Where do you work?
I work as a Senior Scientist at Lgem, based in The Netherlands. Lgem is located 20 minutes south of Amsterdam Schiphol airport. The company develops photobioreactors (PBR) and offers services (such as process optimisation and de-risking of a business case) in the unique AlgaeHUB® facility. Lgem offers reliable PBR systems for cultivating any algae at any scale.
How did your PhD help you get this position?
I obtained my PhD in Microalgal Cell Factories at The University of Sheffield, in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE) with Dr Raman Vaidyanathan as my supervisor.
I was working on a marine microalgal diatom (Phaeodactylum tricornutum) as a sustainable microalgal cell factory, utilising a biorefinery approach for fucoxanthin (pigment used for weight loss, antioxidant, and anticancer benefits), with the residual biomass rich in eicosapentaenoic acid - EPA (omega-3 fatty acid), and protein for aquafeed.
I remember going for the interview with Synalgae in The Netherlands (before the company merged with Lgem in 2021). The soft skills (ability to work in a multidisciplinary team, mentoring, presenting to various audiences, and written communication) combined with my analytical, and experience in upstream and downstream processing skills I had learned during my PhD were what got me the job along with the good reputation of The University of Sheffield and the CBE department.
I am so grateful for my PhD experience. A PhD is not about the result, it is about the journey and discovering yourself.