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Department of Chemistry

Our Graduates

Elizabeth New (Australia), Commonwealth Scholar and PhD graduate

I knew that I wanted to study in the UK, and when I was looking around at the different departments, Durham really stood out to me as having a lot of really strong groups in areas in which I was interested. My project involved gaining an understanding of the cellular behaviour of a broad range of luminescent lanthanide complexes developed in Prof. Parker's group, and it was great to be able to use a wide range of tools, both chemical and biological, to study this.

In January next year I will go back to Australia, to take up a lectureship in Chemistry at the University of Sydney. It's where I completed my undergraduate degree, so I'm very excited to be going back. I'll be lecturing in inorganic chemistry, and running my own research group, working on understanding redox stresses in the body.

I have no doubt that my PhD from Durham helped a lot in obtaining an academic job back in Australia, but, perhaps more importantly, the experience helped develop my skills as a scientist. I learnt to so much working under such a great supervisor, and interacting with the other academics in the department.

I loved my time in Durham, and it's a great place to do postgraduate study. Being an international student in Durham is really the best of both worlds - you get to interact with all the postgraduate chemistry students who are following the same path, and share the experience with them, but you also get to be part of the vibrant international community in the university - it's a great chance to learn about much more than just chemistry!

You can read the full interview with Elizabeth here.


Milena Trmčić (Serbia), PhD graduate

My PhD project took me through organic, bio-organic and physical organic chemistry and was very challenging and exciting. The joy of doing interesting chemistry and learning a lot about different areas was combined with daily contact with very pleasant and helpful people around me, from the time of filling the initial PhD paperwork all along to my viva. The supervision of Dr. David Hodgson was very motivational, extremely supportive and educational.

Since the completion of my PhD studies, I have held a permanent research associate position at the Chemistry Department, University of Belgrade, Serbia. My work involves organic synthesis, with the aim to produce novel anticancer drugs.

Durham is a place where you can learn a lot of science and get additional skills that will surely help you towards your professional goals. This has proven to be true in the examples of all my friends from the department and myself - all of us found jobs that we wanted!

You can read the full interview with Milena here.


Anne Soleilhavoup (France), PhD graduate

I am currently working as a postdoctoral researcher in a laboratory at the national atomic energy centre (Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, CEA) in Paris. My time in Durham surely helped me get the position at the CEA through scientific knowledge and the experience of work in an international environment.

My PhD project was a collaboration between two academics within the Chemistry Department, and was jointly supervised by Dr. Paul Hodgkinson and Professor John Evans, from whom I gained very complementary and valuable knowledge. Their constant support in my work and sensible advice also gave me confidence in myself and helped to guide me in achieving my goals.

About my greatest success at Durham? I successfully completed a good PhD, learned a lot of science and found great friends.

You can read the full interview with Anne here.