The University of Southampton
Chemistry

Ron Leizrowice BSc Chemistry, 2016

Graduate

Ron Leizrowice's Photo

During my time at Southampton, I signed up for several placements. They included a summer project at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel with undergraduates from around the world.

Why did you want to come to the University of Southampton?

I didn’t have an A level in Chemistry but luckily Southampton offered a Foundation Year to get the qualification in a year. Although I originally planned to do Biochemistry, one of my lecturers, Dr David Read was so fantastic, I decided to switch to Chemistry. It was the best decision.

What was the highlight of your degree?

It has to be the third year research project and I received a prize for the best BSc project in my year. I wanted a challenging project to take me out of my comfort zone. It involved building a new type of instrument for measuring the properties of new specialised materials which could be used for next generation memory for smart phones and laptops. In a way it was more of an engineering project than a chemistry project.

Outside the lab, a highlight was getting the chance to hear a lot of live music. Southampton Guildhall is a good place for entertainment as well smaller venues in the city and the Union on campus.

How about placements?

During my time at Southampton, I signed up for several placements. They included a summer project at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel with undergraduates from around the world, as a result of that I was part of a team that ended up publishing a paper in Nature Chemistry. I did another placement at the University of Cambridge developing a new kind of sensor which might be able to detect traumatic brain injury in people. And I got involved with two summer placements at Southampton, one with Professor Andrew Hector on thin films and another with Professor David Harrowven in organic chemistry, it’s been a wide mix of subjects across the subject.

What next?

This autumn, I’m moving to the University of Oxford for a PhD in Theoretical Chemistry.

Have you any advice for potential students thinking about coming to Southampton?

Take A level Maths! A lot of students don’t and regret it. Don’t spend all your summers partying, try to fit in at least one internship or placement, because that’ll make a difference when you apply for PhDs or jobs, it will help you stand out from the other applicants. Make sure you focus intensely on your studies in your first year because you’ll learn the foundation of the theory which you will build on later in your degree.

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