Ester Iniesta, PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Anton Vidal, has defended her PhD thesis entitled “Supramolecular Catalytic Systems: Synthesis, Characterization and Application in Catalysis” (assigned to the Organic and Analytical Chemistry Department of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili) publicly on April 22nd.
The members of the evaluation committee were Dr. Marta Elena González (Instituto de Investigación en Química “Andrés M. del Río”), Dr. Arnald Grabulosa (University of Barcelona) and Dr. Ana Petronilho (Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier).
Dr. Iniesta is from Sant Boi de Llobregat (Spain). She studied chemistry at Universitat de Barcelona (UB) where she also completed her master’s degree in Organic Chemistry. In May 2016 she began her PhD in the Vidal group during which she did a research stay in the the group of Prof. Rissanen at Jyväskylä University (Finland). She likes spending time with friends and family, going to the beach, dancing and reading.
Why did you become a scientist?
I decided to be a scientist (and specifically a chemist) thanks to my chemistry professor. As she explained how the microscopic world works, I was amazed, and I liked everything that she was teaching about chemistry and it was very clear to me that I wanted to dedicate myself to it.
What do you want to achieve as a scientist?
I would like to work in an R&D company on drug research projects, thus contributing to the scientific community. I think industrial research can have a more direct application, so I am curious to see it first-hand.
From the lessons learnt at ICIQ, which one do you value the most?
I value the seminars very much. I also liked participating in some ICIQ outreach activities for example, in the “La química de la xocolata” project. It was satisfying to see all the excited faces of the children when we were doing experiments. Thanks to these activities I learnt how to share the chemistry I enjoy to non-specialised audiences, how to get the attention of the audience (mainly children) and developed the ability to make the chemistry understandable to everybody.
What ICIQ moment you´ll never forget?
I have many, we have shared many hours with my labmates and I love them very much, they have always been an important part, especially when we were working late. I remember one day that a colleague that didn’t speak Catalan, thought that the “Bojos per la Química” (Crazy about Chemistry) programme was about cooking because he mistook the name for “Bollos per la Química” (Sweet bun chemistry).
What surprised you the most the first time you came to ICIQ?
What surprised me the most were all the research support units there are how they facilitate your work. Also, I discovered it all during the tour my groupmates gave me on the first day!
Who/What has been your biggest motivation?
In my opinion, you must look for motivation within yourself. But it’s true that people can help and influence you. In my case, lab mates helped me a lot when I had bad days… and also on the good ones! But ultimately, it was me who motivate myself.
Chemistry/Science is fun because…
… you can learn a different thing every day, you face new challenges and you work with a variety of lab tools that make it more entertaining.
If you were a piece of lab equipment, what would you be?
I would be a Schlenk tube because I like the “magic” inside the Schlenk, there are different conditions than outside.