Let me introduce myself. My name is Arturo Mendoza and I am a scientist at heart; the only thing is that I don’t have as much as a bachelor’s degree yet. Nevertheless, one of the things that bring me the most joy in life is carrying out scientific research and being involved in the UK academic community. I don’t know why, my brain must be hard-wired in some such way that these pursuits just make me happy.
Before finishing my A-levels I knew that I liked science, and material science was a field that seemed interesting to me, but I certainly wasn’t as enthusiastic as I feel now – not until I had a crack at carrying out a piece of research over the summer before starting Uni. I remember my mom told me about a school girl in Turkey who won £ 50 000 for presenting her “Science Fair Project” to Google. It intrigued me so after reading a few news reports on it online, I found the research paper she wrote describing her investigation:
I could have written that…
The only thought going through my mind was that I could’ve easily done that, and perhaps even better in many ways. Something seriously clicked inside me and I was determined from that point onwards to do a piece of research in my own time, out of my own money (It only cost me £30.00) and get it published in a research journal. I planned and carried out the investigation over summer and wrote a research paper about it when I got here. (Well, after the first four weeks of the semester had passed)
Then I opened my eyes and saw what was here: Opportunity. I’ve been going to a wonderful research seminar series organized by two lecturers of SEMS (The School of Engineering and Material Science) where I met a range of people actively involved in cutting-edge research and innovation. Some of them have been kind enough to critique my paper so that I may improve it. A few even extended invitations to work with them in their on-going projects, one of which I accepted.
Now it’s January, and while a friend finishes reviewing my paper, I’m working in a team research project with academics and PhD students all of whom I admire, and hope to learn from. At the same time, I’ve started planning a second personal research project. This time I won’t be working alone, but instead will be teaming up with the smartest girl in my class. She’s very talented in this research stuff.
Somehow, I still manage to have time to go out twice or thrice a week at night and enjoy past-midnight London at its finest. I love this place. Let’s see where we go from here.