8 Questions with Claire Carmalt

29 June 2017

This week, meet Professor Claire Carmalt, an Inorganic and Materials Chemist who joined the department in 1997.  Claire shares her top three things to do in London and tells us why she chose a career in chemistry.

1. How old were you when you first realised you were interested in chemistry?

Start of secondary school but mainly because my chemistry teachers were so fab.

2. What made you take up a career in chemistry?

Doing a summer research project after my second year as an undergrad…..that was it for me, I knew I had to do a PhD then postdoc then academia!

3. Who inspired you to take up chemistry and why?

No one in particular …… I was going to do medicine but then wasn’t sure if I really wanted to so chose my favourite A ‘level instead.

4. What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

Getting the RSC Meldola Medal and winning the £2.3m EPSRC grant on scale up.

5. What is your favourite album, film and novel?

Album: George Michael Twenty Five; film: Jurassic Park (I just love those dinosaurs!!!) and novel: I enjoy reading world war II stories or mystery & crime (to see how quickly I can solve it…in another life I think I would be a detective).

6. Who would be your dream dinner guests?

David Attenborough, Dorothy Hodgkin, George Michael (as long as I don’t get too distracted!!), John Williams (the composer) and of course my partner Mike and two children can join in! My cat Trixie and my guinea pigs Bertie and Basil would have to join in as well!

7. What would it surprise people to know about you?

I lived on a Kibbutz in Israel for 3 months before starting my degree …. working for 8 hours a day looking after the banana plantation mainly!

8. What are your top three things to do/see/go to in London?

Concerts at the Royal Opera House or the Royal Albert Hall, with the children the science museum and natural history museum and I loved going up the Shard recently but on a sunny day just walking around all the lovely parks and places.