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  3. [2022-12-20] Research student of Mistra SafeChem: This group makes me feel more at home in the programme
News | 2022-12-20
Screenshot of  persons attending a meeting in Teams.

Research student of Mistra SafeChem: This group makes me feel more at home in the programme

The research students in Mistra SafeChem make major contributions to the work of the programme. As they come from different backgrounds and are specialised in various fields, it is of great importance for them to meet and share experiences.

The research student group currently consists of 15 PhD students and post-docs who work at Stockholm University, KTH, DTU and RISE/Cytiva. Their areas of expertise range from organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry and ecotoxicology to environmental chemistry, life cycle assessment and programming.

Four times a year, Mistra SafeChem arranges for the students to meet and update each other on the progress of their research. Most often the meetings are digital, but in connection with the programme conference, they have the chance to meet face-to-face.

“Nice to present your work to someone from a different field”

At the last digital meeting, we asked some of them how it is to be a research student in Mistra SafeChem and what they think of the student meetings.

– It is a challenge that we come from so different topics, but very interesting to hear about research outside the field you focus on each day. It is also nice to test to present your work to somebody from a different field. It gives you a chance to see if they can understand you. Also, having this group makes me feel more at home in the programme. It’s more personal and more than just going to meetings and reading reports, says Kerstin von Borries, PhD student at DTU focusing on digitalization in sustainability assessments.

May Britt Rian, PhD student in ecotoxicology at Stockholm University, agrees and adds:

– It is good to get the chance to present to people that are part of a broader audience.

“A chance to use green chemistry tools without being an expert”

Pedro Tortajada, PhD student in organic chemistry at Stockholm University is developing a nickel-based hydrogenation reaction which is assessed using some of the programme tools in one of the programme’s case studies.

– I have taken the chance to use the approach for green chemistry in Mistra SafeChem in my field of organic chemistry. It is generally not what other organic chemistry PhD students do and it will have consequences on my research and thesis. It gives you a chance to see how one can use green chemistry tools without being an expert. This research would not be able to include without Mistra SafeChem, he says.

Elisabeth Söderberg, KTH, has a similar collaboration, developing a green chemistry pipeline utilizing enzyme catalysis. She agrees with Pedro and adds:

– It took some time to understand how everything fits together in this large programme, but now it is clearer! It is hard to see opportunities without input from meeting the other partners in the programme and the programme lead.

“Nice to learn from others”

Ziye Zheng, a postdoc at RISE/Cytiva, is working on in-silico-based prediction models for hazards of reactive chemicals. Since he is not based at an academic institution, he enjoys the meetings for discussion and the chance to present his research.

– It is nice to join these meetings and learn from others, that is what I miss from the academy, Ziye says.

Do you want to know more about the work of the research students? Here you can see posters of their work.