2nd-year student, Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
Emma Matthewman may only be in the second year of her chemistry degree but she has already gained valuable research experience and conducted experiments at a world-class research facility in Melbourne.
“In the 2017/2018 summer break, I completed a summer research project with AUT lecturer Dr Cameron Weber. This research project focused on ionic liquids, low melting salts with the potential to replace harmful molecular solvents, and the effect of their structure on the reactivity of organic molecules.
“Completing this research also led to the opportunity to perform experiments at the Australian Synchrotron, a world-class research facility in Melbourne, earlier this year. Both of these experiences have allowed me to gain insight into the world of chemistry research, and have equipped me with the skills to be successful in my future study and career.”
The right choice
Science has always been a passion, Emma says.
“I’ve always had a keen interest in science and its ability to explain the world around us. Chemistry was a subject I particularly enjoyed at high school, and I wanted to continue to learn more about this area.”
Choosing where to study was an easy decision for her.
“I have friends and family who attended AUT, and they thoroughly enjoyed their experience and praised AUT for its modern, hands-on approach to education and its deep sense of community.
“I wanted to obtain my degree in an environment that was not only supportive and encouraging, but also provided practical experience that would prepare me for the future. AUT has these values at its core, so it was an easy decision to further my study here.”
Advice for other students
Study what you’re most passionate about, Emma advises other students.
“If you have a genuine interest in the subjects you’re studying, then your university experience will be significantly more enjoyable and rewarding. I would also say that it’s more beneficial to explore subjects you want to know more about, and not just focus on what career opportunities may come from a particular degree.”
As with most people, moving from high school to university wasn’t always straightforward, Emma admits.
“When I began my university journey, I didn’t have a clear idea of where I wanted my study to go or the processes involved in making such a decision. After my first year, I decided that chemistry was what I enjoyed the most, and the School of Science then helped me through the process of choosing the papers that would be beneficial for me.
“I’ve genuinely enjoyed learning more about chemistry, including discovering what aspects of this discipline I’m most passionate about and furthering my knowledge of the potential career paths within this industry. The practical laboratory experience I’ve gained and the research opportunities I’ve had at AUT are second to none, and will stand me in good stead for my future.”