Niko Jenek

Niko grew up in the German automotive stronghold Stuttgart, while spending family vacations in idyllic Polish villages. At the University of Stuttgart he completed his BSc chemistry studies, focusing on organometallic catalysis and polymerisations (Prof. Michael Buchmeiser). To fulfil his lifelong dream of working with elemental fluorine, he moved to Freiburg and arranged a MSc project between the corresponding university (Prof. Ingo Krossing) and Fraunhofer ISE (Dr. Marc Hofmann). After surviving the direct fluorination of silicon surfaces, he received his MSc in chemistry in 2017. In Freiburg he also gained experience in non-university research while working at Fraunhofer ISE (Dr. Marc Hofmann and Dr. Martin Zimmer) from 2015 to 2017. He then moved to the UK and pursued a PhD in fundamental organometallic chemistry at the University of Bath (Dr. Ulrich Hintermair), where he challenged the status quo of accessing the notoriously exotic substituted pentalenide ligands by designing a record number of these species. To return to his eternal love, fluorine, Niko joined the Crimmin lab at Imperial College as PDRA in 2023, where he is currently investigating catalysts for reactions that transfer fluorine atoms between organic molecules. Besides chemistry, Niko’s passions also include laughter, coffee, ski jumping and going to the cinema.