Savannah Turner

PhD candidate
Utrecht University

About myself

I am British, born in Manchester although I grew up in the south of France where I carried out all of my education in French. I moved to Scotland for university where I obtained an integrated joint masters in chemistry with mathematics from the University of St Andrews. I started my PhD here in the Netherlands at Utrecht university with the CBBC immediately after graduating. I have fallen in love with the city and the Dutch way of life since moving here and in my spare time I like to take ballet classes and cook.

As a researcher I am passionate about

As a researcher I am passionate about making science more understandable to non-scientists. This is reflected in my work as a microscopist: I enjoy bringing chemistry to life by making it possible to quite literally see what is happening with images and videos of the materials we work with. I want to show how beautiful science can be so that the importance of our research can be appreciated by the general public. I hope this will encourage people to support scientists and the work we are doing to solve the technological problems we are facing.

At the moment I work on

At the moment I work on imaging the growth of nanoparticles using in-situ gas phase electron microscopy. I insert small amounts of gas around my sample inside a high resolution microscope so that I can watch the particles grow as they would in a reactor in industry. This is a very new technique and is very promising for understanding the properties and behaviour of nanomaterials under more realistic conditions.

Within ARC CBBC, I wish to accomplish

Within ARC CBBC I wish to improve our understanding of the synthesis of industrially relevant heterogeneous catalysts. I am hoping to understand more about the kinetics of nanoparticle growth and the factors that determine their size and distribution. The size and distribution determine their catalytic properties and being able to control this will help improve industrial reactions.