Starting a career in renewable energy research

Daniel Cheung
Daniel Cheung
PhD student, Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy
MSc Polymers for Advanced Technologies
Daniel did his undergraduate and masters degrees with us here in Sheffield, and is now a polymer researcher working on renewable energy.

After completing my BSc I wanted to further advance my chemical knowledge and gain more research experience. During my undergraduate studies I really enjoyed learning about polymers so I found the MSc Polymers course appealing as it provided the opportunity to gain a more in-depth understanding and most importantly it contained a large research component.

During the course, I enjoyed learning about polymers in more detail. Some theoretical aspects were challenging but also interesting. The academics were friendly and the small class size allowed for more intimate discussions about science. The course attracted many international students which was a very nice experience.

Daniel Cheung

PhD student, Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy

My project was with Dr Sebastian Spain and it involved the design and synthesis of hyperbranched polymers for storage and delivery applications. What I enjoyed the most about the research project was the independence, I was given a lot of freedom to experiment and develop my own ideas. The project gave me an insight into being a researcher and helped with my decision to pursue a career in research.

I'm now a PhD student at the Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy, University of Liverpool. After finishing the MSc I was sure that I wanted to pursue a career in research so I decided to apply for a PhD. The application process was long but eventually I found a suitable project here in Liverpool. My research involves designing and testing photocatalysts that can use energy from sunlight to split water to produce hydrogen fuel. During the PhD I spend most of my time in the lab, researching the literature and presenting my research at conferences.

Both my BSc and MSc provided me with the fundamental and more advanced knowledge and training for my PhD position. The MSc prepared me for the transition from being a taught student to becoming a postgraduate researcher. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Sheffield – the city and university provide a perfect environment for studying. I have many fond memories from my time there and it will always remain a special place to me.

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