Bye guys, it's been fun!
2007-2011: University of Bristol for my undergraduate degree
Master of Science and Master of Research
My first job was at woolworths! I’ve had many different jobs and placements, only a few of them chemistry related.
I’m a PhD student
Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies, University of Bath
Favourite thing to do in my job: I really love working with scientists and talking about research and ideas! It might sound strange that this would be my favourite thing, but talking with other scientists in your field is inspirational and helps you to come up with new ideas.
Making plastics from plants!
Most plastics that we use in our daily life have been made using crude oil. This oil is a limited resource, and is running out quickly! Alternative plastics can be made using plants. The plastics I make are made from fermented corn starch. The chemical name is lactic acid – this is something that can be found in our own bodies!
In order to make the plastic, you need something called a catalyst, which makes the reaction happen. You add tiny amounts of catalyst to your starting ingredient, heat it for a few hours, and then you have plastic!
My Typical Day
Coffee, emails, LAB WORK, meetings, presentations, more lab work, home!
Most of my day involves doing practical work in the laboratory (lab). I’ve put some pictures below in the photo section, showing what this involves. Once I’ve got some results from the lab, I need to interpret them, which I do in the office on my computer. Then I need to write about my findings.
My results can be presented in many ways, either a presentation, a poster, or a publication in a scientific journal. The last option is the best way to get my results read about.
What I'd do with the prize money
I will use the money to invest in some green chemistry workshops for schools
My colleagues are currently making a green chemistry workshop to take to a local venue for school children. If this is successful I would like to use the money to develop the workshop and to take it further afield. If not, I’ll donate it to another science communication project.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
daft, daydreamer, hungry
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
As I said above, having inspirational conversations with experienced chemists is my favourite thing. I’m still waiting for my first major breakthrough…
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
I’ve always enjoyed science, but I remember finding out about the ozone hole when I was 11 and thinking ‘this needs to be fixed’ – from that moment I wanted to solve environmental problems
Were you ever in trouble at school?
No, I was very quiet but I did annoy some teachers by daydreaming too much!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I have a passion for learning languages, so perhaps an interpretor
Who is your favourite singer or band?
My current favourite band is Zombina and the Skeletones, as for pop music, I love Beyoncé and Shakira.
What's your favourite food?
Curry or pizza
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I recently played my first roller derby (contact sport on skates) game against a team of experienced players. I was terrified at first but then I had the best time!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
I wish I was fitter and stronger so I could be better at roller derby – I’m working on this one :) I wish there was more time in the day! I wish my sleeping habits were better.
Tell us a joke.
Two people are eating in a restaurant. When ordering drinks, the first thought they’d be clever and ask for ‘H2O’. The second person loves this idea, and says ‘I’ll have H2O too!’. The second person dies of hydrogen peroxide poisoning.