Our Women in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
The School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering strives to operate in line with Athena SWAN principles, which amongst others, seek to empower women to develop successful careers and lead within their area. On this page, you'll find out more about just some of the women from our School who are pursuing a career in science.
Gosia joined Queen's University Ionic Liquid Laboratories at Queen's University Belfast as a PhD student of Professor Ken Seddon, studying acidic ionic liquids for industrial catalytic processes. Having graduated in 2009, Gosia was appointed as a post-doctoral researcher in QUILL, and offered the opportunity to develop her own project on metal-containing ionic liquids, looking at their speciation, Lewis acidity measurements and applications in both catalysis and synthesis of inorganic materials. In 2011 she became a project leader, working with a small team on the synthesis of lubricant base oils, sponsored firstly by Petronas and then by Evonik. In parallel, she developed her research into main group chemistry in ionic liquids.
In February 2015, Gosia was awarded Queen’s University Research Fellowship in Green Chemistry (tenure-track position) and established her own research group. In September 2017, she was appointed an Acting Director of the QUILL Research Centre, and in January 2018 - following the death of Professor Seddon, she became the Director of QUILL. Following the completion of her Fellowship in 2019, Gosia became a Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry at School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and has since gone on to receive a chair in inorganic chemistry within the School.
Gosia is a a member of Editorial Advisory Board of ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, and holds memberships of both Royal Society of Chemistry and American Chemical Society.
Dr Lagunas has broad research interests including synthetic coordination chemistry, luminescence, molecular sensors, ionic liquids and inorganic electrochemistry. Her work includes the preparation of optical sensing molecules able to detect volatile compounds, such as acetylene and ethylene, or biologically relevant metals, such as copper or zinc. These molecular sensors work by changing colour or luminescence in the presence of the analyte. Dr Lagunas has also undergone innovative fundamental research on the relationships between the structures of metal compounds and their luminescent properties and published the first EXAFS studies showing evidence of the presence of weak metal---metal contacts in solution. She also carries out collaborative research in ionic liquids (e.g., preparation of metal nanoparticles and speciation of metal compounds in ionic liquids), and in the environmentally friendly synthesis of pharmaceutical compounds.
For example, recent research from her lab have shown that metal complexes with enhanced anticancer properties can be prepared using solvent-free mechanochemical synthesis. Dr Lagunas has ca. 50 publications in high quality journals, with a h-index of 25. She was invited to write three review articles on gold chemistry for the Annual Reports on the Progress of Chemistry and a book chapter on Molecular Organometallic Materials for Optics (Series: Topics in Organometallic Chemistry-2010; Springer Ed.). Her early work on luminescent Au complexes was featured in the ‘News Review’ section of the RSC journal Chemistry World (2006).
Dr Lagunas' research on cost-effective, easy-to-use molecular sensors for volatile/toxic compounds, as well as on the environmentally friendly synthesis of metallodrugs have the potential for societal impact.