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Hi! I’m Kent, a 3rd year PhD student studying energy materials in Professor Clare Grey’s lab..... 

My story starts in the US where, after an undergraduate degree at Indiana University, I had to choose a university for the pursuit of my PhD.

I visited universities across America, from the west coast to the midwest to the east coast, and thoroughly enjoyed many of my experiences and the people I met; however, I chose Cambridge and the UK in the end.  

There are many factors that drew me overseas: the inspirational scientific history and present thriving academic culture of Cambridge, the resources not only in the chemistry department but easily accessible across the university, the immediately obvious positive research attitude and collaborative nature of science here, and the supportive environment of the college-system that provides PhD students with an unmatched level of social activity and community that fosters unique situations such as chemists, mathematicians, and humanities students debating the merits of everything from black holes to Eurovision songs.

Since arriving in Cambridge two years ago, I have had the opportunity to present my research and to conduct experiments internationally; collaborate with scientists in London, California, Australia, and across town at the Cavendish laboratory; represent the university as captain of the varsity basketball team; (sometimes spontaneously) travel across the UK and Europe; and listen to lectures from Stephen Hawking and countless other phenomenal scientists that Cambridge has and draws in every year.  

Of course, research comes with ups and downs but whenever I need a lift I just grab a coffee and walk down the road to the sites where J.J. Thomson discovered the electron; W. L. Bragg devised the theory of crystallography (as a first year PhD student!); Aston developed the first mass spectrometer; Franklin, Watson, and Crick unravelled the structure of DNA; and Kendrew and Perutz elucidated the first protein structures (among so much other science!).  There is no place in the world quite like Cambridge to foster scientific passion and growth.