University of Leicester
My name is Stylianos Spathariotis and I am a Greek metal lover. No I don’t mean the music! I started being occupied with sciences when I was in High school. Like everyone, I didn’t like them at first (I still don’t sometimes) but as the years went by I realised my love – hate relation with chemistry.
Having grown up since then, I entered the university. Luckily or not, the school of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering in Athens was my choice to study to. Very disappointed at first, i was obliged to attend all the mining courses while begging for some chemistry. There wasn’t much I could do but to remain patient till my masters. There was when I first met Ionic Liquids, these famous innovative solvents. Things got serious after that. I was a novice researcher working towards to an alternative method of aluminium production, using these low temperature molten salts.
Seven months of hard laboratory work had passed by and I was almost at the end of my masters, not even knowing what was next. I didn’t stop being optimistic and one day I noticed that applications for PhD came up from the EU. I rushed to apply, and guess what?! Luckily, I managed to get a Marie – Curie scholarship at the chemistry department in the University of Leicester. Finally, I was in my natural habitat again – a messy laboratory with chemicals all around me! Being more mature and experienced from my masters I am now working towards the electrowinning of metals from deep eutectic solvents, another innovative kind of solvents.
Having spent three months here I can assure you that sometimes it’s not that romantic. I hate it when things don’t go as expected. But that’s what motivates me, overcoming difficulties and trying to make the chemistry work. Because if it does, then I am happy!
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