Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Durham
I did my undergraduate degree in the University of Bristol and then obtained a PhD degree in the University of St Andrews working under the supervision of Prof. Paul Kamer and Prof. David Cole-Hamilton. My PhD was in the area of homogeneous catalysis, and focused on the conversion of waste oil into value-added materials. I decided to be a scientist as doing scientific experiments when I was a child and seeing and (trying) to understand what happened gave me a great sense of accomplishment. Also I enjoy doing something useful for other people and that could possibly contribute to the well-being of the world.
The top 3 skills that are needed to be a successful scientist in my opinion are firstly patience, since research is a very long process, and there can be many of things that don’t go as planned, which means it can sometimes be very frustrating. So it is really important to have the ability to deal with the frustration and have the patience to work through all the problems trying to come up with new solutions, which will finally lead to a solution. The second skill needed is logical and independent thinking, which leads you to come up with ideas for your project and to then allow you to come up with solutions to the problems encountered. Finally, it is also important to have the ability to work in a team and to be able to collaboration with other people. Research moves much faster with good collaborations!
My favourite part of being a scientist is that you will never get bored! Every day will be different with and offer you new challenges to solve.
I am currently working under the supervision of Dr. Phil Dyer and Prof. Andrew Weller on a project looking at developing a cascade catalytic process to convert bio-butanol to propene.