Santander Research Experience: Trisha Shetty

October 06 2023

My name is Trisha Shetty, I am a final year masters student studying mechanical engineering. 

For my research placement, I studied pyroelectric catalysts and whether they could be used for vehicle exhaust gas purification. Pyroelectric materials are fascinating materials that can produce an electric voltage when heat is applied to them. This electrical voltage can kickstart a redox reaction, which would provide a path of lower energy for the gases to catalyse through. 

My day to day experience varied throughout the placement. Initially it involved a lot of reading papers and books in order to complete my literature review. This gave me a background understanding of the science behind the topic, as I was unfamiliar with the topic and had never even heard of pyroelectrics before. From this, I was able to produce and test my own specimens from LaFeO3, a potential candidate material, using the labs on campus. This was my first experience doing lab work, as on an engineering degree this sort of scientific work usually is not done. If I was struggling or stuck on anything, my supervisors and phd students I was working with were always happy to help and answer any questions. 

Overall, I had a highly enjoyable experience. I was able to learn a lot about a topic I had no prior knowledge about, as well as engage in work I was not used to doing. It has taught me a lot about research, and the nature of the scientific process. I was surrounded by a team of very helpful and friendly people, which made my experience even more enjoyable. I would highly recommend this placement to anyone considering to do a phd, it will give you an insight into the daily experience, potential subject matter to do a phd on as well as making new friends with phd students and supervisors. 

Small gold looking dish held in gloved hand.

Trisha showing some of the materials she worked with.

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