The primary goals for Patrick during his Fellowship were:
- To develop his knowledge, skills and understanding in conducting chemical experiments within laboratory environments.
- Develop his knowledge and understanding of basic chemistry principles.
- Develop his knowledge and understanding of some material based research projects.
In order to meet these goals Patrick has undertaken and successfully completed an Introductory Chemistry paper administered by the University. The paper combined theory and practical laboratory work in the teaching laboratories.
Patrick has also attended lectures dealing with a first year chemistry paper offered by the University – Concepts of Chemistry. These lectures have enabled Patrick to build on and deepen the theoretical knowledge gained from the Introductory Chemistry paper. As a component of this paper Patrick has also worked alongside first year chemistry students completing relevant experiments in the laboratories.
Further to these lectures and laboratory work he has also attended lectures relating to a more general science paper designed to bridge the gap between school science and university science for students wishing to enrol in further university science study and who may have left school earlier than desired. Attending these lectures has enabled Patrick to reacquaint himself with other areas of science such as Physics, Geology and Biology.
Work has also been undertaken in two research laboratories. In both these laboratories Patrick has been able to closely observe PhD and Masters students undertaking research in the areas of nanotechnology and immunisation. He found both research areas fascinating and could easily relate the research to real world applications e.g. developing vaccines for certain types of cancer. Patrick also recognised the importance of having a deep knowledge and understanding of basic chemical concepts in order to apply these to research. As well as observing Patrick was able to complete minor projects such as making buckets of reinforced calcium silicate. Making the silicate gave him a small taste of the quantities of chemicals that industrial firms deal in, vastly different to research!