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The University of Southampton
ChemistryPostgraduate study

Thomas Gee PhD

Thomas Gee's Photo

In a society where more people than ever possess university degrees, having a science-based PhD is very desired by employers and it certainly gives you the edge in the jobs market and keeps a lot of options open to you.

I really enjoy the breakthroughs you get in research. They are normally the product of hard-work and perseverance through a constant barrage of problems. This may sound ‘doom-and-gloom’ but it is really not, if you enjoy problem solving and have a natural curiosity and drive to find out how things work, I cannot think of a more suitable career path to follow.

My research sits within the field of crystal structure prediction. This is a very literal field name as it means we use computers to predict the packing arrangement of the molecules in a crystal. My research focusses on the development of new theoretical techniques for treating molecular flexibility in our methodology to yield more accurate predictions of crystal structures (whilst keeping to inevitable rise in computational costs to a minimum).

My advice for those considering a PhD is ‘be curious’. To be successful in a PhD you need to constantly ask yourself ‘why have I got this result?’, ‘what does this mean?’, ‘how do I fairly test this?’ and so on. More generally, asking the age-old questions, how, where, why, what, etc… and finding answers to these questions is the most effective way to become successful in research. Once you get into the habit of this, you find yourself doing it in other areas of your life also!

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