Our alumni use the skills and experience they gain in their PhD studies to pursue a wide variety of different careers. These span from industrial and academic research scientists, to entrepreneurs, patent attorneys, science writers and much more. Some students continue to work for the company that sponsored their research, but many move to a different area of science to that which they studied in their doctorate.

We strongly encourage interaction between our alumni and our current cohorts of students. An annual networking event, hosted in the autumn, brings everyone together, and a LinkedIn group provides a base for day-to-day interactions.

Julio's image for alumni entry.

Dr Julio Manuel Rios De La Rosa

'Following the successful completion of my PhD, I moved back to Spain following a short post-doc at NoWCADD, in the Division of Pharmacy and Optometry at Manchester. In Spain I joined BiOncoTech Therapeutics, a VC-funded company currently evaluating in the clinic several immune-oncology combinations with its lead nanomedicine product, BO-112. I am very happy with the job so far! The DTC programme proved key to my performance in the company - they are quite impressed with the science skills and business awareness that I possess.'


Dr Roberto Donno

Current position - Account Manager & Research Associate at the North West Centre for Advanced Drug Delivery

In September 2009 Roberto joined the University of Manchester for a PhD in Nanoscience at the NowNano DTC. In September 2013 he completed his PhD with a thesis on “Nanomechanical Characterisation of Cells and Biocompatible Substrates”. He joined the Laboratory of Polymers and Biomaterials as a Post Doc Research Associate in October 2013, where his research focused on the development and characterisation of biocompatible hydrogels for the in vitro study of cell-material interactions and in vivo applications. In July 2015, he joined the North West Centre for Advanced Drug Delivery (NoWCADD), a newly established initiative funded by AstraZeneca and the University of Manchester. His research currently focuses on the characterization of colloidal and macromolecular carriers.


Dr Sheida Faraji

Current position - PDRA in Innovative Manufacturing

Sheida is currently working as a postdoctoral research associate applying 2D crystals to field-effect transistors. Her advice to someone considering studying for a PhD in a doctoral training centre is ‘If you are looking to gain a PhD and at the same time work in collaboration with other departments and even institutes, study new topics in various fields of science and take part in outreach activities to interactively teach what you have learned to the younger generation, then this is the best course to take up!’.


Dr Thanasis Georgiou

Current positions - Co-founder and Director of Eksagon Group Ltd, Founder and Director of Manchester Nanomaterials

Thananis is a Research Scientist at BGT Materials Ltd, Director at Manchester Nanomaterials Ltd, having graduated from the Nownano CDT in 2013. At BGT Materials, he develops processes for graphene and 2D material production and explore their applications and in a variety of field including lighting and wireless communications. At Manchester Nanomaterials, his own business, they grow and provide specialty chemicals to universities and research institutions.


Dr Thomas Coxon

Current position - Pharmaceutical Training Writer at Ashfield Insight & Performance

Tom graduated from the CDT in 2014 having studied potential nano-scale drug delivery systems, including organic synthesis of nanoparticle coating molecules, and study of the interactions between coated nanoparticles and cell culture. He currently writes training materials (classroom training, eLearns, etc.) for the pharmaceutical industry, including product and disease area training, as well as marketing and sales excellence. His advice to those considering a PhD in Nownano is ‘Have confidence in your knowledge and ability and don't be afraid to look stupid. Also, don't forget to make use of the funds for attending conferences!’.


Dr Trevor McArdle

Current position - Senior Research Scientist at Big Solar Ltd

Trevor heads UK research and development for implementation of a range of photovoltaic absorber materials into a unique and potential game changing solar device architecture. His role involved setting up and maintaining a company research facility in the north east of England. It also involves project management of several external collaborators, both academic and in industry. ‘I would say the most important thing for any prospective student is to choose a project that they find interesting and in a field they could see themselves working in in the future.


Dr Sarah (Varey) Faust

Current position - Digital Executive at MC&C Media

Sarah graduated from the Nownano CDT in 2015 having completed a PhD project involving the synthesis, transfer, characterisation and chemical functionalisation of exfoliated and CVD graphene. She now works in marketing, for MC&C Media, helping them to understand brands; to find, target and then recruit a brand’s customers.


Dr Thomas Folland

Current position - PDRA in Infrared Nanophotonics

Thomas is currently a postdoctoral research scholar at Vanderbilt University where he is studying the infrared properties of 2D materials and semiconductors. His role includes developing experimental and fabrication techniques, mentoring graduate students, and conducting his own research in optics. 'My work is highly interdisciplinary and covers a broad range of topics and techniques. The CDT PhD helped prepare me for this environment, as the courses helped provide me with a broader base of knowledge to work from as I enter new fields. Furthermore, I was able to interact with researchers from a range of disciplines throughout my PhD, which has helped me to communicate my work and seek new opportunities in my research. Overall I found the CDT program very helpful in enabling my academic career.'

Dr James Walsh

Current position - Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University, Illinois

James graduated from the Nownano programme in 2014 with a PhD in inorganic chemistry. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University working in the field of high-pressure synthesis. His advice to those considering a PhD in Nownano is: 'The scientific diversity of your Nownano cohort will be much higher than you are ever likely to experience in any research group. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn about other fields; find out what science you like (and don't like), and you'll be better informed to make important decisions further into your career.'

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