After completing my undergraduate and master's degrees in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), I moved over to the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at Cambridge to start a PhD supervised by Dr. Clemens Kaminski.
Fitting in to Cambridge was easy; the college system is a great boon and really helps to integrate new students. Because colleges are not organized by discipline, you are also exposed to people studying a fascinating variety of subjects. Between your college and your department, it is hard not to get involved in all kinds of activities. I've played cricket with the Department team, joined the tennis and rowing teams for Pembroke College, served on the Student-Staff Consultative Committee at the Departmnet, and served on the MRC committee at my college in which I helped organize graduate events. Many opportunities have arisen in Cambridge, from meeting leaders in my research field, to learning business and marketing skills through the excellent i-Teams programme, and organizing research conferences.
My PhD research involves the development of novel techniques for acquiring and processing multidimensional optical microscopy datasets. My work is very interdisciplinary and involves close collaboration with a wide range of scientists, from clinicians to theoretical physicists. It makes for a very stimulating environment to work in alongside the collegiate atmosphere of the Laser Analytics Group.
The Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology has a well deserved reputation for friendliness, and I was made to feel welcome from my first day here. Tea or coffee at 10:30 in the tearoom is a must! There is a fantastic range of research on offer in the department, matched in breadth only by the diverse backgrounds of the researchers. I have greatly enjoyed my time at Cambridge, and I strongly encourage you to apply.