Lucy Oram

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Higher Education
Job title: Researcher
Subject of study: Natural Sciences
Year of graduation: 2018
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

University of South Wales

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

After my Masters, I worked as an Environment Officer at Natural Resources Wales for a year but felt drawn back to academia. In 2019, I started my PhD at the University of South Wales looking into energy and green chemical production from organic waste streams. I now work as a Researcher at the Sustainable Environment Research Centre based in USW. My current research is focused on the production and recovery of green chemicals from waste biomass and using these chemicals in a second process to produce biopolymers.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

My time at Exeter was influential in developing my passion for environmental science. The Natural Sciences program not only provides the freedom to follow your own interests but also the opportunity to get stuck into some real, cutting-edge research projects. After my fourth year, I knew I wanted a career in sustainability. In my current research role, what I enjoy most is how practical the work is and how each day is different. The most exciting aspect though is seeing the potential for real world impact. By working at pilot scale on real waste materials and collaborating with industrial partners, I see on a daily basis how this work could influence the decarbonisation of industrial processes.

Were you part of the Exeter Student Ambassador Scheme at any point during your studies?


What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

Natural Sciences was the ideal course for me as it allowed me to study a variety of modules across multiple disciplines. Growing up, I had no idea what I wanted to do in the future, but I knew that I enjoyed the sciences and maths. The broad nature of this degree allowed me to combine knowledge and identify links between biology, chemistry, physics, maths and computing and therefore, I could explore lots of options and decide my own study path over the course of four years. The fact that NatSci is such a small cohort of students is an added bonus! We had a supportive and close-knit group, not just within our own year but across all four.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

The course played a big part but also living with friends, meeting up for socials, attending events – I enjoyed the freedom and opportunity that going to university provides. Exeter is also in a great location if you love the outdoors seen as it’s right next door to Dartmoor National Park and a quick train ride to the beach.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Make the most of the network and opportunities that are available to you at Exeter. I gained a lot of skills and experience through internships, course projects, volunteering, the Green Consultants scheme, the Grand Challenges project, the Exeter Award and from being a Student Ambassador. All of which were offered by the University and each opened a door to something new.


Similar Alumni

Alice Carr

University of Exeter Medical School. Since graduating I began a PhD in Medical Studies researching type 1 diabetes.

Kinga Anna Zielinska

University of Oxford. Since I left Exeter, I have been doing my DPhil at the University of Oxford.