Rob Hunter

Smiling blonde man stood in front of river in city.

I am a PhD student in the School of Chemistry at the University of Birmingham researching sustainable synthesis of porous graphitic carbon materials for applications such as water treatment and fuel cells.

I grew up near Bristol before moving to Birmingham in 2014 to study for an MSci in chemistry. For my final year research project, I looked at synthesising dispersible iron carbide nanoparticles for application in ferrofluids in the research group of Zoe Schnepp. After getting a taste of life in the research labs at Birmingham, I decided to stay on for a PhD with Zoe as my supervisor.

I particularly enjoy my current research due to the variety of the work: one day I might be getting my hands dirty in the lab synthesising some materials, another day I might be using characterisation techniques such as X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy, and sometimes I might even be running some computer simulations.

Throughout my PhD, I have been lucky enough to travel around and carry out experiments at other institutions, including Brookhaven National Lab in New York and the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) in Berlin. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit places like these as it makes you feel like a real scientist when you get to work with proper experts in their fields!

Along with science, I enjoy playing and watching sport, particularly cricket and football (I’m a big Newcastle United fan, make of that what you will…), and I love a good pub quiz.

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