Welcome to the website of Vinh Nguyen’s research group. On these pages you will find information about the group, our research interests and recent publications.

Two new Ph.D. scholarships available now – Deadline 30 September 2020.

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The Nguyen group – August 2020

– August 2020: Two joint papers with the Koenigs group (RWTH Aachen) were accepted for publication in ACS Catalysis and Organic Letters as outcomes from Claire Empel’s research exchange to our group last year. Congratulations to both teams and may many more papers come from our collaborations.

– August 2020: Welcome to Emily Jacobs, our newest PhD student.

– June 2020: Welcome to Ethan Dinh, who started his PhD this month from his previous research assistantship in the group, which led to a just-accepted joint paper in ChemComm with ex-PhD student Mohanad Hussein. Congrats, Ethan and Mohanad.

– May 2020: Welcome to Philip Lentz, our newest Honours student.

– May 2020: Congratulations to Giulia for being awarded the PhD degree, she is now officially Dr Giulia Oss!

– February 2020: A warm welcome to 3 new members of the group: Sonny Doan, Tuong To (PhD) and Nhan Ton (MSc).

– January 2020: Congratulations to Giulia Oss and Mohanad Hussein for submitting their PhD theses.

– December 2019: Vinh was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant worth $420k for 2020-2022 to carry out research on new synthetic methods. Our longtime collaborator Prof Rene Koenigs was also named a Partner Investigator on this grant.

– October 2019: Two joint papers with the Koenigs group (RWTH Aachen) were accepted for publication in Org. Lett. and Chem. Eur. J. (Uyen Tran, who just graduated, led this one during her research exchange to RWTH Aachen) in two consecutive days. Congratulations to both teams and may many more papers come from our collaborations.

– October 2019: Congratulations to Mohanad Hussein and Uyen Tran for having their work on the addition reactions of tropylium halides to electron-deficient olefins accepted for publication in Angewandte Chemie. Many thanks to great contributions from collaborators Junming Ho (UNSW), Vien Huynh (Usyd), Prof Herbert Mayr (LMU Muenchen) and Mohan Bhadbhade (UNSW MWAC).

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– September 2019: Congratulations to Giulia Oss for her work on iodonium catalyzed carbonyl-olefin metathesis reaction published as part of the “Metathesis beyond Olefins” Cluster in Synlett.

– August 2019: Congratulations to Reece Crocker and Domenic Pace for having their work on tetrabenzo[5.7]fulvalene accepted for publication in ChemComm.

– August 2019: Uyen Tran is now officially a Dr and starting her new independent position in Vietnam.

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– June 2019: Congratulations to Mohanad for having his NHC-promoted Appel reaction paper accepted for publication in ChemCommun.

– May 2019: Congratulations to Demelza Lyons and Reece Crockers for submitting their PhD theses at the same time.

– February 2019: A warm welcome to Domenic Pace, our 2018 Honours student, now returning as a PhD student. All the best for your new journey, Dom.

– January 2019: Congratulations to Uyen Tran, the first PhD student of our group, also the first one to submit her thesis after 3.5 years at UNSW.

– November 2018: Our work in collacoration with the Breugst group (University of Koeln) on iodine-catalyzed COM reactions was accepted for publication in ACS Catalysis Congratulations to Uyen, Giulia, Domenic and Kevin.

– October 2018: Our work in collacoration with the Koenigs group (RWTH Aachen) on tropylium-promoted retro-Claisen reactions was accepted for publication in ChemCommun. Congratulations to Mohanad for his 1st first-author paper.

– September 2018: Our collaborative work with the Koenigs group (RWTH Aachen) on cyclopropanation reaction with sulfur ylide was accepted for publication in ChemCommun. Congratulations to the Koenigs team and our own Mohanad.

– August 2018: Vinh was awarded an Australian Research Council – Future Fellowship for four years from 2018-2022. The Future Fellowships scheme supports research in areas of critical national importance by giving outstanding researchers incentives to conduct their research in Australia. The recipients are among the best and brightest mid-career researchers in Australia. 

– June 2018: Our ChemSci paper was featured as the Front Cover of Issue 23, 2018.

– May 2018: Congratulations to Demelza and Reece for having their work on tropylium organic dyes accepted for publication in ChemEurJ.

– May 2018: Congratulations to Uyen, Giulia and Domenic for having their work on carbonyl-olefin metathesis accepted for publication in ChemSci.

– April 2018: Congratulations to Giulia, your hydration reaction of alkynes with tropylium catalyst has been accepted for publication in EurJOC.

– February 2018: A warm welcome to our two new Honours students: Domenic Pace (returning from 3rd year project) and Gabriella Chalmers.

– February 2018: Our Vapourtec flow chemistry system is fully up and running.



– November 2017: Work on tropylium-promoted oxidative functionalization of tetrahydroisoquinolines was accepted for publication in J Org Chem. Congratulations to Giulia, Sander and Kevin.

– September 2017: Demelza and Reece’s Green Chem article was featured on the front cover with a great artwork by Demelza. Congrats!


– August 2017: A warm welcome to Kevin Luc, our new-est Honours student, also to Domenic Pace who continues in the group as a 3rd year project student.

– July 2017: Our GreenChem article was highlighted on C&EN, congratulations to Demelza and Reece!  Have a look: http://cen.acs.org/articles/95/i27/Tropylium-cation-serves-organocatalyst.html

– June 2017: Our second (with Koenigs’ group)/third (with Junming Ho) -joint study on sulfonium ylides in Corey-Chaykovsky cyclopropanation reactions has been accepted for publication in Journal of Organic Chemistry.

– June 2017: Congratulations to Demelza and Reece, their combined effort on tropylium-catalyzed acetalization reactions while on exchange to Germany has been accepted for publication in Green Chemistry.

– May 2017: All of us doing an Italian hand gesture for Giulia, and she got the prize for Best Oral Presentation in 1st year review. Congratulations, Giulia!


– April 2017: Congratulations to Uyen Tran, our paper on Csp3-Csp3 coupling reactions with Chris Gordon (WSU) and Rene Koenigs (RWTH Aachen) has been accepted for publication in Chemical Communications.

– February 2017: Congratulations to Ugur Kaya and Uyen Tran (equal contributions), our paper on NHO-catalyzed Si-O coupling reactions with Dieter Enders and Junming Ho has been accepted for publication in Organic Letters.

– February 2017: Congratulations to Reece Crocker and Mohanad Hussein, our paper on NHC-catalyzed S-S metathesis and P-S coupling reactions, in collaboration with Dr Junming Ho, has been accepted for publication in Chemistry – An European Journal.

– February 2017: Welcome to Lisa Djuandhi, our joint-Honours student with the Sharma group. She will be working on new materials for better battery. Also welcome to Katharina Hock (exchange PhD student from RWTH Aachen) and Prof. Rene Koenigs (visiting Professor from RWTH Aachen).

– November 2016: Congratulations to Mohanad for the runner up poster prize at the NSW RACI Organic Symposium 30/11/2016.

– October 2016: We had a group BBQ to say hello to summer and farewell to Ugur Kaya. Kaya will head back to RWTH Aachen to finish his PhD project.


Group BBQ – October 2016. Front row L-R: Reece, Vinh, Uyen, Mohanad. Back row L-R: Demelza, Kaya, Sander and Giulia.

– September 2016: Honours projects are available for study in 2017 in the Nguyen group. Check page 50 of the program brochure.

– September 2016: Welcome Sander de Vos to the group. Sander will be on exchange with us until end of March 2017 to carry out research for his Master degree at University of Amsterdam.

– August 2016: Vinh was awarded the 2016 Athel Beckwith Lectureship by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Organic Chemistry Division for his development of new organocatalytic reaction methodology using aromatic cations and N-heterocyclic olefins. This award recognises outstanding, recently appointed (less than 5 years in the first position), organic chemists in Australia. Vinh will be traveling around Australia early next year to present recent research results from the group at universities and research centers.

– August 2016: Review with Demelza Lyons, Reece Crocker and Marcus Blümel, covering our work on tropylium ions and other people’s (especially Tristan Lambert at Columbia Uni) work on non-benzenoid aromatic ions, has been published on Angewandte. Great job Dem, Reece and Marcus.

– July 2016: Welcome to the group, Giulia! Giulia Oss is the 5th Ph.D student of our group.


The Nguyen group July 2016: (back L->R) Kaya, Giulia, Reece, Demelza, Vinh; (front L->R) Mohanad, Uyen

– June 2016: A warm welcome to Ugur Kaya, an exchange PhD student from Enders group at RWTH Aachen. Kaya will be with us until the end of October 2016.

– May 2016: Work on N-Heterocyclic Olefin promoted phase-transfer alkylation reactions with Marcus Bluemel and Reece Crocker has been accepted for publication in Chemical Communications. Congratulations, Marcus and Reece!

– April 2016: Work on N-Heterocyclic Olefin promoted transesterification reactions with Marcus Bluemel has been accepted for publication in Organic Letters. Congratulations, Marcus!

– March 2016: Mohanad Hussein started his Ph.D study. Welcome to the group, Mohanad!

– October 2015: Concept article on N-heterocyclic olefins with Reece Crocker has been accepted to Chemistry – An European Journal. Good job, Reece!

– September 2015: Congratulations to Demelza for winning the John Morris – Catalysis Cluster poster prize at the Research Poster day.

– August 2015: Welcome to Reece, Demelza and Uyen, all starting as 1st year PhD students. Also welcome to Marcus, from RWTH Aachen, who will be with us on an exchange program for 5 months.

Nguyen's group in September 2015

Nguyen’s group in September 2015

 June 2015: From mid-June 2015, Vinh will move University of New South Wales to take up a Lecturer/DECRA fellow position at the School of Chemistry.

December 2014: Vinh’s collaboration with Prof. Enders at RWTH Aachen has been awarded an ATN-DAAD seeding grant for 2015-2016.

December 2014: Vinh and Demelza Lyons paper on a novel tropylium-based coupling reagent system for carboxylic acids has been accepted for publication in Chemical Communications.

November 2014: Vinh was one of the only TWO organic chemists awarded the fiercely competitive Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) research grant from the Australian Research Council in this 2014 funding round.

September 2014: Vinh and Michael Hall (a 3rd year project student) paper on a spin-off project from last year has been accepted for publication in Tetrahedron Letters.

August/September 2014: Vinh was invited to present a plenary lecture at the Southern Highlands Conference this year. On his trip to the east coast, he also gave a talk at University of New South Wales on August 28th.

July 2014: It was confirmed that Demelza Lyons will join the group as an Honours student (the very first) from August. Welcome Dem!

March 2014: Vinh and Alp Bekensir – a 3rd year project student – published an article on Organic Letter on aromatic cation activation. Congratulations to Alp!

December 2013: Vinh was awarded the prestigious 2014 Thieme Chemistry Journal Award, selected by the editorial boards of Synlett-Synthesis-Synfact, for his outstanding performance as an early career researcher.

June 2013: Vinh moved from RWTH Aachen to join Curtin in June 2013 as a Curtin Early Career Research Fellow / Lecturer.