Chemistry Clinic - March 2019

The Chemistry Clinic is a student led consultancy in the University of Strathclyde. Working with entrepreneurs with brand new ideas right through to supporting school students, they deal with a wide range of enquiries. 

This placement opportunity during their Chemistry degree gives students the chance to implement the knowledge they have gathered so far during their three years of studying and fine-tune their practical laboratory skills. They also have the chance to grow on a personal basis in various forms of communication and organisation skills that are tested throughout the year. The team also partake in various school events and tasks both within the University of Strathclyde and around the country - as STEM Ambassadors - to further the development of the scientific world. 

Research and Development Projects

Spring has most definitely sprung into action at the Chemistry Clinic, as we venture into a fresh season of new projects. We have “March”-ed towards the end of our research and development projects this month, predominantly focussing our time on report writing. This was a good time to collect all our findings and reflect on how far we had come from the initial stages of our projects. The team have now finalised their client reports and have passed these on to the relevant parties.

Having gained experience from these initial projects, we now look towards the more challenging product development that have been flying in thick and fast. Having briefly looked over the background literature, Cirsty and Peter have set out on a venture that will link up well to their fishing community roots on the Isle of Lewis. At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Ben and Jonny combatting surface grime involving the development of a potential kitchen product.

Advanced Higher Project Analysis

As we reach the Easter break, we also draw near to the end of our Advanced Higher Project analysis. It has been a great experience welcoming the students to the University Campus and giving them an insight to what a more advanced laboratory looks like. These laboratory open hours allow the students to be exposed to new analytical techniques, including Infra-red (IR), UV-Vis spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic radiation (NMR) and mass spectroscopy. We would like to wish the students good luck in their fast-approaching exams and hope they have a smooth transition into their university courses in September!

Applicant Visit Days

The Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry hosted its annual ‘Whizz-Bang” show, led by Dr Alan Kennedy. The show was aimed at Undergraduate applicants who have received offers of study from the University. In the show Dr Kennedy demonstrated a range of exciting experiments that grabbed the visitor’s attention, before the students were invited on a tour of the University’s facilities. This part of the event saw the volunteers giving the visitors an insight into “Life in the Lab” and provided first-hand experience on how they feel they have benefitted from studying at Strathclyde. The tour included a visit to the two main Chemistry buildings, Thomas Graham and the Royal College, including some of lecture halls and the beloved NMR suite.

Schools Outreach

It has been a quiet month in relation to school outings. However, we would like to make a special mention to Turnbull High School who have been named as one of the 12 winners of the STEM Alliance’s International Diversity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) award. We thoroughly enjoyed participating in the school’s STEM event in November and are delighted that Turnbull High School have been recognised for their hard work in promoting STEM subjects.

Chemistry Clinic Engage Event

Now we move on to our “Save The Date” memo of the month, as we are planning our Engage Event taking place on Tuesday 30th April 2019. The event will be held in the Technology & Innovation Centre (TIC) on campus, hosted by Dr Sharon Ingram. A number of speakers will be attending and presentations are due to take place between 4pm and 5.30pm, followed by a networking session with refreshments provided. Both Cirsty and Peter will be giving an insight into how the Chemistry Clinic can benefit you as a student, an academic or a business. It is an open event, for all to attend, and may be of particular interest micro-businesses and start-ups, University staff and postgraduate students. Further information and free registration for the event can be found here.

What’s Next?

April will see us thrown into the thick of our new projects with some challenging tasks ahead. With the deadline for our placement final reports on the horizon, this will be a month of reflection and an opportunity to have a look back at the work we have carried out over the past seven months at the Chemistry Clinic.


Written by Ben Clark, Jonny Clark, Cirsty Gillies & Peter MacDonald

Chemistry Clinic Team