Matthew Wilding

Matthew Wilding

I use so many of the skills I picked up in Manchester, but obviously there is a bias towards the lab skills in terms of significance. My education has served as a solid foundation for my early career.

Current position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Company: CSIRO, Australia

 

What route have you taken to get to your current position?

I switched from Organic Synthesis during my undergraduate course and then took a PhD in Biocatalysis; the idea being that it would teach me new skills whilst allowing me to keep my existing ones. It was a somewhat niche field but, fortunately for me, it was exactly the skills I needed for my current role at CSIRO.

What does this position involve?

I work towards engineering organisms to carry out novel reactions or improve on those carried out by existing chemistries. This approach, as well as being considered green, can often outperform conventional synthetic chemistry.

The role involves a lot of molecular biology, but also some analytical chemistry. Personally, I also feel that having a good understanding of synthetic chemistry is beneficial in this role, as it provides a good basis for the chemistry underpinning the enzymatic mechanisms being studied.

What do you most enjoy about your current role?

Working in such a multidisciplinary team means that I’m exposed to a huge variety of things, and I’m always learning. The weathers not bad here either!

What did you most enjoy about your course?

My PhD provided exposure to a lot of things. I had regular industrial presentations, and I am a very nervous presenter, so that really helped to improve my confidence in that area. I presented at an international conference in Mexico, which was fantastic, and I was surrounded by fantastic people on a daily basis!

What skills/knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?

I use so many of the skills I picked up in Manchester, but obviously there is a bias towards the lab skills in terms of significance. My education has served as a solid foundation for my early career.

What advice would you give to students applying for the same course that you took?

Get as much industrial experience and exposure as you can. It’s getting harder and harder to get the job you want, and the better connected you are to your industry, the better your chances.

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