Posts Tagged ‘Mass Spectrometer’

School of Biotechnology Research Day and Belfast Visits

January 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Last Friday saw the return of the SoBT research day at DCU. I had been accepted for an oral presentation earlier on in December, and was looking forward to this first oral presentation of my research in a formal setting. Luckily I was scheduled first up, just after the keynote speaker, and so it meant I could get my presentation over and done with and enjoy the rest of the day, especially since I was part of the organising team on behalf of the Biological Research Society, so it turned out to be quite a hectic day.

However I must say I enjoyed my presentation. I was mostly scared of the questions people would ask, but I believe I managed to answer most of them quite well and some of the insights I got were quite good. Apart from my presentation, I also enjoyed talking to a couple of the academics about my research and also with members of the sponsoring companies (there were 10 sponsoring companies with stands there, representing most of our suppliers, and therefore it was good to have them all there to talk about your research and discuss new opportunities).

The past two weeks I have also been quite busy with two visits to Belfast. I was supposed to have a supervisor up in Queen’s University Belfast, however he has now left the University (although still in sporadic touch via email). Nevertheless, there is still work to be done there, and I have in fact been waiting for the instrument I am supposed to be using there to be fixed. Therefore when the specialist engineer was coming over, I took the opportunity to go up to Belfast and spend time with him to learn about the instrument and get trained, since the person who had used it before has now left and I will be the only person using it once it is fixed.

I had a very productive and interesting 2 days, and the instrument was up and running, so I came back to Dublin for the weekend and planned to go up the next Tuesday, to analyse my actual samples. Unfortunately, when I went back on Tuesday I found out that another part of the instrument has now broken down, as a circuit board has stopped working, meaning the mass spec magnet is no longer operating. Therefore back to Dublin I came after a day of trouble shooting, and we are now awaiting confirmation for fixing the instrument (or not) depending on what the powers that be decide.

Nevertheless, my PhD is now getting into the swing of things, and I am getting busy. I look forward to what the coming weeks and months bring up, and hopefully it will be mainly good news 🙂


Mass Spec Woes

May 20, 2011 3 comments

As part of my research I need to get access to an LC-MS. I have carried out most (all?) of the work I could do on the HPLC part and have been waiting to get onto the Mass Spec. Unfortunately this instrument is quite old and does not work well it seems. I have been hearing tales of horror about it from previous researchers using it, and it seems that the cycle repeats. It had been down since the beginning of March and they just got it to work again this week. I was supposed to get trained on it next week, but today I received an email saying that something else came up and it will be out for another ‘couple of weeks’.

I find this to be extremely frustrating, as I cannot progress in my research without this piece of equipment. I will hopefully go talk to my supervisors next Monday or so, and see how to proceed. One of the suggestions might be to go to another University and get access to their Mass Spectrometer. But generally these instruments are quite in demand, so to get access to one might not be that easy. I will see how this goes. Without it, I am not too hopeful about the future of my PhD.

Well, as you can see, I am not in the greatest of moods. I have been waiting to get access to the Mass Spectrometer for a couple of months now, and if only it worked, I would have progressed quite a bit I would hope.

Wish me luck!