Alumni Eufemio Moreno-Pineda

Eufemio Moreno-Pineda obtained both his MSc and PhD degrees at The University of Manchester. He is currently engaged in a postdoc at the Institute of Nanotechnology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, under the supervision of Prof Mario Rube. His field of study covers the synthesis and physical characterisation of molecular nanomagnets for their implementation in technological applications. We asked Eufemio what made him choose the University of Manchester as the place to study for his MSc, and what about the course he recommends.

What does your current research involve?

The synthesis and characterisation of molecular materials by employing magnetic techniques such as AC and DC magnetometry.

What do you most enjoy about your current role?

The fact that at some point some of the current materials we’re studying will hopefully form part of new technological devices.

Why did you decide to stay in higher education after completing your undergraduate degree?

I’ve always been fascinated by science, creating things and understanding their physical characteristics – it’s just awesome!

Why did you pick The University of Manchester?

I was looking for a respected university at which to pursue my postgraduate studies. After carefully considering my options, I decided on Manchester because of its high standards, facilities and academic personnel.

Moreover, the city of Manchester is very cosmopolitan and I just love it. When you’re not working in the lab, you can enjoy the pubs, watch football, try food from anywhere you can imagine, and simply enjoy the city.

What attracted you to the course you chose?

To pursue my doctoral studies, I needed to strengthen my knowledge, so I decided to enrol on an MSc taught course so I could achieve the skills necessary to continue on to a PhD.  Indeed, the MSc studies at The University of Manchester provided what I was looking for. During my MSc final project, I was able to do research in the lab and then continue this on my PhD degree. It was just perfect!

How did you find the teaching on this course?

Perfect! It was a good balance between the theory and practice, so you correlate both of them and gain an understanding of the topic with ease.

What did you most enjoy about your course?

Learning how to use different equipment. During my MSc and PhD at Manchester, I was taught to not only understand the theoretical aspects, but also to use the equipment. This is not common in other places, where access to facilities is rather restricted to just a few people and the technicians who carry out the measurements.

I can happily say that studying in Manchester was the best decision I made regarding my academic career. 

What did you most enjoy about living and studying in Manchester?

The studies were just what I was looking for, so I enjoyed it from an academic aspect. But from time to time, it’s good to distract yourself with non-academic matters. In this sense, I loved going out and meeting people from every single country, trying food from anywhere in the world, being able to attend football matches and change the scientific atmosphere to a non-science related environment with ease.

How did you fund your MSc, and do you believe it to have been a worthwhile investment?

I got funding from the Government of Panama.

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

Well, during my PhD in Manchester I obtained many skills, both theoretical and practical. I believe the most useful skill in my current role is being able to use X-ray diffractometers and SQUID magnetometers.

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

Regarding the MSc, I could say that it’s a very good course as it provides the basics from which to ground and learn cutting-edge research. And regarding the PhD, it’s simply the best!

After spending two years in Germany, I can happily say that studying in Manchester was the best decision I made regarding my academic career. At Manchester, I gained all the theoretical and practical skills required to conduct high-level research in any country in the world.

What do you hope to be doing and achieving in 10 years’ time?

I hope to be able to secure a stable position and keep doing research, which will hopefully have an impact on society. 

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