Dr Jennifer A. Burnham

Department of Chemistry

Senior University Teacher

Jenny Burnham
Profile picture of Jenny Burnham
+44 114 222 9488

Full contact details

Dr Jennifer A. Burnham
Department of Chemistry
Dainton Building
13 Brook Hill
S3 7HF

Dr Jenny Burnham did a BSc in Chemistry with Studies in Continental Europe at the University of Bristol and then specialised as a main group chemist with doctoral studies on boron monohalide and polyboron halide chemistry and postdoctoral work on indium monohalide chemistry and precursors for cadmium mercury telluride devices. Jenny has been a Teaching Fellow at the University of Sheffield since 2005.

She delivers lectures, tutorials, project work, and laboratory classes and runs the Level 2 synthetic laboratories. She completed an MEd in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education at the University of Sheffield in 2012, is a University of Sheffield Senate Award winner for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, and is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In her own words "I go by the name of Jenny Burnham and I firmly believe that boron is the best element in the periodic table."


  • Senate Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (2013)

Professional Qualifications & Memberships

  • MEd in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (2012)
  • MRSC
  • CChem

Journal articles


  • Burnham J (2019) Developing student expertise in scientific inquiry In Seery MK & Mc Donnell C (Ed.), Teaching Chemistry in Higher Education A Festschrift in Honour of Professor Tina Overton Creathach Press View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download


Teaching interests

Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory; Main Group Chemistry; Science Teaching Network.

Teaching activities

I love teaching. I love seeing students develop from nervous first years to confident graduates and talented postgraduates. It is fascinating to learn about the process of learning and seeing it from the perspective of a student again is instructive. To that end, I have completed an MEd in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and continue to do research into my teaching practice. I believe the potential of my students is enormous and it should be tapped and their skills developed. My teaching aims to stretch students, giving them the opportunity to practice less-familiar skills before they get to the work-place, and encouraging them to consolidate their learning so that material is learned for more than the two weeks of the revision period.

Undergraduate and postgraduate taught modules

  • Main Group Chemistry 1 (Level 2)
    This lecture course explores the relationship between the atomic properties and molecular behaviour of some s- and p-block compounds.
  • Level 2 Inorganic and Organic Laboratories
    The second year Inorganic and Organic Chemistry Laboratory curricula have been designed to build on the first year lab through a balanced programme of experiments covering the main branches of inorganic and organic chemistry. Students will become masters of the key techniques and methods of synthetic chemistry and be introduced to more advanced techniques such as synthesis under inert atmosphere and chromatographic separation, and they will become practised in spectroscopic characterisation.
  • Chemistry Projects – Skills for Success (Level 3; course designer)
    Skills for success is based on the philosophy that students should be able to customise their degree in order to develop the particular skills they need for their future. Students are required to apply for their choice of project, complete the project itself, and then reflect on their experiences in order to solidify their learning. Examples of previous project work included gaining work experience in the department, debating philosophical issues from chemistry, researching a particular molecule, writing and hosting a radio show, and experimenting in the kitchen.

Support Teaching:

  • Tutorials: Level 1 General Chemistry.

Laboratory Teaching:

  • Level 1 Inorganic Laboratories
  • Level 2 Inorganic Laboratories