Cat Heron, a student at St Helen's and St Katharine's School, has joined the Industrial Liaison team this summer to learn more about our work at Diamond. Here is her experience...
"I wanted to do work experience at Diamond Light Source because I am considering doing a university degree in chemistry, and thought it would be a great way to see chemistry in a work environment, as well as expanding my knowledge of the subject by seeing how it is used in industry.
On my first day of work experience I was with Claire Murray
and I analysed some feedback data from a science board game, used in secondary schools to encourage STEM careers. I also spent some time in a laboratory, where I filled capillaries with silicon powder.
I spent the following two days of my work experience with Claire Pizzey
. I spent lots of time looking at different beamlines and seeing the different experiments taking place. I went to beamline I19 and saw the setup of a crystallography experiment that was being used by remote users. I also went to ViSR which is the beamline that uses visible light to demonstrate the different experiments used at Diamond, as well as using a Virtual Reality headset to "see" inside the storage ring.
One of the things I found the most interesting was looking at some of the data that had been collected on a beamline which showed the structure of a protein crystal, and finding out how the scientists would use this data. I also went to a meeting with a industrial client about writing up a case study on the work they had been doing with Diamond.
I also talked to lots of different people about their jobs and how they got to where they were. Despite most people having similar jobs it was interesting to see that each of their stories were different.
This placement has definitely been a really useful and interesting experience that has shown me what it is like to have a career in chemistry, and has encouraged me further to study chemistry."
We wish Cat all the best for her final year at school and every success in her future career (hopefully in chemistry!).