|Degree programme||Chemistry MChem|
After visiting Newcastle with some friends whilst completing my A levels and then attending a Chemistry Open day where I spent a long time chatting to current undergraduates and lecturers about the city and the course, I decided that Newcastle was the place for me!
I began my MChem with studies in Europe in 2004 and learnt French in addition to core chemistry modules in order to carry out my research placement at the Lavoisier Institute in Versailles, just outside Paris, in 2006/2007. Here, I worked on the enhancement of aromatic sulfoximines via the addition of highly electron withdrawing functional groups. These were to be appended onto photoactive molecules synthesized by a team in Rennes in a collaborative project to investigate the novel physical chemistry related technique of two photon absorption. During my placement I stayed in a local Halls of residence and met fantastic people from all over Europe, many of whom I’m still in touch with today. I was lucky enough to work alongside some excellent chemists and gained skills and knowledge that I have been able to bring forward with me into my PhD studies.
After graduating in 2008, I began my PhD later that year in the Molecular Photonics Laboratory under the supervision of Professor Andy Benniston and Professor Tony Harriman. I am currently in my final year, completing projects which involve the design, synthesis and characterization of novel molecular dyads incorporating the boron dipyrromethane (BODIPY) fluorophore. The compounds synthesised are used to elucidate charge transfer mechanisms in photoactive dyads using both photophysical studies and also techniques such as NMR spectroscopy. I will shortly begin to write my thesis and aim to submit my work early next year.
I would highly recommend the Chemistry department here in Newcastle for its excellent teaching, superb facilities and research equipment and also Newcastle University in its entirety, for the excellent balance of academia, social activities, music and sport that it offers.