Hannah Fleming

MSc Industrial Biotechnology 2015/16

What attracted you to the MSc in Industrial Biotechnology?

The course offered the opportunity to benefit from the expertise of a number of host institutions across Scotland. There was a large variety of classes on offer, with a number of different core classes as well as electives. The opportunity of an industrial placement also attracted me to the course, as well as the emerging biotechnology sector in Scotland.

Which module did you most enjoy and why?

I most enjoyed Applied Biocatalysis because the module built on my previous knowledge from my undergraduate degree but challenged me with new content. The lectures provided by industry partners gave insight into how industry operates, the type of job roles which exist within companies and current projects which are taking place.

Can you tell us a bit about your industry placement?

I have been working with GSK in Worthing and I have enjoyed being able to work independently on a project, and learning more about large scale processes in industry. I also enjoy learning new skills/techniques and the problem solving aspects.

What new skills have you acquired during your placement?

I have learned how to carry out enzymatic starch hydrolysis involving shake flask studies, how to carry out assays using automated analysers and improved my aseptic techniques and microbiology skills.

Can you tell us about a typical day?

On a typical day, the morning sees me help out in the High Throughput Screening department, take samples from hydrolysis shake flasks and measure glucose concentrations as well as other relevant parameters. I carry out literature searches.

Later in the afternoon, I take samples from hydrolysis shake flasks and measure glucose concentrations as well as other relevant parameters, plot data and analyse results, discuss data with manager/other employees, decide on possible further studies/next steps, write relevant sections of dissertation.

What is next in terms of career/ further study post Master’s degree?

I would like to investigate options to progress to PhD level or seek employment opportunities in the industrial biotechnology sector.