The Ritchie Scholarship was designed by Emeritus Professor Ian Ritchie AO with Murdoch University and ChemCentre to introduce the recipient to the industry, encourage academic achievement and inspire students to further pursue their interests in chemistry, as well as gain laboratory skills and experience.
Above: Sheena Trigg and ChemCentre CEO, Peter Millington.
(Image courtesy of Murdoch University)
The Ritchie Scholarship is awarded each year to a Chemistry student at Murdoch University who shows a passion for chemistry and consistent academic grades. The selected winner receives a scholarship payment as well as the opportunity to do summer vacation work at ChemCentre.
With a double degree in forensic biology and toxicology, molecular biology and chemistry, it is clear that Sheena has a keen enthusiasm for all things molecular. She was a perfect fit for the vacation work, where her enthusiasm was encouraged by our passionate scientists in the field of forensic toxicology and illicit drug analysis.
We had a chat to Sheena to discuss how university is going and what some of the highlights of the Ritchie-ChemCentre Scholarship have been.
What was the most useful aspect of the scholarship?
The employment at the ChemCentre was the most useful aspect, it gave hands-on valuable experience in the workplace in terms of laboratory work, time constraints, company procedure and quality control. It really is the most valuable experience to have in terms of future plans, employment and career goals in terms of is this something I want to do.
What was your favourite part about your time at ChemCentre?
My favourite part was the people and the lab work really; it’s a friendly and helpful environment that thrives on knowledge, learning and staff relationships.
Do you have any advice for uni students just starting a degree in chemistry?
I don't know how qualified I am to give advice on many things, but if you are just starting a chemistry degree I would say stick at it, it pays off. And not to get scared off and disheartened by one terrible lab, or some concept that you just can't grasp yet-it will all come in time you just need to be willing to learn and to ask for help.
Sheena plans to graduate in June next year and take a bit of time off to decide what the future holds, but it is clear that future studies are part of the plan so far.
“Of course I would like to do further study and that is also in the plan eventually.”
Previous Ritchie scholarship recipient, Luke Kitchens, has demonstrated a similar passion for chemistry, currently completing his Honours through Murdoch University. Luke’s strong ties with ChemCentre continue into his honours project with ChemCentre sponsoring his Water Research Australia project examining the hydrophobicity (water repelling properties) of soil.
ChemCentre is honoured to take part in the scholarship in the name of one of the most influential people to have shaped the course of our organisation, the late Emeritus Professor Ian Ritchie AO. You can find out more about how he impacted ChemCentre here.