University of Lincoln, UK

Christine Stokes

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I am Christine Stokes, a former Undergraduate student of the University of Central Lancashire where I obtained a first class honours MPhys in Physics. I joined the Computational Physics group on completion of my second year of my degree (2008) when I was awarded an internship through the University. The research involved simulating thin films of Diblock copolymer with an external force of shear applied. The results were presented at a poster conference at the University which it was one of the eight commended. Following this I further presented the research orally at the 24th National Conference for Undergraduate Research in Montana US. In the summer of 2009 I got to experience international research at the Leiden University, funded by UCLan’s International travel bursary Scheme, doing a project for one month. Also over the summer of 2009, Dr Marco Pinna and I was one of the 350 people awarded, across the UK, an internship through Nuffield Foundation. The research was a continuation of the previous internship and was again orally presented at the 25th National Conference on Undergraduate Research. In addition the results were presented at the 1st British Conference on Undergraduate Research and were published in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Soft Matter Journal of which I was a co-author. In addition to the internships I also undertook a three module project within the Computation Physics group – simulating the collective behaviour of Self Propelling Particles in the presence of a group of Predators. This work was also presented at the 1st British Conference on Undergraduate Research. The final research I have done within the Computational Physics Group was as a 10 week internship funded by the UCLan which involved simulating thin films of Diblock Copolymers when different chemical masks are used.

At the end of the week commencing the 05/09/2011 my internship within the computational physics group will finish which is also the end of my time at the University of Central Lancashire. My next step is a four-year studentship at Manchester University on their NOWNANO Doctoral Training Centre which involves 6 months of taught modules followed by a 3 and a half-year PhD project titled “NEXAFS of Molecular Crystal Nucleation Phenomena in Liquid Solution” within the Complex Chemical Systems Group under the Supervision of Dr Sven Schroeder.

The project itself is integrated in an EPSRC funded critical mass project team across Manchester and Leeds Universities that develops NEXAFS as a technique for studying the local environment around dissolved organic molecules in solution.

The specific PhD project will focus on developing computational methodologies for the analysis of the NEXAFS data and modelling of the structure of crystal nuclei, in close collaboration with the computational team at Leeds University. Also participation in the measurements of NEXAFS data at synchrotron radiation sources in Europe and in the US will be carried out.

Now having graduated from UCLan, I am now currently based in the Complex Chemical Systems Group at Manchester University after being awarded a 4yr PhD Studentship on their NOWNANO DTC.

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