I am a chemist originally from the San Fransisco bay area in California, USA.
I live in the lovely costal town of St Andrews, Scotland, where I am in my third year of my doctoral research programme.
I am currently taking golf lessons at my university. I love singing and music. I enjoy dancing and going for a hike. I also love fashion, art, and food. I collect clothes and cookware! I care about the environment. I look forward to chatting with you.
I grew up in California and got my Bachelors of Science in Chemistry close to my hometown. I went to a historic all-women’s undergraduate university, that after 124 years has since gone co-ed (male and female students).
In California I worked as a chemist for a few years which developed my confidence as a researcher, and expanded interests in other subjects and hobbies. For example, I studied welding for a bit and was a studio intern at an industrial arts education centre!
Then, four years ago I moved to London, where I worked in a sixth form college, before moving up to Scotland to go back to university, for graduate school again in Chemistry.
Other community projects I have worked on include singing in an interfaith gospel choir (I have met a lot of chemists who enjoy singing over the years!). In London, at the Sixth Form College I created an environmental sustainability club. Currently, at my university I am the class representative for organic chemistry postgraduate students, so I try and gauge the interest and concerns of my class and report that in school meetings.
My research can be considered materials science, which is a subject that bridges the gap between chemistry and physics. The subject of my research is making and studying tetrathiafuvalenes (carbon compounds containing four sulfur atoms) that could possibly for single molecular electronics, instead of the computer chips we currently use which use silicon (inorganic compounds only). This could help miniaturise electronics, and make them more environmentally friendly .
I work mainly as a synthetic organic chemistry – that is that I create new carbon-based compounds. The compounds I chose to make are ones I hypothesised would form good metal-attachment site, for effective electronic transfer. I have determined this from literature research. I am really excited to work in a collaboration with a surface-science group. They are currently adsorbing my compound to a silver surface, and trying to get very high resolution imaging using Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM microscope, on the atomic scale).
My Typical Day:
I go into the lab almost everyday to work! I see my colleagues there, which has been nice during the pandemic because I don’t have to stay home all the time.
What I'd do with the prize money:
I think it would be fun to do a science experiment with students in person. Or have a science fair with a nice lunch for everyone. I am happy to hear more about what students these days are interested in, before deciding!
PhD student in Chemistry
Thesis on dihydro-TTF derivatives for Gold absorption
University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland
Commencing September 2019
Expected graduation 2023
Bachelor of Science, Chemistry
Mills College, Oakland, California, USA
August 2010 – May 2014
High School Diploma
Demonstrator, Organic Chemistry Second Year, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland
February 2020 – present
- Support second-year undergraduate students during their lab sections with technical and theoretical questions relating to organic chemistry
Python Level 2 Certificate, Code First: Girls, St Andrews, Scotland
September 2019 – December 2019
- In an eight week, attendance credit course, I learned a coding language and hosting platforms that would support the construction of a website.
- Using Terminal, I programmed in Python to call on APIs in Atom for the use in Front-end and back-end development.
Science Technician, BSix Sixth Form College, Hackney, London, England
October 2018 – September 2019
- Drawing from my background in physical sciences, I assist teachers and students by setting up practicals for chemistry, biology, and physics curriculum content
- I offer classroom support by providing technical advice to students and monitoring their safety
- I research and carry out practicals independently for practical preparation, and coordinate with teachers and premises managers to make sure practicals are feasible and carried out safely
- Effectively organize materials for practicals, ordering learning resources using Navision software
- Stocking and disposing of chemicals according to SDS and CLEAPSS , servicing equipment for calibrations, broken parts, and cleaning
Chemistry Tutor, Private Clients, London, UK
March 2018 – October 2018
- I met one-on-one with students in GSE and A-level Chemistry
- I provided tuition for students preparing for OCR and AQA exam boards
- Specific quiz, test, and workbook problems are worked through
- Theory is emphasized to aid in recalling reactions and mechanisms
Lab Technician / Lab Manager, Opus 12, One Cyclotron Road, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs
March 2017 – February 2018
- At a start-up based out of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, I researched yields and products formed in PEM fuel cells by fine-tuning automated catalyst spray parameters and cell hardware in electrochemical test systems
- Devised experiments that led to the quality control of gold nanoparticle ink-solutions via UV-Vis
- Analyzed anode and cathode products by GC and ICP. Documented voltage and electrochemical impedance via Potentiostat software.
- Analyzed and documented data with JMP Graphical software, Google Sheets and OneNote
- By drawing from my GLP experience I created a documentation template for all experiments, and systems for logging events and maintenance. I created an inventory system in Quartzy and maintained stock of general and consumable lab supplies.
Studio Intern, The Crucible Nonprofit Industrial Art School, Oakland, California
September 2016 – February 2017
- At an industrial art school that offers technical training for students of all ages I volunteered particularly in the metalworking department for several hours weekly and at special events
- I prepared classroom materials by cutting and fusing metal slabs, services and cleaning equipment, changing gas cylinders
- I helped prepare for an fire safety audit by organizing chemical inventory and reviewing evacuation procedures
Lab Technician, Catalyst Lab, Chevron Research and Technology Center, Richmond, California
March 2016 – Aug 2016
- Produced batches of research grade catalyst samples for use in small scale reactor units from precisely prepared inorganic solutions and zeolitic materials
- Took physical measurements of catalysts such as particle density, crush strength, length, and packing volume
- Wrote and revised Standard Operating Procedures
- Performed regular Job Safety Analysis audits on coworkers to maintain a safe workspace
- Wore PPE as deemed necessary in accordance with SDSs which included lab coats, gloves, goggles, dust masks, and respirators
Assistant Research Chemist, PTRL West, A Division of Evans Analytical Group, Inc.
July 2014 – October 2015
- According to GLP, SOPs and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines, I set up and analyzed soil and water samples for metabolic breakdown of pesticides
- Extracted and concentrated samples. Analyzed products by radio-tracer HPLC, UV-Vis, TLC and LSC. Test systems were analyzed for pH, Eh, and dissolved oxygen.
- Worked safely with C-14 radiolabeled substances to reduce the risk of radioactive contamination
Advanced Organic Chemistry Research Assistant, Chemistry Department, Mills College
August 2013 – December 2013
- Over the course of a semester I worked independently in a multistep convergent synthesis. Qualitative analysis on reaction products was conducted via IR, TLC and melting-point analysis. The finding were to be used in developing the lab procedure for future Advanced Organic Chemistry courses.
Organic Chemistry Peer Tutor, Center for Academic Excellence
Aug 2012- Dec 2012
- Met one-on-one with students in Organic Chemistry at my college. Concepts such as nomenclature, reactions, and mechanisms were emphasized. Specific quiz, test, and workbook problems were worked through, while emphasizing theory to help with remembering reactions.
Chemistry Lab Teaching Assistant, Chemistry Department, Mills College
August 2011 – May 2014
- Assisted students in General and Organic Chemistry lab sections one or twice weekly over the course of three years. I instructed students on safety and lab techniques for collecting and analyzing data from IR, UV-Vis, GC, TLC, and H1 NMR. I gave assistance to concepts and calculation questions in lab and course work.
- GLP, EPA (United States), and CLEAPSS guidelines
- HPLC, GC, 2-D TLC, UV/Vis, FTIR
- Proton NMR
- Atomic Absorbance Spectroscopy
- Fluorometry, C-14 Phosphorimager
- Bomb Calorimetry
- Geiger Counter, Beta-Ram Detector, Liquid Scintillation Counting,
- Harvey Biological Oxidizer, calcine oven, autoclave
- pH ,Eh, and O2 meter
- Total smoke apparatus, Suntest system,
- Fuel cells, Power supply testing, Sonotek spray robot
- Pressure fittings, Swagelok
- Voltmeter, Anodic Stripping, Electrophoresis
- Refractive Index, Melting point analysis, Viscometer, Particle density
- Distillations, Reflux, Titrations
- Liquid-liquid extractions, Microwave extraction, Soxhlet Extractions, Solid-phase extraction, DrM filtration
- Sonication, Micro/Centrifuge, Vortexing, Vacuum filtration, Rotary & N2 evaporation, Speed Vacuum
- Wood and metal shop equipment, Arc welding, Oxyacetylene cutting
- BSix College – Six Month during my position – Science and Sustainability Club founder, created a recycling program for the college. Forming a twenty-week course on environmentalism for academic year 2019-2020
- Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir – One year – Alto singer
- The Crucible, Non-profit industrial arts school – Six months – Studio intern in metal working
- Mills College Choir – One year – Alto Singer
- Mills College Garden – Six months – Volunteer
PhD student, Organic Chemistry post-graduate research class representative
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Friendly, feminist, organic-chemist.
What did you want to be after you left school?
A research chemist. I want to have my own lab someday.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes, sometimes I was cheeky when I was bored, and sometimes I was late!
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I love Mariah Carey.
What's your favourite food?
I like seafood a lot.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Have my family and loved ones close to me. Have kids!
Tell us a joke.
I don't have one on hand but I assure you I can be pretty silly!