Archive

Posts Tagged ‘SPE’

Lab Meeting

On Thursday I managed to squeeze in a lab meeting with two of my supervisors on Thursday between the two lab demonstration sessions. Rather than a lab meeting where all of us are present, it was an individual meeting where only myself, the two supervisors (the other is away sick) and the lab post-doc was present. I had not had such a lab meeting in more than a month, so it is good to give a presentation on progress.

First up for discussion was the literature review. One of the supervisors had seen it and all that I had done was work on the changes she suggested. However the other knew that I was working on it, but not on the progress. The changes are by no means completely done, but hopefully I can polish it up somewhat in the coming weeks. I am pleased that there were not many changes suggested by my supervisor, though there are a couple of areas I feel I need to improve.

I then discussed my method development. I have now nearly determined the method for the first few analytes. On Thursday, after the meeting I also received the next few analytes, so what I am doing today is trying to include them in the same method, to reduce sample preparation and analysis time. It was good to present some actual findings in the meeting, and got some good suggestions from one of my supervisors, who is a chemist and knows a whole lot about everything.

As with all of my meetings, it was a short and sweet meeting. I hope I manage to have some good results for the next meeting, whenever that will be. Hopefully I will have nearly finalized my HPLC method, so I can go on to SPE and LC-MS method development. I have some analysis currently running, so hopefully by the end of the weekend I will know a bit better about how much more work is needed. Wish me luck 🙂

Another Week is Over

February 27, 2011 Leave a comment

The past week has been a hectic week PhD wise. I had a conference on Monday and Tuesday, a meeting with my supervisor on Wednesday and lab demonstrations on Thursday. In addition I have been working to develop my HPLC Method. I have spoken about the conference and lab demonstrations previously. I have also touched upon the HPLC method development.

The method development has been progressing slowly but steadily. If things keep on progressing the way they are I would be indeed quite happy. I tried out some things suggested by a girl I met at the conference last Tuesday, and things have improved. I did some more runs yesterday (yes I know it was a Saturday) and got the results this morning (yes it is a Sunday), and I am quite pleased with the way things are progressing, though 1 peak is still missing/it peeks out a bit from behind another, so that it on my agenda for tomorrow. The R squared values for the calibration curve I did are all greater than 0.99, so not too bad, though there is room for improvement. Once I (hopefully) separate my current 6 peaks, I will then need to add in another 5 compounds (ordered this week 🙂 ), and then start working on joining the HPLC method to the sample preparation technique and the Mass Spec analysis technique. So still a way to go to be able to start collecting samples for analysis. But we will get there.

I also had a meeting with my supervisor on Wednesday. We generally have lab meetings every Thursday, but since I am demonstrating all day Thursday, I will be having meetings with my supervisor every now and then depending on need, until I finish demonstrating. During the meeting we discussed a couple of things I had been meaning to talk to her about, in particular things which do not lend themselves well to discussing during a lab meeting.

First up was the thing I was dreading most. I had given her my literature review a couple of weeks ago (just before she went on holiday, and she read it during her holiday). I was quite pleased with the feedback however. She said it was quite good for a first try (that is what we aim for after all), and she gave me a couple of changes to make. I have now carried out all the minor changes, and will start focusing on the sections which involve searching for more data and so on. The main issue I need to do is to summarize  everything  at the end, rather than simply saying what other people said, without giving any opinions, and therefore this leaves everything hanging a bit. She also noticed my love of the words therefore, nevertheless etc, and was told to cut down on those. The last part of the meeting consisted of me discussing some points I wanted to talk to her about, such as ordering of the new chemicals, how my progress is getting along, the conference details, and lastly, but quite importantly for me, we discussed time off. I now have approval for my days off till the end of August. It feels good to know roughly when I can get to go home etc etc.

Overall, a busy but pleasant week. I could do with it being slightly less hectic, but rather a week like this one, to a slow week, or one when nothing goes well.

Graduate Training

January 23, 2011 1 comment

Last week saw me attending my first module from the Graduate Training programme at DCU: Advance Analytical Techniques. The course consisted of a number of lab sessions where all students get to perform 4 experiments of their choice. Students (mainly in chemistry) from all the Dublin Universities (DCU, UCD, Trinity, NUIM) were participating as part of the Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance. The week was quite hectic, having to perform an 6 hour experiment each day, followed by a lab report to be written.

Overall, I must say the week was quite fruitful. I got back into the lab routine, such that you remember (or are reminded of) all the small nitty gritty things you have forgotten and all the other things you have never heard about. It was also good to meet up with all the people from the various Universities, and find out a bit about what they are doing, and also discuss some differences between the research environment at different locations. In addition, our demonstrator in charge (Dr Blanaid White) was really knowledgeable in all the experiments, and we also got the expertise of other individuals from the School of Chemistry, to give us further information about a number of experiments about which they have lots of experience.

The experiments I performed were about GC-MS, HPLC, Cyclic Voltammetry and Ion Chromatography. From each experiment I learnt a lot, but I was most excited about the HPLC experiment, since I will be working a lot with HPLC during my PhD, and this session helped me understand more about how the different parameters function and the basics about how to develop a method.

The lab reports are now written and I will be submitting everything on Monday. Let us hope I did well, as it would mean that the past week has indeed been fruitful. I wish that DCU has even more graduate training elements from which to choose from, as this has certainly been useful. I will be doing some more in the coming months, and I also hope they will be as fruitful as this.