Meet the Postgraduate Student: Charlotte Byford

As part of our 'Meet' series, SPS postgraduate student Charlotte Byford gives us a little insight into what inspires her in her work, what areas she would like to see expand in research and why she chose to study at the University of Kent.

Postgraduate Student Charlotte Byford working in the lab at the University of Kent

1. What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Dynamic, Genuine, Committed.

2. What inspires you in your work?

Applying science in an interdisciplinary approach to real world applications in order to contribute to society.

3. When did you first realise your interest/passion for your subject area?

I actually chose my undergraduate in Forensic Chemistry as I had an initial interest in toxicology. As my academic career progressed, I completed an industrial placement year where I was involved in the assay and method development of pharmaceutical products which involved the same techniques but for a more positive outlet. I then found a new interest in utilising different techniques towards more positive real life outcomes. This suited me, as I am eager to learn and apply myself to a variety of different subject areas.

4. What would you say was your greatest achievement?

I’ve just been offered a Global Challenges Doctoral Centre PhD position working to create versatile water treatment systems in countries like India and Botswana, so I’d say that as I’ve always wanted to do a PhD from very early on but it’s taken me extra time and perseverance to get to this point.

5. What areas would you like to see progress in research for the School of Physical Sciences?

I would love to see research be applied in industry more or see more examples of it. It can be ambitious but it is also vital to build that bridge from academia and industry, in order for peoples work to be implemented.

6. Why did you choose the University of Kent?

It had a friendly and calm atmosphere that I thought was an ideal studying environment, as well as approachable academic staff who are experts in their field.

7. What are your proudest achievements outside of your work?

I am an eager athlete and had the opportunity to be the captain of London county football team when I was younger, along with opportunities to play for West Ham and Tottenham; I do miss playing!

8. What has been your greatest challenge?

I’d say the greatest challenge I’ve faced so far is my undergraduate exams, I’ve always struggled with exams so I felt immense pressure with these as they were worth a large portion of the grades. Other than that, I loved my course!

9. What do you like most about Canterbury?

For me, it has a nice mixture of a city along with a rural touch which being from London, I didn’t experience as much growing up. I love the fact that it’s near enough so visiting home is easy.

10. Why should people study a postgraduate course at Kent?

There are a lot of exciting international opportunities available with postgrad courses here at Kent. The university also emphasises on outreach with other schools which is a great career enhancing experience. This allows you to take more responsibility for something slightly different in academia.


Would you like to feature in our ‘Meet’ Series? Get in touch by emailing with your personal experience studying or teaching at the School of Physical Sciences. Alternatively, you can also request our questions which are tailored to you and your role within our SPS Community.