Graduate destinations

Liam Ball

Liam joined the Centre in 2009 having completed his MSci Chemistry degree at the University of Bristol. He is now an Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry at the School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham.

How did the CDT training benefit your PhD research?

The PACT programme provided an invaluable foundation for my PhD. In particular, the RBS placements introduced to me a number of techniques of which I had little prior experience and allowed me to hone those already in my repertoire.

Regular opportunities to present during PACT and throughout my PhD really helped develop my confidence in public speaking.

How has the CDT helped develop your career?

The research project I selected was a direct result of a collaboration brought about by the CDT, so my results, publications and prizes all owe something to the Centre. Having two PhD supervisors also allowed me to draw on a wealth of experience and advice in planning my career.

The professional network I was able to develop has become increasingly important, as has the experience I gained in scientific writing, presentation and teaching.

Where do you see yourself in five to ten years' time?

In 2016 I am due to move to Nottingham’s new Carbon Neutral Laboratories, so for the foreseeable future I hope to maintain an enthusiastic and successful research group in those state-of-the-art facilities.

Katie Maskill

Katie joined the Centre in 2010 having graduated from the University of York with an MChem degree in Chemistry with a Year in Industry. She now works as a Senior Scientist in Process Chemistry for AstraZeneca.

How did the CDT training benefit your PhD?

It helped to build my confidence in the lab before I started my actual PhD project. I worked in three completely different fields during my initial lab placements so became familiar with a range of techniques and expanded my support network. Brainstorming sessions helped me to make an informed choice of PhD project.

How has the CDT helped develop your career?

The CDT at Bristol is highly regarded within the chemical industry, and it set me up well for a career in pharmaceutical development, particularly as my PhD involved a three-month placement at AstraZeneca.

A lot of the activities I took part in during the initial PACT training made for great examples in my capabilities interview and also came in handy with technical questions when applying for my current job.

Where do you see yourself in five to ten years' time?

I definitely still hope to be working at AstraZeneca. I am really enjoying my job and have already been given lots of responsibility - from interviewing new graduates for future roles within the company to supervising a CASE student. In the future I would like to be leading a project.

Simon Carobene

Simon joined the Centre in 2009 with an MChem from Cardiff University. Following his PhD, he spent a period working for a contract research SME prior to joining Greaves Brewster LLP in 2014 to train as a patent attorney.

How did the CDT training benefit your PhD research?

At the start we were given workshops and lectures on a wide range of topics which deepened my understanding of the chemical sciences. The CDT’s 'Research Broadening Sabbatical' programme gave me the opportunity to experience research in a number of different key areas. The techniques I learned in each lab became invaluable throughout my PhD.

How has the CDT helped developed your career?

The CDT sent us on an Innovation and Enterprise course in the first year, where I met an intellectual property solicitor and learned from an early stage in my PhD that I wanted to become a patent attorney.

The wide range of chemistry I was exposed to in the CDT has proved invaluable in my career so far, as we work with clients in a whole host of different fields from pharmaceuticals to catalysis, materials science and biotechnology.

Where do you see yourself in five to ten years' time?

Joining the patent profession means you have to take a lot of exams, and it typically takes around four to five years to complete them all, so hopefully in five years' time I should be a qualified patent attorney!

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