Chemistry student receives prestigious Commonwealth scholarship
A doctoral student in organic chemistry, Simon Herbert, will be off to Manchester in the United Kingdom (UK) in September thanks to a prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship.
Simon is one of about 30 South Africans to receive receive this prestigious scholarship from the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK this year. Over the past 50 years, the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) has provides the opportunity for over 25 000 Commonwealth citizens to study in the UK.
Lithium chemistry is the topic of Simon’s doctoral studies, which is being done under supervision of Dr Gareth Arnott of the SU Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science.
Thanks to the scholarship, he will spend a valuable year in the laboratories of his co-supervisor, Prof Jonathan Clayden of the University of Manchester, who is an expert on lithium chemistry in organic chemistry and who has authored two text books on the subject.
“The award is a spilt-site award which basically means that I get to spend some of my PhD in the UK working on aspects of my project that will benefit from the experience of Prof Clayden,” explains Simon.
As part of his doctoral degree in organic chemistry, Simon tries to create asymmetrical bowlshaped molecules called calixarenes. This is an important part of the synthesising of new molecules that might one day prove useful for the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries.