Growth stories: Magdalena Tomczynska
June 28, 2017
In 2016, MeDe Innovation funded 7 PhD students to undertake a secondment within the scope of our research. Our ‘Growth stories’ series gives an overview of their expereinces, and highlights how our funding is helping to develop their careers
Sceondment: Evonik – Magdalena Tomczynska
My name is Magda and I am 4th year PhD student at the Nottingham University and I am also a member of MeDe Innovation Early Career Researchers (ECR) Forum. Last year I was awarded funding from MeDe ECR PhD Student Secondment Scheme which enabled me to work for one month at Evonik in Darmstadt in Germany.
The principal focus of my PhD research is in manufacturing of novel bioresorbable materials for load-bearing bone repair and concentrates on compounding of poly(lactic acid)-hydroxyapatite (PLA-HA) nanocomposites. Evonik is a leading specialty chemicals company and one of their many products are biomedical degradable polymers e.g. PLA for medical applications. The research group at Applications Department at Evonik is melt processing biodegradable materials to characterise properties of manufactured polymers to guide their customers how to effectively produce composites for biomedical applications. During my placement I participated in production of composites dedicated for orthopaedic implants with Evonik biodegradable materials and gained industrial insight on manufacturing of biomedical polymers. It was a great opportunity to work in industrial environment and access their unique experimental facilities and engage in joint research. I gained greater expertise in versatile research carried out in biomedical materials for healthcare and interacted with experienced researchers in my field. This work enabled effective knowledge transfer and stimulated meaningful collaboration and created networking opportunities for my professional development.
Moreover I was very fortunate to cooperate with a friendly team of scientists who took me for dinner in Darmstadt and showed around nearby Frankfurt. We had lunch together every day at the company canteen and they made me feel included in the group. My new colleagues gave me a lot of tips about the Darmstadt surroundings so I had a few great weekend trips, tried local food and Hessen area grew in my heart.
MeDe placement scholarship gave me the chance to work with one of the leading research groups developing materials for bio-device applications, and allowed me to broaden my expertise in analysis techniques for biodegradable materials for healthcare. This placement gave me a unique opportunity to gain an industrial insight of my research field which would not be possible without MeDe funding!