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The application of catalysis in industrial processes can make relevant contributions through the development of more energy and time efficient procedures. Generally, catalysts increase the rate of reactions and remain unchanged by the reaction. Hence the impact of catalysis in improving the efficiency of diverse industries has been demonstrated via pollution control, air purification, food processing and etc. I have researched the proposed area of study, an EPR (electron paramagnetic resonance) reactor combined with new microwave technology may not only provide a clearer understanding to catalytic pathways but also enable the investigation of other existing research questions such as the damages caused to the DNA by free radicals from ionizing radiation. This project cuts across two fundamental branches of science, Physics and Chemistry so will contribute immensely to the existing body of knowledge. It will enable our understanding of reaction mechanisms in the area of catalysis and new microwave technology to become more comprehensive, therefore leading to groundbreaking discoveries and further research. I am enthusiastic about this project because it will provide the opportunity for me to utilize my academic qualifications and research skills in a study that has diverse applications in the manufacturing industry.
My decision to study for a PhD in chemistry at Cardiff University was carefully made after some discussions with my supervisors and a few senior research fellows. I am excited about dedicating the next stage of my academic career to a relevant research such as this with a translational impact to the industry. Similarly, I intend to take full advantage of the wealth of knowledge and experience available in the globally recognized Cardiff Institute of Catalysis. To interact and collaborate with professors, academic specialists and industry partners in the field of chemistry. I plan to study in a vibrant research environment with world-class facilities and access to computational training. Additionally, I will get the chance to make a remarkable research contribution and pursue a career in academia.
Currently, I work with the Swansea Medical school as a graduate research intern. As part of my tasks and projects, I am presently evaluating the spatial dose distribution observed in small field dosimetry measurements with the gamma dose evaluation tool. The comparison is made between the absorbed dose at a point in a PTW 60019 micro diamond detector and EBT3 radiochromic film. The outcome of this project is likely to result in the review and replacement of the existing silver halide radiographic with radiochromic films. This is vital for the safety of the clinical scientists that carry out the quality assurance checks in the department. Under adequate supervision, I have actively participated in the reviewing and examination of breast, head and neck cancer patients’ radiotherapy treatment plans to ensure safe and accurate treatment delivery. Among others, these processes require a precise systematic approach to the interpretation of the medical images with complex computer software to ensure that each treatment plans are optimized to the patient’s tumor volume. The critical thinking skills I have developed would be relevant in analyzing and interpreting the research data. This experience has also increased my confidence as an independent thinker.
Furthermore, while writing my masters dissertation, I worked as part of the radiation protection and dosimetry research group. My master research project was centered on reviewing and critiquing various academic works in the area of small field dosimetry and the comparison of a 1 cm x 1 cm photon field dose distributions measured with three different detectors. This gave me the opportunity to acquire and improve my knowledge of complex computing software like FLUKA, CERR and MATLAB.
As an undergraduate in physics with materials science student, my final year research project was multidisciplinary based. I conducted a novel study on the corrosion and corrosion inhibition of aluminium alloy 3003 exposed to an aqueous solution of H2SO4 and an inhibitor solution obtained from Gnetum africanum leaves. The inhibitor was extracted through a process of maceration. This project led to a deeper understanding of the effect of rain on the aluminium sheets used for roofing in Nigeria and the rate to which an edible plant extract used for making soup could inhibit corrosion. I was appointed the student research team leader and my duties included documenting, report writing and monitoring of the research equipment in the laboratory. This project to a great extent demonstrated in practical terms the process of catalysis in corrosion. It investigated the chemical reaction that occurs between an inhibitor when a thermodynamic variable is added (i.e. heat) as is the case with an aluminium cooking pot.
After my bachelor’s degree, I accepted an offer of employment from a bank. This decision was solely influenced by the need to save towards advancing my academic career.
Three years later, I commenced my Master’s in Medical radiation physics at the prestigious Swansea University. A key feature of this program is the direct interdisciplinary link which it provides between medicine, physics, engineering and chemistry. The modules were structured to provide experience with equipment in a clinical setting and prepare for research in a dynamic scientific field. Through this course, I have been able to develop the necessary qualities required to commit to long-term advanced research. The rigorously intensive method of assessment which requires submission of laboratory reports weekly, poster presentations, examination and research dissertation within a limited timescale has prompted me to acquire excellent time management skills, self-motivation and a positive attitude towards dealing with the demands of the program.
In summary, I wish to make a relevant contribution to the existing body of knowledge in Catalysis and new microwave technology, by maximizing the significant research skills and techniques I have acquired. My motivation for a PhD in chemistry comes from the drive to work independently and collectively with renowned professors and research fellows in addressing challenging research questions, improving existing processes and developing more energy efficient systems in the industry. I am enthusiastic about participating in a multidisciplinary project and I look forward to becoming trained and skilled in EPR techniques and other critical computational packages that would be beneficial to me in my future plans.
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