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Nikolaos Engelis

Nikolaos Engelis.

My professors in Athens suggested Warwick as the ideal place to continue my studies in polymer chemistry.

Polymer Chemistry Student

Nikolaos Engelis.

What were you doing before you came to Warwick?

I was doing my bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in Athens University.

Why did you choose to study at Warwick?

My professors in Athens suggested Warwick as the ideal place to continue my studies in polymer chemistry. They thought that Warwick combined very good infrastructure and equipment with very knowledgeable professors, and so they recommended it to me.

What did you think when you first arrived at Warwick?

I thought it was a very nice place, equipped to a very high level and a very well organized masters course.

What is your favourite thing about campus?

Warwick Sport!

Was your course what you expected?

Yes… Although some modules were more detailed than I expected. Others were more exciting, like polymers in the real world. In general, it was better than I expected: more challenging and more interesting.

Nikolaos Engelis.

During your course, what was your favourite module, and why?

My favourite module was the aforementioned “polymers in the real world”, exactly because it taught us about uses and characteristics of polymers that you would not necessarily appreciate if just studying the chemistry of polymers. Some of the applications would be difficult to imagine. Also we had several visitors from industries and we would have to prepare short reviews for those visits, so read up on the subject of the industrial lecture before it happened. And sometimes what I was reading in the literature was even more exciting: one thing that I remember reading was about the use of polymers to create solid ground to create military landing sites. So to make sandy places stable enough to allow for helicopters to land and vehicles to move, they throw these polymers on the sand and it becomes solid for a period of time… up to 1 month. I was really surprised to read about this.

What was your research subject?

My research project was about polymers conjugated with iron oxide nanoparticles employing different anchoring groups to those used so far. So instead of using a phosphoric group, we tried arsenic. The synthesis of the polymers and of the iron oxide nanoparticles worked quite well, but we faced some difficulties when trying to anchor them employing the arsenic group. But I obtained enough data to successfully finish my masters.

What have you done since leaving Warwick?

Just before finishing my MSc, I asked one of the professors of the course for a reference letter in order to apply for a PhD elsewhere, and instead of that he offered me a PhD position in his group so I stayed in Warwick. Now I am in the second year of my PhD.

Finally, is there anything you would say to someone thinking of studying at Warwick?

I think a master is quite an intense period (especially the Polymer MSc!), but you should accept the challenge and make the most of it!