Physics student flourishes at Centre for NanoHealth (CNH) event

The Centre for Nanohealth (CNH) held an event last month where suppliers got the chance to demonstrate their equipment to businesses ‘Business improvements through materials characterisation’.

Physics student at Nano eventKathryn Welsby who is based in the Physics department with Professor Peter Dunstan, the Chair of the College of Science, is currently studying an interdisciplinary PhD in Raman Spectroscopy study of blood for disease diagnosis, prognosis and risk prediction. 

At the event she assisted in sample collection, discussing with the participants their material characterisation needs. She helped in explaining the plethora of equipment available at CNH so as to best direct the businesses to the most suitable technique to investigate their samples.

Kathryn also assisted in the preparations of the CNH Raman/ SNOM laboratory for the company demonstrations by Renishaw PLC and JPK Software. Alongside which, she presented to the tour groups how in her PhD studies, she currently uses the Renishaw and JPK equipment for liquid state and soft matter based characterisation of blood.

Kathryn said "I graduated from Swansea University in 2012 with a Masters in Physics (1st degree with Hons). Having thoroughly enjoyed my undergraduate studies, in particular, summer projects and my final year project concerned with designing, building and applying a 2D Photon-Echo Spectrometer. I returned to the Physics Department to do an interdisciplinary PhD in Raman Spectroscopy study of blood for disease diagnosis, prognosis and risk prediction. Working with the Department of Immunology and Allergy in the Institute of Life Sciences, my work is targeted at identifying and characterising bio-chemical differences in blood derivatives using Raman Spectroscopy techniques situated in the Centre for NanoHealth (CNH).

During my PhD I also have the opportunity to expand my skill set and apply my Raman Spectroscopy knowledge to other CNH collaborative projects. These types of projects allow me to spectroscopically characterise materials, such as toxic drugs, Nano-wires and Nano-structures, and further explore the samples using a range of equipment such as SEM, AFM and TERS (Tip Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy).

Throughout my studies I have also been involved with promoting the importance of STEM subjects and research. During my undergraduate studies I regularly took teams of STEM Ambassadors into local primary and secondary schools in the Swansea area and now during my PhD I am the Outreach Officer for the university’s Women in Science venture: SwanSTEMWoMen. We volunteer to promote and support women in all scientific fields across campus and also in the local area. Not only this, my aim is to increase awareness of interdisciplinary research and the importance of scientific departments working together for even greater results."