Mr Derrick Roberts (2012)
Universities attended: University of Sydney, University of Sydney
Degree & Subject at Cambridge: PhD Chemistry
New scholar profile:
I was born in Singapore (1988) and am an Australian citizen by descent. In 1990 my family returned to Sydney, Australia, where we have lived ever since. I recently graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Science (Hons 1 & Medal) majoring in physical and organic chemistry. I have had a passion for science – and chemistry, in particular – for as long as I can remember. One of the current challenges in synthetic chemistry is the development of a deeper understanding of molecular self-assembly for constructing highly complex molecular architectures with an unprecedented degree of control over their structure and functionality. These challenges have fascinated me throughout my undergraduate years, and I hope to make a contribution to this field under the supervision of Dr Jonathan Nitschke at the University of Cambridge. The understanding gained from this research will help to revolutionise our ability, as chemists, to design nanoscale devices with key applications in controlled drug delivery, artificial haemoglobin analogues, chemical recognition and catalysis. The fundamental ramifications of research in this area are also far-reaching, with the potential to reveal some of the key steps involved in the self-organisation of simple chemical components that eventually gave rise to complex life. After completing my graduate studies, I aim to secure a fellowship to continue work on molecular self-assembly, with a long-term goal of entering academia as a research group leader. Outside of my research, I play the double bass in my local symphony orchestra and I am a keen foil fencer. I also enjoy teaching undergraduates at the University of Sydney and engaging in community outreach programs, both through the University and as an independent speaker, as I strongly believe that scientists have a responsibility to communicate scientific ideas to the wider community.