What were you doing before you started your PhD with NSIRC?
In my final year of MSc in Chemistry, Physics, and Materials Sciences, I carried out a 6-month internship. I came across TWI Ltd., as I wanted to know more about Research & Development. TWI Ltd. is a Research and Technology Organisation (RTO), and I discovered I could spend this internship developing versatile coatings.
Why did you choose to study a PhD with NSIRC?
During my 6-month internship at TWI, my interest for industry-led research grew. I was given the opportunity of pursuing my interests by starting a PhD with the NSIRC programme, based at TWI Ltd. The only reason that pushed me to continue my studies for three more years was the possibility of conducting industry-led research, on a topic, which combined my interests: Chemistry and Materials Sciences. I found that with my subject of research at NSIRC.
Why did you choose an industrial PhD compared to a more traditional Academic PhD?
When I compare my experience to academic PhD students (at conferences, for example), I feel that they research towards academic excellence, but without a full grasp of what the industry needs (Technology Readiness Level- TRL 1). Their solutions might be ground-breaking, but industrial application is not possible (due to costs, sustainability, or other factors). What I liked most about NSIRC was that my topic was brought by an industrial consortium, to develop and understand specific scientific mechanisms and processes which I define as `applied research’ (TRL 2-3). We research with an aim of later implementing new processes or materials in various industrial sectors (TRL 3-5).
What has been the best part of your experience whilst studying for your PhD in Industry?
I really liked having the opportunity to meet key industrial stakeholders during project meetings or just generally at TWI during events. After my studies, I felt much more confident about managing industrial projects thanks to the experience I had gained during my PhD.
If you had to give one piece of advice to a prospective NSIRC student, what would it be?
With NSIRC students being based at TWI facilities, there is a huge breadth of knowledge all around. I would recommend not to be afraid to ask around them for help/advice, as there are high chances that at least one person could have the required piece of information, or knows how to get it.
What are your plans for the future?
As of the end of October, I have been employed by TWI in the Functional Coatings & Resins section (where I conducted my PhD research) as a Materials Scientist Project Leader.
Find out more about the NSIRC Postgraduate Opportunities.