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Envirolab Services Sydney Helps UTAS PhD Students Gain Insight into Everyday Operations of a Laboratory

PhD Students from the University of Tasmania (UTAS) yesterday completed an intensive yet highly rewarding 7-day industrial training program at our Envirolab Services Sydney laboratory.

 

For the 16 students, the experience of being involved in the program proved an extraordinary opportunity – both to learn about the day-to-day life of a fast-paced commercial lab and to collaborate with an impressive team of experts. In between laboratory and department tours, presentations and quizzes, the students were presented with practical scenarios, including the determination of low level PQL for PFAS in water using LC-MS/MS!

 

The students are being supervised by Professor Michael Breadmore, who has been working with our Research and Development Team, Simon Mills and Dr. Mohammad Talebi, on the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRC-P) initiative, to develop new technological solutions for PFAS testing.

 

Meet four of the students as they share their experience. 

 

Mohamed Adel

 

Tell us a little about yourself.
I've travelled and studied extensively. I obtained a Master of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Honours) at Cairo University before I relocated and joined Oklahoma State University as a Research Assistant. I'm now at UTAS completing my PhD.

 

Why did you choose to study science?
Hard question. I've wanted to be a scientist since I was a child and have always been excited about the idea of making new discoveries.

 

What have been the most rewarding parts of the training program at Envirolab?
I was amazed by the variety of instruments at the lab. During the program, we were shown some instruments that I've not yet seen and a few others that I was not aware of. This experience was quite significant considering that my PhD is focused on analytical chemistry.     

 

What advice would you give someone considering a career in science?
"Read, read and read" was the advice my supervisors gave me and what I now also pass on. Visiting a commercial facility and getting practical experience is also an eye-opening experience and a must-do activity. 

 

 

 

Gabriela Paniagua Cabarrus

 

Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm from Guatemala. I completed my degree in Chemistry at the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala and then worked for 8 years for the government in pharmaceutical analysis.  

 

Why did you choose to study science?
I've always been curious about how things work. As a child, I never asked my parents for dolls. I was naturally inclined to fix things, especially electronics and toy cars because I wanted to know how they worked.   

 

What have been the most rewarding parts of the training program at Envirolab?
I have many years of commercial laboratory experience, so it was interesting to see what Envirolab does and no workplace is the same. The number of accreditations that Envirolab has is impressive because it's a lot of hard work and effort to get just one. The last week reminded me how you might have everything you need in a commercial lab, but this is not always the case for universities or educational institutions.   

 

What advice would you give someone considering a career in science?
If it's what you like, just do it. It's not about the money and security. Rather, it's about following your passion. Science has no barriers and can take you anywhere. You might not ever know the opportunities that await in science if you do not give it a try. 

 

 

 

Ibraam Mikhail

 

Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm from Egypt. After completing my studies in Pharmacy at Mansoura University, I started working as a Demonstrator of Analytical Chemistry at the same university. I received a scholarship from UTAS, which has given me the opportunity to now pursue my PhD under the supervision of Professor Breadmore.

 

Why did you choose to study science?
Chemistry was always one of my favourite subjects at school and I've always been interested in how you get reactions with a condition change. My high school teachers saw potential in me and encouraged me to study science at university.  

 

What have been the most rewarding parts of the training program at Envirolab?
To date, my career has mainly been in academia. This program has been beneficial to get in touch with the operations of a commercial laboratory. It has been a unique experience to see methods conducted to a certain environment and to see the processes. The presentations and the tours helped me see the practical side.       

 

What advice would you give someone considering a career in science?
Resilience and patience is the key. Especially if you are interested in research, it's worth counting each step before starting and don't give up.

 

 

Mostafa Adel Atia

 

Tell us a little about yourself.
Raised in Egypt, I studied Pharmaceutical Sciences at Helwan University. I then worked as a Demonstrator, with a focus on forensic medicines at the same university, before I commenced my PhD at UTAS.

 

Why did you choose to study science?
I like to discover new things, and being involved in research that will ultimately lead to helping people has continued to fuel my motivation and dedication to science.  

 

What have been the most rewarding parts of the training program at Envirolab?
In coming from a background more focused on biological disciplines, it has been fascinating to explore and learn about the capabilities of Envirolab, which deals with environmental contamination sample testing. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with instruments that I've never worked with before and meeting professionals with diverse levels of knowledge and experience.             

 

What advice would you give someone considering a career in science?
Be patient and stay motivated - sometimes it's about trying more than once in order to get there and it's important that you don't give up to follow your dream. Even the craziest idea may lead to a solution. 

 

 

Training Program Photo Gallery 

 

 

 

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