Master of Science (Chemistry)
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Scientist Jamie Bridson is researching how we can use biological materials from the forestry industry to create new environmentally friendly products such as biodegradable plastics.
“One of the most exciting things I’ve worked on was a project using extracts from the bark of pine trees. These extracts are great antioxidants, have antimicrobial properties and absorb UV light, so we’re looking to use them in plastics or cosmetics as a substitute for petrochemical additives.”
At Scion, one of New Zealand’s government research institutes, Jamie’s day starts with planning and research then he gets into action in the laboratory. The afternoon generally sees him using high-tech equipment to analyse the results of his day’s work.
“What I love about my job is the wide variety. I can be analysing a sample that’s less than a fraction of a gram or working with tonnes of material for a large-scale pilot plant project. Sometimes I look at the chemical bonding between atoms; other times I’m developing a system to pump hundreds of litres of water.”
He says that important characteristics to have in his role include persistence and being creative, practical and hands-on when solving problems, and he thinks that people who “have a curiosity mindset” would enjoy his work.
“My job may lead to a more senior research position within a research organisation or alternatively my experience would translate well into a career in industry. I could work at a pulp and paper mill, for a plastic or resin manufacturer or in the pharmaceutical industry.”
Profile provided courtesy of Futureintech www.futureintech.org.nz