Its 12 years since I first arrived at the University of Nottingham as a fresh-faced undergraduate. I didn’t think back then I’d still be here 12 years later, having studied two degrees and worked in a number of jobs across the university. Now it is time to move on (more on this in a later post perhaps), so I thought I’d look back on my time at Nottingham with a photoblog.
My first home in Nottingham was Willoughby Hall. I was a resident of the ground floor extension (bottom right), which I later found out had an infamous reputation around campus (not of my making, I hasten to add).
Like most of my fellow undergrads, I moved into a house in Lenton, directly underneath the brooding blocks of Lenton flats. When I moved in Sainsbury’s Local was still Jacksons’ and the Dog n Topper (now Tesco’s Express) and Grove pubs (now nothing) were still open.
My house in Lenton
I was fortunate enough to be lectured by a certain Professor Martyn Poliakoff and his 1st year lecture course on Green Chemistry was influential in encouraging me to continue in chemistry after my first degree.
Martyn talking at his 60th birthday celebrations- “PolFest” as it was dubbed
After four years, I graduated with an MSci (Hons) in Chemistry, then decided to return to study a PhD with Pete Licence.
The first graduation, MSci (Hons), in 2006
My PhD saw me grapple with pieces of kit a little bit different to what I’d been used to as I learnt a number of techniques in order to study ionic liquids at very low pressures.
The X-ray photoelectron spectrometer I worked on
A picture of inside, showing the type of sample I was analysing.
From time to time, even the Professor (Rob Jones) was happy to get his hands dirty.
Distilling an ionic liquid (photo courtesy of Kevin Lovelock)
Four years later, I was graduating again.
The Licence and Jones research groups, July 2010
Although I may lived and worked in one place for over a decade, there were chances to travel, especially to international conferences.
Mount Fuji; Japan, 2007
An Australian salt-water crocodile; Cairns, 2009
The Lincoln Memorial; Washington, 2011
It wasn’t all sight-seeing and tourism, work had to be done too!
At our exhibition stand in EcoChem; Basel, 2013
Beyond research, there were opportunities to do outreach,
At a science schools’ fayre
show an MP around the lab,
Chris Leslie MP learns about metal-organic frameworks
and take part in games of tug-o-war.
Chemistry Summer Party, 2014
Outside the lab, I enjoyed relaxing at the cricket,
Nuts the Squirrel, Trent Bridge
walking in the Peak District,
Grindsbrook Clough, Edale
and sampling the local music, err, talent.
Surreal Panther, who we stumbled upon in the Canal House one evening
In case of a late night thirst, there was always one establishment that could be relied upon,
although the University itself is well equipped for those seeking refreshment.
Local news crew films footage at the student union bar, Mooch
There were sporting successes
Inorganic Cricket XI win the post-grad league, 2013
some bad times
New “Carbon Neutral Laboratory” catches fire, September 2014
but plenty of times to celebrate.
Celebrating after winning the “Barker Prize” for best final year PhD colloquium, 2009
So thanks to the city of Robin Hood
The Robin Hood statue, Nottingham “Light Night”
and to all those I’ve met, worked with and befriended there over the years.
Top row (l –> r): outside Willoughby Hall, 2003; Emma PhD graduation 2014; my graduation 2006. Middle row (l –> r): watching PolFest, 2007; the BPU team, early 2014; Larping in Derbyshire, 2011; a night out in Nottingham 2009. Bottom row (l –> r): in the caves under the Old Salutation, 2013; Pete in his robes, 2009; posing in the Peak District, 2005.