Emily Griffiths completed her Nuffield Research Placement in 2011 at the University of Bolton. She is currently studying Biomedical Engineering at the University of London.
What was your project about?
The project that I undertook with a PhD student, was investigating the resistivity of zinc oxide nanorods. The research I helped to conduct, was leading to the discovery of more effective batteries and capacitors, and the use of them in electrical goods.
What path did you take after finishing your NRP and how has that led you to where you are today?
A year after I completed my NRP, I was unfortunately involved in a car accident which left me unable to return to education for a number of years. Due to this, I obtained lower A-Level grades than were expected. In September of last year, I started my degree course at the University of Bolton. I believe that it was because of the experiences that I gained from partaking in the NRP that I was able to be granted a place on the course, and I am now thriving as a STEM student at university. I am currently studying where I undertook my research placement, the University of Bolton.
Did your Nuffield Research Placement have an effect on the choices that you made after finishing school/college/university?
My placement definitely affected the choices I made when it came to studying, it left me with a deep interest in the field of science and engineering, especially concerning human biology. The research that I took part in, was exploring the effectiveness of capacitors, batteries and materials for every-day use (i.e. heart pacemakers, bionic extremities), which is closely linked to my course and the field that I hope to pursue a career in.
If you could give one piece of advice to Nuffield students about to start a placement what would it be?
Ask questions - lots of questions! I would strongly advise any prospective student about to start a placement, that they absolutely make the most of the experience and use all the tools at their disposal. Be persistent if you don’t understand something – that’s what they are there for, but above all, enjoy the experience!
What would your advice be to young people thinking about a career in STEM?
A career in STEM, especially for young women, is an excellent choice as there are countless opportunities for exciting career prospects, and the possibility to work in a field where you are able to help and enrich other lives.