Breadcrumbs

Waikato grad selected for Imperial College London doctoral programme

19 August 2014

Sophie Sim

University of Waikato chemistry graduate: Sophie Sim will join 12 top young scientists from all over the world at Imperial College London next month.

University of Waikato chemistry graduate Sophie Sim will join 12 top young scientists from all over the world at Imperial College London next month, where she has been selected to participate in the NexGenAgriChem Innovative Doctoral Programme.

Crop protection

The programme is funded by Syngenta, one of the world’s largest crop protection companies, and will bring together talented physical sciences graduates to investigate new ways to improve crop protection.

“I’ll be using a novel form of a technique called 2D Infra-red Electron-Vibration-Vibration Spectroscopy to better understand the mode of action of herbicides on plant protein systems, which will improve herbicide design and contribute to the agrochemical industry,” says Sophie.

During the project Sophie will be working alongside Imperial College London chemistry academics Dr Laura Barter and Dr David Klug, and Syngenta scientist John Evans.

Nurturing multidisciplinary researchers

The primary objective of the three-year PhD programme is to nurture the group of early-stage researchers in a way which will create a new generation of multidisciplinary researchers to support the challenges of the future.

In conjunction with the PhD research, the programme also includes substantial training in the form of lecture courses, and a transferable skills course in areas such as science communication, as well as professional internship placements. Networking opportunities will also be a bonus, with industry visits to Syngenta in Switzerland and Bayer CropScience in Germany.

“I'm really excited to have this opportunity to research at one of the top 10 universities in the world, and in such a vibrant city as London.”

Initially, Sophie’s interest in chemistry and general science was sparked by an enthusiastic and unconventional Year 10 Science teacher at Thames High School, Mary Sorby.

“The skills and passion instilled in me by the exceptional chemistry and biochemistry staff during my Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees at the University of Waikato, have allowed me to pursue my ideal career path.” 

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