In summer 2007, Derek Revill joined Dr Mike Ries and his team of scientists at the University of Leeds to work with a ground-breaking new piece of equipment. Recently, the university was awarded funding to purchase an NMR spectrometer with, amongst other things, rheo-imaging capabilities. There are only a handful of machines in the world with this experimental feature, and Derek’s challenge was to set the rheo-hardware up and to master the software that controls it, in order to carry out measurements on a specified complex fluid system.
Derek Revill and the new NMR spectrometer
Derek investigated the rheological (flow) properties of a block copolymer material in its gel phase, and produced positive results, which have now led to funding for a PhD place continuing the project. Derek himself hopes to take up this PhD position, saying:
"I enjoyed the Nuffield project with Dr Ries; it was a rewarding way to spend my summer and I felt I gained an insight into life as a PhD student and research – an insight it would not be possible to gain during busy term time. His supervisor, Dr Ries, added: Derek’s work has helped set up an entirely new area of research for the School of Physics and Astronomy. Derek has demonstrated the feasibility of this research topic, and it is hoped that he will take up a PhD continuing this work next year. In summary, this Nuffield placement has proved extremely valuable in that it not only gave Derek a taste for research, but helped establish a new research direction here at Leeds."