We’re recruiting for next year’s PASS leaders. It’s a great confidence booster and good way to meet the new first years, looks great on your CV and makes sure you remember all of that stuff you did in the first year. Email Dr Willows by end of May to register your interest.
May is project month for chemistry@brighton students in their 3rd and 4th years. Third year students hand their projects in just after Easter for binding and marking before their vivas next week. The MChem fourth years have submitted their scientific articles and are busy printing posters ready for their assessment day of vivas and poster session. Both third and fourth year projects here are full research tasks, and we often publish scientific papers with undergraduates as co-authors. It really sets them up for further research and improves their project management skills. These were some third years submitting a day early, great organisation skills guys! They don’t look too bleary eyed!
The University of Brighton is holding its annual careers fair on wednesday 8th November at the Amex Stadium, Falmer 11 am – 3pm..
Many employers will be there alongside guidance on options for further study and for improving your chances of getting that job.
More information can be found on the university careers fair website, including a full list of exhibitors at the fair.
Of interest to chemists might be BMW, where we have had students attend placements in the last few years, CGG a geosciences company, NHS scientist training, Roche Diagnostics, Southern Water and postgraduate education information (including PGCE).
The second new student to give us some insight into the first few days as a chemistry student here at Brighton is Issy Wright. Getting used to new routines and new ways of learning is part of the experience of going to university. We hope we make the transition as smooth as possible with some of the activities in the first week. Here’s what Issy has to say about it.
It was my first day commuting from the Falmer campus, where I am living, to the Moulsecoomb site. I have always lived close enough to my school and college to walk so having to monitor the train and bus schedule and deal with delays was relatively stressful because I did not want to be late on my first day. First was the welcome talk from the head of school, I was quite nervous because there were so many people there and I didn’t know anyone on my course so I was looking around the lecture hall trying to see any students who had the chemistry timetable in front of them.
I then had to try and find the Watts building for the course talk from Dr. Willows, after the talk I felt more excited about starting the course.
In the afternoon I met my personal tutor and the tutor group. Then as a group, we had to go on a scavenger hunt which ended up being more fun than I had originally expected although there were a lot of stairs since we got lost a few times. We really worked together as a group and it was quite a good bonding activity; by the end, I felt as if I knew them really well already.
The day started with a welcome talk from the vice chancellor and the SU. I understood the formality of the vice chancellor’s speech but the talk from the students’ union was more engaging and I learned more about what they do inside and out of the university. I then had to go to a lab coat collection session which I was dreading since I am very short and have never been able to get a well fitting lab coat. However It was fine, I found one that fit but the university didn’t have any more xs sizes so I had to ask for one to be ordered which on reflection was quite entertaining. I then had to complete my in-person enrolment, which was really quick especially as there was virtually no queue for those with surnames in the latter half of the alphabet. The last session of the day was the lab activity where we had to identify simple health and safety issues and it was a nice opportunity to meet the lab technicians.
We started the day with a welfare talk providing more information about the support network at the university and within the school. Then I attended a study skills session which was quite relaxed and had a mini-lecture to help familiarise ourselves with what lectures will be like and to re-enforce the importance of attendance and good note-taking, making me feel more prepared and more comfortable with the change in teaching style. I wasn’t too interested in the fresher’s event that evening so I ended up going to a Jazz club in Brighton centre to watch the Peter Edwards trio with a couple of friends.
The societies fair was held at the AMEX stadium. The society leaders were really friendly and I got signed up to a variety of groups, from hockey to film and music. I don’t think I will have any trouble meeting new people.
I had a later start which was nice for the end of the week, had a CPD talk filled with quite a lot of information and resources related to building our professional profiles and tracking our progress and growth in knowledge over the three years which considering my interest in doing a placement year was a very useful starting point for me and I am sure will help when it comes to putting together a CV. In the RSC talk, I was made more familiar with how much you get from an RSC membership and how much cheaper the student offer is than the regular fee. I got to meet a few second year students who were friendly and put some of our worries to ease.
We’ll catch up with our new first years a little later in the year to see how they are getting on. If you are interested in coming to see what we do here at Brighton then we have an open day coming up on Saturday 21st October. Staff and students will be available to talk to you about the course and facilities here. You can sign up on our website.
For this post we have a guest piece by one of our new first year students Alexander Ludlow. Alex has just started on the BSc(hons) Chemistry course here at Brighton and has kindly recorded his experience of the Welcome Week here which culiminated in a social event in collaboration with the Royal Society of Chemistry, followed by ChemSoc’s first social event of the year (without the staff present!).
My first day studying chemistry at Brighton had a light start, we were welcomed by the Head of School who put into context what studying in Brighton meant and how we can get the most of it. The day mainly consisted of activities to familiarize yourself with the Campus and online student learning environment. To finish the day off we competed against other tutor groups for a scavenger hunt, which I was sceptical about, but ended being a very enjoyable task, where I not only got to know people in my tutor group, but also got to know the buildings where I’d be taught.
Today was some administration before we can get into the Chemistry laboratories. Later in the day we had a fun lab activity, where there was a simulation of typical hazards and bad practise in the lab. We had to explain to the technician the hazards we had found and how we would deal with them.
My Wednesdays are not very busy because the University likes to keep this day open for you to do sports, should you choose to. We had our first Course related talk today, detailing how we should study, which was helpful. Our lecturer, the Inorganic chemist named Ian Gass, whom is a fan of Iron, and sounds like Frankie Boyle, created a light and fun environment, whilst still speaking in a very detailed manner allowing me to follow what he was saying easily. For an example on note making and the importance of attendance he taught us about Crystal field theory, I found it very difficult and almost hypocritical the idea that a ligand forming a dative covalent bond with a central metal ion, can be considered to have an ionic interaction with the central metal ion. I said to one of my peers “I’ve just realised chemistry isn’t black and white” they replied “have you only just realised?”. Chemistry is so beautiful and complex so it needs to be explained via a model that can represent the main features in a simplistic way, because to be able to understand chemistry you need a broad understanding of how many things work. It’s only now I realise I was being taught the ‘lite’ version of chemistry in previous education and the simplified version. I am excited for the year ahead but also a tad scared about the content, and the only thing I can do is be proactive and work as hard as I can and seek support when I need it.
Thursday was a late start, not much chemistry involved, because today was freshers fair, 6000 students piled into AMEX stadium to sign up for the 116 societies Brighton university had to offer. A good day and was a surprising sight.
Friday was a fun day. Whilst the 5 sets of stairs in the Watts building weren’t fun, the talk on keeping your online image positive and working on describing your weaknesses and strengths was helpful. Next, we had a small talk from the Royal Society of Chemistry which was interesting, and found out the results to Monday’s scavenger hunt. My team only got a silver, but I’ll take that. Monday was also ChemSoc’s first social. I really enjoyed meeting 3rd years and hearing their experiences and tips for first year, chemistry at UoB seems to be a tight knit group that all seem to know and support each other.
Thanks Alex for giving us an insight into your first week. We’ll catch up with the new students later in the year.
Our next Open Day is Saturday 21st October. You can visit the main University of Brighton website to sign up.
The sun is out and the students are on study leave before exams start next week. What better place to do your revision than a sunny beach with a cool sea breeze.
Our first years have made it to the end of the year and as a last teaching event we held our annual errors lab. Who knew errors could be so much fun! Right from the start our students learn the essentials of analytical chemistry, accuracy and precision and this lab puts into practice and illustrates the errors in the equipment they use. The challenge is rewarded with prizes for the first team to finish, the best designed results sheet, the best data and the most salient results.
We hope you’ve had a great first year here at Brighton, we’ve certainly enjoyed working with you! Good luck for the exams.
At the Chemistry Journal Club this week, Luke Damerum (MRes Student) will be delivering a presentation “Cyclic Peptides“.
The Chemistry Journal Club will be meeting on Friday 19th May from 1-2pm in H400/1. Everybody welcome to attend
Look forward to seeing you there.
Dr Steve Meikle
At the Chemistry Journal Club tomorrow I will be giving an overview of “3D Printing of Microfluidic Devices : Current Approaches and Future Perspectives“, based on Bhattacharjee et al. Lab Chip, 2016, 16, 1720 DOI: 10.1039/c6lc00163g and Waheed et al. Lab Chip, 2016, 16, 1993 DOI: 10.1039/c6lc00284f
The Chemistry Journal Club will be meeting at 1-2pm tomorrow in H400/1. Everybody is welcome to attend
Hope to see you there,
Dr Steve Meikle
At the Chemistry Journal Club tomorrow MRes student Viktoriia Prus will give a presentation entitled “Biosorbents as a promising tool for heavy metal removal from water”
The Chemistry Journal Club will be meeting in H400/1 from 1-2pm. All welcome to attend
Hope to see you there,
Dr Steve Meikle