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Dr Stewart Eccles

Postgraduate research alumnus

Stewart Eccles studied for his undergraduate degree at Leeds and completed his PhD in 2010. He is now working as a patent attorney. Below he talks about his experience as a postgraduate research student here at Leeds’ School of Chemistry.

So what did your research involve?
My research focussed on a naturally occurring anti biotic, isolated from the bacteria of a sea sponge. My efforts were towards synthesising it, using synthetic chemistry, which I finally managed to achieve right at the end of my PhD. 

What made you choose Leeds initially?
When I first came for the undergraduate open day and interview it was the friendliness of the staff and everyone here. The facilities were really appealing and I liked the feel of the university as a whole.

Why did you decide to do a research degree?
Quite a few reasons. Foremost was that I wanted to stay in Leeds, I had thoroughly enjoyed my MChem project and wanted to carry on and develop further research experience.

What do you think has been the best thing about doing a PhD?
Finally making the natural product; that was a great feeling as it was incredibly challenging. That’s easily the best bit. 

What would say was the best thing about the School of Chemistry?
I think that the lecturers are excellent; they are all very enthusiastic. At postgraduate level you really get to know just how enthusiastic and knowledgeable they are. It was that which I really enjoyed.

And finally, what would you say to other students considering coming to Leeds?
It’s a great idea. Jump at the chance.