Ziylo Ltd - Assistant Chemist - Undergraduate Placement

£21,000 per annum
15 Mar 2017
28 Mar 2017
Contract Type
Industrial Placement
Full Time

About the company

Ziylo is a specialist chemistry company with expertise in continuous carbohydrate sensing technology. The core technology and IP surround an exclusive family of carbohydrate-sensing molecules. Our unique and disruptive sugar-sensing platform was originally discovered in Professor Anthony Davis’ research group at the University of Bristol.

Job Purpose

The student will be supervised by a Senior Scientist and will assist us in the development of our sugar-sensing platform, especially by characterising and modifying the sensors capabilities in various media.

Key tasks will include:
- Fluorescence titration of fluorescent receptors in various conditions.
- Characterisation of the response time, intensity of various sensors materials and membranes in various conditions and their response to interference.
- Hydrogels and membranes preparation and modification.
Due to the nature of our business, it is likely that priorities will change during the stay of the student. Short-term (weekly) and longer (monthly) deadlines will be set regularly during our weekly progress meetings.

The outcome of the student work will be:
(i) increased knowledge of our sensor capabilities in specific media and
(ii) enhanced performance of our sensor in a specific medium. 
These will help us assessing whether our technology can be deployed in a certain market, choose target markets and accelerate the development of a device for this market.

Job Accountabilities

Once the student is trained, they will be given small projects involving the synthesis or modification of gels and membranes. They will be expected to spend at least 50% of their time on this type of project.

The student will learn to prepare and modify hydrogels and membranes. This will include some 8 of 11 relatively simple (1 to 3 steps) syntheses and/or reactions on model compounds and polymers, with analyses using NMR, MS, FT-IR and elemental analysis.

Depending on the development of our technology at the time of the placement, it is also possible that the student will be able to work on a more long-term synthetic project (over 6 months to a year), should they wish so. The student will attend weekly meetings where all the staff (physicist, engineer and chemists) present their progress and where the general strategy is often discussed.
The student will also attend monthly chemistry meetings, where the progress in the lab is thoroughly discussed and the orientation of research is discussed.

The student will attend other meetings where patent strategy, marketing research and strategy, financial situation, etc. are all openly discussed.

The student will learn fluorescence spectroscopy using traditional cuvettes, along with a fiber-optic setup, including our own house fluorimeters. Using our setups, they will be able to understand the inner workings of a fluorescence spectrometer.

Some routine work will consist in titrating solutions using fluorescence spectroscopy. They will learn to perform this task in a reproducible way, with the strong attention to details required to identify which parts of the procedure must be strictly followed and which parts required judgement which depends on the recorded data.

The student will learn to process the data, analyse it using house excel-sheet models and interpret the results by fitting into binding curves, rationalise the observed data, learn to judge whether something is significant or not and whether it requires repeating the experiment.

The student will likely leave Ziylo with:

  • Having gained confidence in working in a synthetic lab using high vacuum techniques (dry, airfree chemistry with schlenk line) and analytical tools (NMR, MS,TLC, FT-IR, EA, UV-Vis)
  • Working knowledge of hydrogels and membrane preparation and modification
  • An increased ability to understand structure-function relationship in gels and membranes
  • Familiarity with risk management procedures
  • An increased ability to prioritise tasks
  • Strong organisational skills
  • Risk assessment and appropriate safety procedures
  • Some experience in IP
  • Commercial knowledge of working in a small company

Our company also has an engineering and optics department, where circuit-boards are designed and made, and basic mechanical tools with also a 3D printer, a CNC milling machine and small optical benches; the student will be encouraged to learn from the staff, to understand the optical part of the product and e.g. learn basic computer-aided design (CAD).

Relevant Disciplines

UNDERGRADUATES only: working towards an accredited Chemistry degree (BSc or MChem level). For further information regarding accredited courses, please visit: http://www.rsc.org/Education/courses-and-careers/accredited-courses/

Additional Information

Please ensure that you are willing and able to live within commutable distance of the company site before applying. This placement is located in Bristol (City centre location in Bristol working in Unit DX, a newly built science incubator; Central, 5 minute walk from Temple Meads).

Cogent Life Science Placements Service are managing the recruitment for this placement at our client's request, therefore we ask that applications are made through our website please. 

The Royal Society of Chemistry is the world's leading chemistry community, advancing excellence in the chemical sciences. With 51,000 members and a worldwide knowledge business that spans the globe, it is the UK's professional body for chemical scientists; a not-for-profit organisation with 170 years of history and an international vision for the future. The Royal Society of Chemistry as part of its small companies programme, EnterprisePlus (www.rsc.org/sme) has granted a small number of companies funding to host a “year in industry” placement. Funding has been awarded in recognition of their ability to develop and mentor an undergraduate chemist and robustness of the project content and structure in terms of its scientific content and what you will learn. This year, Ziylo Ltd is a well-deserved recipient of this prestigious funding. It is expected that if you are successful in being selected for this role that you are a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry by the time you start the placement. Royal Society of Chemistry membership is just £19 and you can join online at: http://www.rsc.org/Membership/join/admission/undergrad/index.asp  

Please note: only UNDERGRADUATES will be considered for the placement

Closing date: 28/03/17