Uppingham School 1999-2004, University of Bristol 2004-2012 (Undergrad and PhD)
MSc in Chemistry with Industrial Experience and a PhD in Catalytic Chemistry.
DuPont, USA, University of Sheffield Chemical and Biological Engineering
Post-Doctoral Resarcher (PDRA) at the University of Sheffield
University of Sheffield, Peter Styring
Favourite thing to do in science: I enjoy making new compounds and materials that have never been made before. Other than that, making bubbling liquids go different colours!
I’m a chemist working on ways to make our future fuels more environmentally friendly and sustainable.
I studied Chemistry at Bristol University for 8 years, 4 to become a (MSci) Master and 4 more to become a doctor (PhD). The work I did for this involved inventing materials for flat screen televisions and smart phone screens, called OLEDs. I also made diamonds for a project designed for space telescopes for NASA and finally helped to invent a new way to make environmentally friendly petrol for BP.
Now I have moved to Sheffield where I am studying and investigating ways to capture Carbon Dioxide from power plant exhausts and then convert it into new fuels using renewable energy.
Basically we’re recycling the Carbon Dioxide so it doesn’t end up in our atmosphere heating out planet too much.
My Typical Day
Most of my time is spent in my lab, either analysing materials I’ve made or making new ones!
It’s hard to describe a ” normal ” day for me because one of the best things about being a research scientist is that your days can vary a lot. Sometimes I’m spending most time reading other scientific discoveries that others have made and working out if their discoveries can be used to help my work. Other times I’m testing new materials that absorb carbon dioxide from the air or power plant exhausts to see how we can purify the gas to store or use it and other times I’m talking to politicians and advisors about how our technologies can help stop climate change. It’s never boring!
What I'd do with the money
I’d definitely like to help fund outreach programmes at Sheffield, getting kids excited about science and engineering is very important for all our futures.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
I’m tall (6 ft 4), British and smart!
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Probably Matt Bellamy from Muse.
What's your favourite food?
Lasagne or anything with bacon
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Did a round-the-world trip in 2009 involving a few weeks in New Zealand, beautiful place.
What did you want to be after you left school?
A “Scientist” or Chemical Engineer. Originally wanted to study Physics.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
I was throwing snowballs and hit the headmaster by accident!
What was your favourite subject at school?
Physics and Chemistry
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
Invented a new petrol-replacement fuel that BP are developing
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
A lot of influences but mostly my school science teachers and Stephen Hawking
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
Probably a Chef. Chemistry and cooking are very closely related!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Other than wishing for more wishes, being able to fly would be pretty awesome, but I’d like to fly like Tony Stark (Ironman), rather than like Superman.
Tell us a joke.
It’s really hard to write a good Chemistry joke. Most of the good ones argon.