I loved every minute of my studies. I felt supported and was given the opportunity to really enjoy my degree and perform the best I could.

Profile photo of PhD student Latham
Latham Haigh
Postgraduate researcher
MEng Materials Science and Engineering (Research)
Latham graduated in 2021 and is now studying for his PhD in the Department where he is investigating the effects of radiation on the durability of radioactive ceramic wasteforms.

What are your main responsibilities?

Investigating the effects of radiation on the durability of radioactive ceramic wasteforms

Can you describe a typical day?

Every day can vary so much depending on what projects I'm working on! Most days I come into the office and quickly organise myself for the day, this might involve following on from the previous day's laboratory work, analysing data I've collected or reading and writing about work in my field. I keep closely to a typical 9-5 working day and budget my time across the week.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your current role or your greatest career achievement so far?

No-one has done what I've done before and what I do can be the basis of research in the future. This often means that work can be challenging and present new problems that need new solutions. Finally beating a problem that's been bothering you for several months can be hugely satisfying 

Are there any challenging aspects? If so, what are they?

Again, the work is new and novel, this means things rarely ever work first time and you need to think creatively to solve problems that arise so you can succeed in your research

What skills/qualifications from your degree or other training do you make use of in your job?

Lots of my skills built up across labs and lectures are used on a daily basis. Using common material science analysis techniques, processing data, and scientific report writing! These all have helped me be the best I can and are a part of my career progression.

How have these skills or your course made a difference in your career?

They have given me the ability to hit the ground running in many areas so that I can get to grips with the fine details much quicker.

Why did you choose to study at Sheffield?

Sheffield offered a fantastic materials science course as well as a friendly and inviting department and wider campus. I couldn't find another university that matched the excellent environment that Sheffield had.

Did your time at Sheffield meet your expectations?

Absolutely, I loved every minute of my studies at Sheffield. I felt supported and was given the opportunity to really  enjoy my degree and perform the best I could

What were the best things about studying in the Department?

The staff are a fantastic part of the department, support is always available and happy to help with problems or difficulties relating to both the course syllabus and looking for career paths after the degree.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

Either continuing into academia or working in the nuclear industry 

If you could give one piece of advice to current students or recent graduates, what would it be?

It's okay to be unsure of where you want to go, opportunities and inspiration for careers after the course will appear!

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