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Agilent Science Futures – The Impact of Academia–Industry Relationships on the Next Generation of Scientists

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There is an inherent link between academia and industry that rarely gets the acknowledgment it deserves. Industry relies on academia to educate, train, prepare and nurture the next crop of bright young talent into the work marketplace. In return, industry provides real-world problems with which to challenge researchers and the invaluable funds, facilities and workplace experience with which to investigate them and for scientists to develop their skills. Academia and industry may each exist in isolation, but both can benefit from the synergistic relationship when they work together and support one another. But from a student’s perspective, how does this relationship work? How does it impact the trajectory and pace of their research and do they feel they are getting the best of both worlds?

As a leading company in the life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemical industry, Agilent have understandably taken a keen interest in the next generation of scientists, providing studentships and industry partner schemes and playing an active role in supporting higher education and research around the world. Recently, they also undertook the “Science Futures” project, an initiative designed to gain views and perspectives from a roundtable of PhD students on the impact that the collaborative relationship between academia and industry has on their work and the role that technology plays.

Over the coming weeks, you will hear from five PhD students, deemed stars in their chosen fields, about key questions including whether technology has steered their studies, if they have felt the presence of industry and how that has impacted their perspectives and the role of open-source sharing.

Meet the panel

Max - Institute of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria.

Max is working with ion mobility-mass spectrometry (IM-MS), an emerging technology for analytical chemistry, and is mainly involved in the development of new acquisition strategies and suitable applications using partly prototype hardware and software for IM-MS in the field of metabolomics.

Read the interview here.

Max Feuerstein
Tijmen Bos

Tijmen - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) and the University of Amsterdam (UvA), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The aim of Tijmen’s research project is to develop and improve multi-dimensional analytical methods for the characterization of polymer materials. His research is part of the UNMATCHED project, which is a public-private collaboration of the two universities VU and UvA, three leading chemical companies and other industry partners.

Read the interview here.

Joyce - School of Chemical Sciences, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland.

Joyce’s PhD research focuses on the development of multiple handheld nutrient devices that can take near real-time measurements of phosphate onsite for use in catchment areas. The research also looks at developing an observation framework for a specific catchment area and the use of different integrated technologies available.

Read the interview here.

Joyce O'Grady
Rajannya Sen

Rajannya - University College Cork (UCC), Cork, Ireland.

Rajannya’s research focuses on the development and application of a fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) macro-imager based on the new Tpx3Cam for metabolic assessment of living tissue samples for hypoxia conditions in advanced disease models.

Read the interview here.

Alex - King’s College London, London, UK.

Alex’s proof-of-concept research studies pharmaceutical compounds in the environment and river systems using a passive sampler device. Alex plans to use machine learning models to predict the uptake of these compounds into an aquatic, benthic invertebrate (Gammarus pulex). Her research is part of a four-year funded PhD program, from the London Interdisciplinary Biosciences Consortium (LIDo) industrial case (iCase) studentship in partnership with Agilent Technologies.

Read the interview here.  

Alex Richardson