Robin Kerrison, from Monkseaton High School in Whitley Bay, did his bursary placement at Newcastle University in the Sir Joseph Swan Centre for Energy Research. Supervised by Dr Kola Liadi Mudashiru, Robin’s environmental chemistry project looked at soil analysis of the Williamson’s Tunnels near Liverpool.
After his placement, Robin spoke to us about his experience…
How did you get involved in the Bursary Programme, and why did you want to take part?
I first stumbled upon the Bursary Programme whilst researching work placements at Universities for high school students. It stood out to me as, not only does it allow me to gain experience in a research environment, but it also allows for a lot more freedom than other work placements.
What were the aims of your project, and how did you go about achieving these?
The aim of my project was to establish the levels of contaminants in soils found in Williamson's Tunnels, Liverpool, for which I had to learn a lot about analytical chemistry, including preparing the samples.
What have you learnt most from your experience?
I have learnt how to conduct original research. I believe it to be a vital skill, given my ambitions to conduct research professionally in the future.
How have you shared your experience with other students at your school?
I've shown my project to friends and peers and found them to be suitably impressed. I hope to inspire younger students to participate in the Bursary Scheme in the future.
What are your future plans, and how did the bursary experience affect these plans?
This experience of real research work solidified my vision to become a researcher in the future, and my experiences from this project have given me the confidence to know I can achieve those ambitions.