MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology
Area/DisciplineChemistry, Inorganic and Materials Chemistry with applications in Nanotechnology and Catalysis
- BSc Keiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine
- Degree of Specialist from the National Taras Shevchenko University of Kiev
- PhD and Post Doc in Organometallic Chemistry- University of Cambridge
I am a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, University of Canterbury as well as Principal Investigator at the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology.
Materials and Catalysis are very hot topics in Chemistry right now – it would be enough to count Nobel Prizes in Chemistry given for related work in this millennium (2001, 2005, 2007 and 2010).
Many people would have heard the buzz-word “Nanotechnology”. The importance of the nano-domain in my specific research area can be illustrated by the fact that most of the catalysts currently in use (think catalytic converter in the exhaust system of your car) are nanostructured. Control over the properties of materials at the nanosize scale allows discovery of things no one could have believed during the last century – catalytic activity of gold nanoparticles is one of the current hot examples!
The beauty of an academic job is that there is no “typical” day – instead there are many types of activities which keep you busy. I am often busy teaching and this can involve giving lectures, tutorials and laboratory supervision and enjoy meeting with my students and discussing their plans, successes and failures (yes, not every experiment works as we hope it would, but we do learn from this). I do my best to inspire and support this next generation of scientists. Our Department has an excellent seminar programme, which I help to organize. This exposes members of our Department to high-quality interactive presentations covering a wide range of hot topics in science and also gives our own graduate students a chance to master their presentation skills.
There are many benefits to having a career in science. I think self-realization and relative freedom of enquiry (within the limited means, of course) are very important at a personal level. Also, I am proud that my own efforts as well as efforts of the wider scientific community DO make life better, help feed and heal people, contribute towards improving quality of life and hopefully will allow us to avoid environmental catastrophes in the future.