Students and Trainees at UniCRE

Nile Saunders

Student Profile

Nile SaundersName of employee:

Nile Saunders

Summary Institutes/universities attend and attending:

    • 2003-2010 Ysgol Lewis Pengam
    • 2010 – 2015 University of Bradford (MChem)
    • 2015 – 2016 VUAnCH, a.s. (UniCRE)
    • 2016 – 2019 University of Cardiff (PhD in Catalysis)

Your current job/employment/research (max 100 words):

I am now a PhD student at Cardiff University studying in the field of catalysis. I am working to produce efficient gold containing catalysts for use in mild conditions.

Research carried out at UniCRE (max 600 words):

Whilst at UniCRE, I participated on two projects. The first, was the synthesis of nanoparticle catalysts to be used in water treatments and the second, was the hydrodeoxygenation of furfural-acetone aldol condensation products. The field of nanochemistry is both exciting and has great potential. The first step of this project was to locate sources of chemicals; we opted to harvest the required chemicals from waste biomass. This project saw the development of novel synthesis routes and catalysts for the treatment of water. The second project, I was allowed to work independently on the production of octane. The aim being to convert products from reactions conducted by another research team into higher value products with the major target being octane.

Valuable skills and experience gained from working with UniCRE (max 200 words):

The most valuable skill that I gained from working with UniCRE was the use of the batch reactors. Prior to my employment at UniCRE, I had never encountered an autoclave before. I was taught how to use it and then began to run a series of reactions. The primary analysis for these reactions was gas chromatography, which again was a new skill that I have not previously used. Due to the resources available to UniCRE I was able to use other equipment that I had not previously used, broadening my knowledge. Overall, my experience here has been invaluable and I am now, more confident in the laboratory as well as being a better research scientist.