My placement at Biocompatibles

Georgia Fleet
BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences

“My experience as R&D Technician at Biocompatibles is heavily lab-based and the confidence I’ve gained in carrying out experimental work and reporting my findings to an industry standard has been significant. I work on a number of projects in which I have a range of responsibilities such as running polymerisation reactions, characterising different bead prototypes, and exploring catheter delivery techniques. It’s very rewarding to finally put my years of education to good use. I’m having a great time and could not recommend a placement year highly enough!”

What’s it like to be a new student at Brighton?

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 cuyliminated 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!).

Welcome week – students finding their way around campus

Monday

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.

Tuesday

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.

Wednesday

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

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

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.

Funniest photo competition pictures

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.

Turning wine into gold at the British Science Festival

Dr Peter Cragg

This week University of Brighton is co-hosting the British Science Festival 2017. Last night if you headed to the East Street Tap pub in Brighton you will have happened across some crazy chemistry turning wine into gold! Dr Peter Cragg  astounded the patrons of the pub by taking an ordinary glass of wine and extracting gold nanoparticles from the acids you find within it.

There is still more fun to be had at the British Science Festival check out their website for details.

Clearing 2017

Good luck to everyone receiving A-Level results tomorrow!

If your exams have gone differently from the way you expected, or you have had a change of heart about the course you want to do then Clearing can be a great way to start that journey.

Our Clearing hotline will be open on Thursday from 7am
Call us on 01273 644000

Full advice about Clearing can be found on the University of Brighton website:
www.brighton.ac.uk/clearing

Get to know us better and visit us at a Clearing information day.
You’ll meet academics from your subject, take a tour of your campus and facilities and get advice about student finance, university life and accommodation.
Find out more about Clearing information days.

Best presentation award

Dr Dmitriy Berillo

Dr Dmitriy Berillo, a Marie Curie Research Fellow in our department, has been awarded the prize for best presentation at the 19th International Conference on Environment, Water and Wetlands for his outstanding work  on the biodegradation of chlorophenol derivatives using macroporous material.

The petrochemical industry, textiles, leather production, domestic preservatives, and petrochemicals are the main sources of exposure of phenol derivatives and chlorophenols(CPs) into the environment. The International Agency for Research on Cancers categorized CPs as potential human carcinogens and they are very hazardous to the environment and animals. The aim of Dmitriy’s work is to develop a bioremediation system for phenol derivatives & CPs based on macroporous materials, which we believe can be efficiently used for wastewater treatment.

Festival of Chemistry

We are very excited to be hosting the Salters’ Festival of Chemistry tomorrow (13 June).

More than 60 11 – 13 year olds from 16 schools will take part in practical events and will use their analytical chemistry skills to solve problems. They will also be split into teams to compete in a ‘University Challenge’. All students will be awarded individual prizes and certificates and the winning teams will be given prizes for their schools.

As part of the festival, Professor Hal Sosabowski, Professor of Public Understanding of Science in our school, will be giving a lecture using liquid nitrogen, liquid oxygen and solid carbon dioxide.

The festival is being held in partnership with the Royal Society of Chemistry, one of 49 being organised in universities and colleges around the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The festivals are an initiative of The Salters’ Institute, whose aim is to promote the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences amongst the young, and to encourage careers in the teaching of chemistry and in the UK chemical and allied industries.

Quorum Technologies Electron Microscopy prize

If you are currently in your final year and using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) in your project you are eligible for consideration for this years Quorum Technologies Electron Microscopy prize 2016-17, for final year undergraduate projects.

There is a £200 project prize this year, which will be awarded in recognition of the most commendable undergraduate final year project utilising microscopy.

To enter please send a copy of your project to Dr Jonathan Salvage either by email or as a paper copy marked for Dr Salvage’s attention to the school office, by Friday 9 June (latest).

Good luck!

Ways to wellbeing

1. THE BIG CHILL
Wednesday May 10th in Cockcroft 327 12 – 3Come along, enjoy some rest, relaxation and therapeutic activities, healthy snack and a chance to sit quietly or have a chat and gain some tips on stress management from your SSGT Charlotte Morris and advice on revision and exam techniques from Academic Skills Tutor Fiona Ponikwer.

We look forward to seeing you there!

2. TODAY! FIVE WAYS TO WELLBEING
SSGTs will be on hand with information, freebies, activities and special guests today May 9th 12 – 2

3. WELLBEING WORKSHOPS
Develop your bounce! Become more resilient to stress – Wednesday 24th May, 1:30 – 3, Mithras G6

For more information / to book: https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/studentnewsandevents/2016/10/07/wellbeing-workshops/

4. MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS drop in
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

Your SSGT Charlotte Morris will be available on Wednesday 10th May at Huxley reception 10 – 12:30 to share resources and answer any questions you have about mental health – PLUS ENJOY A FREE MASSAGE! 

There will be extra availability for confidential one to one appointments with Charlotte until the end of the month: to make an appointment to discuss any aspect of stress, wellbeing, mental health or anything at all which is affecting you / your studies, please email ssgtpabs@brighton.ac.uk

For more wellbeing information and tips like my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pabsstudentsupport/

You can also gain support and advice from Student Services: studentservices@brighton.ac.uk and the Student Union.

Calling all artists

Artists are being asked to submit ideas for a £30,000 piece of public art at the University of Brighton.

The university is partnering the Brighton Digital Festival and Brighton & Hove City Council to commission the work for the Huxley Building on the university’s Moulsecoomb campus in Brighton.

The work will be displayed in the foyer at Huxley, home to the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, teaching pharmacy, chemistry, biology, biomedical science and ecology.

Scientists there research causes and mechanisms of disease, new ways to treat them, better and more individualised ways to deliver these treatments, how people age, novel methods to remediate environmental damage, the effects of trace pollutants on aquatic life and to understand the lifestyle of mammals in an urban setting. The teaching spaces in the building are used to deliver degree programmes.

The co-commission is open to professional artists with £2m public liability insurance. They should consider the university’s Mission Statement and strategic plan https://www.brighton.ac.uk/practical-wisdom/index.aspx, the function and identity of the building and the necessity of engaging a wider public, connecting the university with the local community.

The university is committed to interdisciplinary engagement with complex contemporary challenges. The selection committee will welcome proposals that are consistent with the university’s commitment to interdisciplinary engagement with complex contemporary challenges.

Proposals which include a digital element or where digital practice is a key component of the work’s development are welcomed. And proposals that explore how the arts, sciences and technology can combine to engage with complex challenges are also encouraged.

Five shortlisted applicants will be notified on 15 June. They will receive a concept development fee of £1,000 to work on a detailed proposal for final selection. These proposals that can also be exhibited at the British Science Festival, being hosted by the universities of Brighton and Sussex in September. Continue reading