First Research Experience in SMS Laboratory at University of Rouen, France

I would like to share with others my first research experience as a new ESR (Early Stage Researcher) in SMS laboratory University of Rouen-France. It was in the end of January 2017, and I left my beautiful, peaceful and shining country, Senegal to move to France where the weather is so different to what I have known since I was born.

After completing the registration and accommodation requirements, the next day, my supervisor introduced me to everyone and showed me the different equipment in the SMS laboratory.

I had to learn about all of the experimental techniques of measurement such as Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), TG-DSC, Ex-Situ & In-Situ XRDP, Polarimetry, NMR and an efficiency and sensitive technique,  I am working with the Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) or the TR-SHG, which is the main tool of my research project.

My laboratory has a pretty extensive characterization technique for all kinds of compounds. SMS Laboratory research activities are essentially focused on the study of crystallization of low molecular weight organic compounds, mostly pharmaceutical compounds, but also energetic materials or semiconducting materials.

I am now starting to discover new methods of characterizations and analyses of all type of chemical products, and I should understand these recent technologies to perform the measurements.  However, it was very easy to become independent, doing my own measurements, following the introduction from my Professors. Also my integration and my comprehension were not difficult because my colleagues and the Professors are very happy and motivated to explain to a beginner how to use the existing apparatus.

Before starting in the network, I found myself ill-prepared for organic chemistry – with hindsight, my lack of confidence was pretty natural, but at the time I was in the laboratory, I am feeling more confident to solve the scientific problems and  to analyse the more complex phenomena. I am always trying to give some additional resources, especially concerning physical properties (since I hold a large background in  this area) and I will continue to improve in my research.

I am on my way to understanding a great deal about the research and how far it can bring technology.   In my view, research is like a performing art. No number of reading or attending workshops, conferences and others will prepare you for the challenge. You only get better with practice. By the end of my project, I hope I will make at least a small contribution to the research team in which I belong and for the benefit of CORE as a whole.

This is a small first contribution to the CORE blog and I hope to be more convincing for the next posts. Thank you and welcome to everyone for upcoming comments, likes and shares.

Aliou Mbodji

Aliou Mbodji
SMS Laboratory
University  of Rouen-France

Aliou is a PhD researcher  at the SMS Laboratory –  University of Rouen, France working under the supervision  of Dr. Valérie Dupray, Dr Gabin Gbabode &  Prof. Gérard Coquerel. His project work is to discover Conglomerate Forming Systems in Suspension using Second Harmonic Generation (SHG).  He also works on Continuous Resolution by Diastereomeric Salt Formation for  pure pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. Aliou is one of the 15  Early Stage Researchers of CORE Network Horizon 2020.


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