My name is Ioanna Maria Pateli, or Marianna, or just Ioanna. Confusing? Yes, it is confusing. What is not confusing to me is that I purely love chemistry, but we will come to that later on.
This September, I graduated from the National and Technical University of Athens and now I am holding a Diploma of Mining and Metallurgical engineer. My specialization is on Metallurgy, which is a very interesting, adventurous and yet dangerous path to walk on. Metallurgy is a whole world of techniques, methodologies, thoughts and, if you recall, it started to develop in 2000 bc, it is undoubtedly clear that without this science, world would be very different. I learned a lot of things, part of which is that chemistry is all around us and has a great impact on everything.
When people were asking me what I want to do after my studies, I was always answering that I wanted to improve the world. How is this possible? Be a researcher is the answer.
I always wanted to be a researcher and you could find evidence in my bedroom’s drawer, which was always full of bottles of homemade chemical stuff. So, when the opportunity knocked on my door, I applied for a PhD position at the University of Leicester. My research topic is “Ionometallurgical leaching using Deep Eutectic Solvents”. Deep eutectic solvents are new, innovative and promising solvents which will change the scenery of Metallurgy in the years to come. My main aim is to dissolve low metal containing industrial residues in ethaline or reline (Deep eutectic solvents) and study the electrochemical behaviour of the metals in these systems. Then, I will try to recover the metals from the solution. Recycling was always a priority of my daily life, so I am really excited to be focused on this topic in my research project. Finally, I am really proud to work with Professor Andrew Abbott, which as I think is one of the most talented professors in his field.
When I first came to UK, I was really afraid top find a cold atmosphere (because of the weather would affect people also) but I was totally wrong. People here welcomed me in the most heart-warming way and I am so grateful for that. The university is very well organised, with many research achievements but the most important thing is that… is located nearby a big green park. Why is this important? Because when you are tired, sleepy after 9 or 10 hours in the lab, you need fresh air and open space to clear your thoughts. So, the thing that I most enjoy here is walking in the park, thinking about my next moves or what to cook for dinner (a wide variety of thoughts in my head).
The most essential thing, in conclusion, is that you have to follow your dreams, wherever they will lead you. Don’t be afraid of the changes in your life, you will always find yourself surprised of how skillful you are. If you are interested in my research project and want to get more information, don’t hesitate to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org