Cranfield University is putting immense effort into creating solutions for a greener future by giving more attention to research in areas such as hydrogen generation. Collaborating on this research with key players in industry could benefit both the University and international industries.
Saerom Jang is a PhD student who, after completing an Aerospace Materials MSc, wanted to expand her knowledge and became highly interested in catalysts. Catalysts have the potential to improve sustainability in a number of ways, such as by lowering emissions of greenhouse gases and by producing renewable energy. Therefore, she chose to carry out research in this area to learn more about sustainable material solutions that can contribute to a greener future.
Why did you choose to study at Cranfield?
“Choosing Cranfield University for the PhD wasn’t difficult because I knew that I was in good hands! During the COVID-19 pandemic, my lecturers and supervisors were very supportive and encouraging, and I really appreciated their guidance despite all the difficulties during the pandemic. Having a funded PhD offered by a sponsor was only possible because of my supervisors now, and I really appreciate their huge effort to make this happen and I feel very lucky to have such amazing supervisors always giving me support.
“When looking for a university to earn my MSc, I prioritised two criteria:
(1) A significant emphasis on aeronautical and material science, and (2) a strong connection to industry, so that she could acquire the skills she would need for her future profession.”
With a background in aerospace engineering, Saerom knew that the materials used in aerospace systems may make a significant difference in how well they function, how efficiently they use fuel, and how safely they operate. If she were to major in materials science, she could help pave the way for the creation of materials with far-reaching effects on our planet, our culture, and our future.
With an emphasis on materials science and close ties to major aerospace industry leaders like Airbus and Rolls-Royce, Cranfield University was an ideal fit for Saerom. Our extensive lecture modules covered everything from the basics to her favourite topic, functional materials.
Saerom’s research focuses on next-generation beyond-lithium batteries using less critical materials, and more sustainable and abundant materials.
What does a typical day look like for you?
“I begin each day by checking on experiments that have been running overnight. I double-check experiment settings, assess data collected overnight, and organise my day’s experiment based on that data. If my batteries fail, I will replace them with new sample batteries, followed by a brief lunch break with my colleagues. Following that, I would conduct experiments or characterisation sessions that I had previously planned – depending on what my experiment required, I would make more battery materials or characterise materials or batteries. And then I’ll take a quick coffee break with my lab buddies before returning to the lab for further experiments. Close to the end of the day, I will prepare for the next day and put memos around my workbench because I am a forgetful person. And with that, the day is done!”
In her spare time, Saerom loves to sew! She first started to shorten pairs of jeans because UK’s women’s clothes are too big for her. But she started enjoying it more and more.
What would be your one piece of advice to anyone thinking about joining Cranfield?
“I would like to ask people (just in general) to join us to create a greener future! We (researchers) think seriously about sustainability, not only the materials but also sustainability in sourcing and making materials, assembling, and even the end-of-life. I would love to see more and more people thinking about sustainability for the future generation.”
Find out more about our research opportunities.