Zhanet Z Zaharieva
Zhanet Z Zaharieva, PhD Researcher, University of Oxford
"I’m originally from Bulgaria, and decided to move to Surrey to study an MRes in Chemistry because I liked the emphasis put on the practical application of science.
Surrey’s campus is lovely and its Department of Chemistry is a great place to develop your knowledge, and to get the results that you want. It was difficult for me at the beginning, adjusting to a new environment and atmosphere, as I wasn’t used to working in a lab from 9am - 5pm; but the transition was easy as people were so friendly.
I was able to use many facilities at the University. The labs and equipment enabled me to analyse my samples with XRD, UV-Vis, TEM, SEM, TGA, DMA, FTIR and Raman – which was amazing, because I could generate so many results for my dissertation, involving an investigation of a novel approach to the fabrication of photocatalytically active chitosan-titania composite fibres for the removal of organic contaminants in water. The results obtained from my project are described in a manuscript in preparation for publication.
My lecturers taught me about really interesting aspects to chemistry, and the modules covered everything I wanted to explore on the programme. I took polymer chemistry and a spectroscopy class for instance – the spectroscopy lecture was directly related to my analysis, whilst the polymer session was highly relevant to my experiments.
I’ll always remember how friendly the Department of Chemistry was, and how helpful my supervisors were. They really enabled me to achieve my goals. I was more than welcome to ask questions, meet with them and whenever I needed something they were there to assist.
Coming to Surrey to study the subject was a great experience for me, and I feel much more confident now. Surrey helped me to achieve great goals and to continue with my future research. I was very lucky with my programme and with my supervisors. I’m looking forward to starting my PhD in Materials Science at the University of Oxford soon.
To anyone considering Surrey’s MRes Chemistry, I’d say this: anything is possible if you put your mind to it. You just have to work very hard but you can get amazing results."