Fresh from BCA18 we have the pleasure to introduce now members of the YCG Committee. This week is Hamish Yeung who takes over the role of Chemical Crystallography Group (CCG) Representative.
Glasstone Research Fellow in the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, University of Oxford
What do you currently research?
My research covers a variety of aspects of materials, from how they form to their performance in real-world applications. I test model systems to develop an understanding of the factors that govern their structures and properties and try to design and exploit materials with new and improved functions for batteries, superconductors and sensors. I’m especially interested in the crystallisation of metal-organic frameworks, and examining how the respond to heating, pressure or electricity. Find out more at yeungmaterialslaboratory.wordpress.com!
What is your favourite thing about being a crystallographer?
In a nutshell: the joy of seeing the atoms! There are very few techniques that allow us to peer inside a material and see how it’s constructed from atoms and molecules all linked together. Crystallography does this with an amazing level of detail– sometimes we can even see the electrons in chemical bonds.
Who, or what, inspires you to do science?
I’m inspired by the world around us, the complexity of nature and the degree of engineering in the materials that man has created. If I can understand just a little bit of that through my science, I’ll be happy, the rest is just awesome!
What is the one piece of advice you would give to anyone starting out in scientific research?
Make time to think, learn and be creative. Think about what science is interesting and important to you and what skills you need to enable you to pursue it. Seek out and learn from other people– you can pick up important skills as well as having more fun in a team than working alone. Creativity will come if you give it time and space.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Over the winter I really got into DIY because we’ve just started doing up our new house. I love making things with my hands and seeing the product at the end of it, imperfections and all! Now the days are getting longer I’m looking forward to getting outdoors more, walking, camping, gardening, birdwatching and so on.