CSCT cohort 2014 graduated with flying colours on 9 December 2015 at the Assembly Rooms in Bath. Out of the 16 students, 6 graduated with distinction and 9 with merit. As they move on to their first year of PhD, they reflect on their MRes year at the centre.
1. What attracted you to the Integrated PhD in the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies, as opposed to other PhD programmes?
"The biggest reason for choosing the CSCT was that it has everything a PhD has plus much more. I finished my undergrad not knowing what I wanted to commit the next three years of my life in a lab researching, so I thought in the MRes year I would get to 'try before I buy' in research areas I'm interested in to test the water before leaping into a PhD. I wanted the social aspect of working in a cohort, which I felt would be very helpful to keep your morals up throughout the year. On a professional level the opportunity to take a 3 month internship in industry or abroad would be a fantastic experience and look good on the CV." - Jamie Courtenay
2. What do you feel is the biggest advantage gained by completing an MRes project within a different discipline than what was studied at undergraduate level?
"As a chemist my other project involved tissue engineering which I was a bit apprehensive about as I have not opened a biology text book since GCSE! However, I'm so pleased I went for this project as tissue engineering is now a major part of my PhD." - Jamie Courtenay
"I've come from a Theoretical Physics/ Computational Chemistry background but after working with the Electrical Engineering department I definitely don't fear reading experimental papers now!" - Suzy Wallace
"Doing a project in a different discipline has given me an insight into research methodology and techniques that I would otherwise not have experienced, therefore, making me a more well rounded researcher" - Dominic Ferdani
3. What did you gain from completing the compulsory modules such as ‘Sustainable Development’, ‘Public Engagement’ and ‘Environmental Management’?
"All the modules helped me become a well-rounded scientist. Learning about how your work and research relates to companies and society was eye opening. The Public Engagement activities really help to put the work done at the centre into perspective and develop communication skills which are crucial for success." - Mike Joyes
4. Away from the academic side of the course, what advantages are there from being a member of a centre full of like-minded students?
5. Were the two MRes projects helpful in helping you to decide which area you wanted to study for your PhD?
"Prior to joining the CSCT, I was unsure what I wanted to do for a PhD. The opportunity to do two shorter projects during my first year was incredibly helpful." - Shawn Rood
"The MRes project allowed me to try a more risky project that I wasn't sure would work before committing 3 years to it. The flexibility with the second project has also allowed me to include aspects of this in my PhD." - Andrew Hall