Chemistry Clinic - September 2018

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. 

New Academic Season, New Us

Hello from the Chemistry Clinic Team 2018-19! We will be blogging throughout the year, to keep you in the loop of the latest developments in the wild and wonderful world of Chemistry.

In the beginning…

It was a crisp September morning as four young ducklings waddled up the steps of the Thomas Graham Building to meet their fate. Thankfully they were met by the ever-helpful Sharon Ingram, Brian MacMillan and John Liggat.

The first meeting gave us all an insight into just how broad the horizons of chemistry are and the fact we are able to be involved in such a range of activities and assignments really motivated us. This month has been based on training and introductions to our projects for the coming months. From luminescent plastics to decomposing baked goods, we really are covering all bases. 

Here’s a wee run through some of the excitement we’ve had in September… 


On the external project front, we’re currently in the “development stage” - or as the kids call it “finding ourselves”.  Let’s begin with our most “enlightening” project. This luminescent material is sure to light up the darkest of nights. Scared of those black outs? Struggle to find that light switch during the night? Well, we have the answer to all your prayers… Or we’ll definitely try to find a decent answer for them anyway.

Moving on we head into a bit of a “sticky” situation – but not too sticky! Feeling guilty over your excessive use of plastic? This innovative wax product is set to revolutionise the future of our environment and food industry. 

Sick of your log cabin flooding? We would be too… if the SAAS budget stretched that far. I think we can all accept that in Scotland the old garden shed gets a fair battering through the autumn and winter… and spring… and summer. By testing the water repellence of the hydrophilic material we will be looking to either reduce or ideally prevent the weathering of wood - through the application of various resins.  

Aways days

Yes, you have read correctly – WE’RE GOING ON OUR HOLIDAYS. Off to Dumfries we will be trotting in the near future as new, fully fledged STEM Ambassadors. We will be looking to use this opportunity to educate 6th year students on our past experiences. They say hindsight is a wonderful thing and in this case we really hope the students benefit from listening to our 4 very different journeys on the chemistry path. 


Ooh the dreaded presentations. So much tension, so much anxiety as we quivered behind the large screen to face the ever-expanding audience of… two. Needless to say we completely overreacted and much to our surprise we actually enjoyed the whole experience. 

We hope you have enjoyed this segment summarising the beginning of our journey this year. And believe us when we say, there’s plenty more where this came from.

That’s all for now, folks!

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

Chemistry Clinic Team