In this blog, we spoke to MSc Chemical Research student Harriet Judah. Harriet joined the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences (SBCS) at Queen Mary University of London in 2015, graduating with a BSc in Chemistry before staying on to do a Masters degree.
Why did you decide to study Chemical Research at Queen Mary?
Initially I was planning to do my Masters at another institution as I felt it would be good to have a change of environment after being at Queen Mary for three years. However, I really enjoyed working with Professor Marina Resmini, who supervised me in my final year lab-based dissertation project. I was very interested in her area of research and we worked well together, so that was the deciding factor in me choosing to stay at Queen Mary for my postgraduate degree.
What do you enjoy about the Chemical Research programme?
I really enjoy the fact that the programme is very lab-intensive, as I want to pursue a career in scientific research. I also like being embedded within a research group, working with a diverse set of people who all share the same desire – to contribute to a better understanding of science. This MSc is particularly good at preparing students for research-based careers in both academia and industry. I would urge any chemistry undergraduate who is considering a PhD but is still unsure to choose this MSc as it gives you a small flavour of what life in research entails. It has such a research-based quality and that’s what attracted me to the programme.
Tell us more about your research project
I’m currently working in materials research with my supervisor Professor Resmini, and what I look at in particular is nanogels, which are polymeric in nature. I am characterising their behaviour in response to stimuli – specifically temperature – and how different media influence their response to temperature. I am also studying how the chemical structure of such materials influences the overall behaviour in response to these different variables.
What are you plans for the future?
Ideally I would like to study a PhD, but I am also keen to work in industry for a year or two. I think it would be good for me to experience a more traditional work environment in addition to the experience I have working in an academic environment. I know I definitely want to do a PhD in the future, it’s just a case of when.