Branislav Viliam Hakala

MScR Chemistry 2019

Your Time at the University

I started my Master of Science by Research degree in September 2018 in a research group of Prof J Paul Attfield at School of Chemistry and at Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions. From the start, the learning curve was very steep but after a short while I became a proper member of the research group. I worked with a wonderful group of people who were extremely supportive and open to my ideas and ready to answer my (numerous) questions.

In my research, I was able to access state-of-the-art synchrotron and neutron facilities as well as in-house equipment at the University. Moreover, I was able to travel all around the globe and attend several international conferences and deepen and profit from a wide range of international contacts and collaborations we had.

Viliam Hakala

My experience at the University can be described as a 0th year of a doctoral programme. It allowed me to explore an entire field of chemistry and familiarise myself with “standard operating procedures” in the scientific community. I can hardly imagine a better step into the world of science than my degree programme.

Your Experiences Since Leaving the University

After my graduation I took a position of a doctoral candidate at Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH in Germany. I think that my degree from Edinburgh had prepared me for the challenges of the PhD life very well and ensured that I was able to adapt to the new job very quickly.

My research had prepared me for working under pressure and advanced my analytical skills. As I have always been a strong advocate for civil society, I started to engage in policy making on a national level and in an advisory capacity.  

At present, I am finishing my doctoral thesis and I am looking forward to new challenges in either academia or industry. Furthermore, in the upcoming years, I would like to deepen my engagement in civil matters and continue to serve a democratic modern society.

Alumni Wisdom

Stay curious. Be persistent. If you want anything just ask – the worst thing that can happen is that you will be told “No”. And the most important – take care of yourselves.