
  • Plenary speaker, Joint Anglo-Italian Heterocyclic Chemistry Conference, Taormina, May 2016 (Italy)
  • Plenary speaker, Dalton Division Council: Dalton Younger Members Event (DYME), Sept 2015 (Leeds, UK)
  • Plenary speaker, ‘Use of Synchrotron Radiation Techniques to Assist Process Development’, iPRD meeting, March 2015 (UK)
  • Plenary speaker, ‘16th Blue Danube Symposium on Heterocyclic Chemistry’, June 2015 (Hungary)
  • Plenary speaker, Dial-a-Molecule Conference meeting, May 2015 (UK)
  • Keynote speaker, GECO 56, ‘Groupe d’Etude de Chimie Organique’, August 2015 (France)
  • Invited speaker, Oxford Synthesis Meeting, July 2013 (UK)
  • Keynote speaker, 8th Ferrocene meeting, 2010 (Germany).
  • Invited speaker, Cerc-3: 'C-H Activation in Synthesis' Conference, 2009 (France)
  • Invited speaker, 13th NOST Meeting, 2009 (India)
  • Keynote speaker, Canadian Society for Chemistry Conference, 2007 (Canada)
  • Invited speaker, 2nd USA-UK Synthesis Conference, 2007, San Francisco (USA)
  • Associate editor for Tetrahedron (2005-present)
  • Scientific editor for the RSC annual book Organometallic Chemistry (2007-2017)

Research Leadership

Demonstrated through the publication of a special journal issue (Tetrahedron, as Guest Editor) on the development and application of highly active and selective palladium catalysis, with contributions from internationally-leading scientists (ca. 30 papers). Professional standing is exemplified by the role played in the organisation of an RSC-supported Dalton Discussion 12 meeting focused on catalytic C-H and C-X functionalisation (Durham 2010). This joint Organic Division/Dalton Division venture brought together the complementary interests of the inorganic and organic chemistry research communities. I led a network meeting bringing together internationally-leading scientists working in the area of organometallic CO-releasing molecules (Kavli International Centre, May 2011). I helped to coordinate a ‘XAFS for Catalysis’ meeting at the Diamond Synchrotron in Sept. 2013 (with EPSRC Dial-a-Molecule and UK Catalysis Hub).


In York:

  • January 2010-present: Full Professor. Based in both Inorganic and Organic Chemistry sections at York, formally-assigned to the latter section.
  • October 2007-Decemeber 2009: Senior researcher (equivalent to Associate Professor).
  • October 2004-September 2007: Lecturer B in organic chemistry (equivalent to Assistant Professor).
  • November 2001-September 2004: Lecturer A in organic chemistry (equivalent to Assistant Professor). 

In Bristol:

  • March 2000-October 2001: Post-doctoral researcher with Professor Guy C. Lloyd-Jones - Project Title: Mechanisms in Palladium Catalysis. 


  • October 1993-96: BSc in Chemistry, MMU, Manchester (UK).
  • October 1996-2000 (formally graduating in 2001): PhD in organic chemistry with Dr. Julia M. Dickinson. 

Background and personal interests

  • I was born in 1975 in Crewe (South Cheshire), England.  I lived in Crewe until 1 years old, then moved initially to Rode Heath (South Cheshire), moving to Scholar Green (3 miles down the road) when 9 years old, attending Scholar Green  Primary School.  As a young child I was allowed to roam-free, playing in ponds (mainly with rare newts and frogs), woods and fields for most of the time.  I moved to Heathfield High School in 1986 (now Congleton High School). During year 7, I played the role of Hrothgar in Beowulf, my one and only cameo as an actor.  Later on as a teenager I was a reasonable middle distance runner for the City of Stoke Athletics Club (at Northwood Athletics Stadium) between 1987 and 1992.  At high school I won the 1991 Harold Burns Trophy for Motor Vehicle Studies.  While being close to taking-up an apprenticeship working within the motor industry (aged 16 years old), I decided to follow interests in Chemistry, inspired by my then teacher, 'Doc' Michael Griffiths, which was a pivitol moment in my early career.  The road to academia was both bumpy and exciting.  Over the years I have been inspired by several great people, who have acted as mentors and role models: Dr. Julia Dickinson (MMU), Dr. Ken Williamson (MMU), Dr. David Kelly (MMU), Prof. Guy Lloyd-Jones (Bristol, now Edinburgh) and Prof. Richard Taylor (York).  I now enjoy seeing my students flourish and them going on to greater things. 
  • In my spare time, I enjoy running (usually with buggy) and cycling.  My favorite sports person of all time is Steve Cram, closely followed by Steve Ovett.  I am a Stoke City FC supporter - why, why why Deliiah? I used to sell programmes at the old Victoria Ground when a teenager.  Being close to the Potteries for most of my youth, I worked for a famous pottery company during vacation breaks while studying at University.
  • As time passes by I have developing interests in gardening and cooking. Holding on to my youth, I play the guitar and make useful things with Lego Technic (mainly for scientific outreach) and am the proud owner of a complete 1970s/1980s Lego Space collection.

Contact us: 

Professor I. J. S. Fairlamb BSc PhD CertEd FRSC

Department of Chemistry, University of York,

Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom

E-mail: ian.fairlambATyork.ac.uk 

Tel: +44 (0)1904 324091

Fax: +44 (0)1904 322516

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