Dr Udaya Khandivilli awarded SSPC Education & Engagement Champion

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Udaya completed a PhD in 2018 under the supervision of Prof. Anita Maguire and Dr Simon Lawrence at the University of Cork, he transitioned to the University of Limerick to work as a Postdoctoral researcher with Dr Pat Frawley in May 2018 and is now employed at Janssen Ireland as an API Manufacturing and Process Expert.

Thesis title: Pharmaceutical solids and exploring chiral resolution using cocrystallization
Research Interests: Crystal Engineering, Solid-state chemistry, Multi-component systems of Pharmaceutical and nutraceutical compounds.
Background: After his PhD, Udaya joined the University of Limerick, working on new solid forms of pharmaceutical materials, secondary nucleation, hydrodynamics and impurity removal under the supervision of Dr Pat Frawley. This research focused on improving the physicochemical properties of various pharmaceutical materials using the nutraceutical compounds (which are widely found in the regular dietary substances). The new solid forms are expected to be very effective in comparison with the existing marketed solid forms or drugs (like reducing the tablet size and quick relief). Udaya also worked on toxic impurity removal from the pharmaceutical materials in order to make the safer drugs for the society.

Experience as a PhD student with SSPC: I really enjoyed my time in SSPC and particularly their technical meetings, as they were very helpful to interact with industry members, learning know how to design my projects to meet the industrial needs and had the opportunity to present my research work on many occasions. Being given the chance to have the direct interaction with the other research peers and industry partners really helped me to solve the problems within my research.

I was very proud of my first publication in the prestigious RSC journal ‘Chemical Communications’ entitled, Diversity in a Simple Cocrystal: Racemic and Kryptoracemic Behaviour. To date I have published more than 20 different international peer reviewed publications.

SSPC support their researchers to in many ways to improve their communications skills and interactive abilities. Encouraging early stage researchers to present their work to a lay audience it really helps people to understand exactly what scientists do in the labs and for us it helps to improve our public speaking and communication skills. SSPC organises various courses like summer programs to teach the research to conduct the ethical research, effective learning skills, research manuscripts writing, giving the information about the latest scientific softwares etc., which are really needed for the researcher at the early stages of their research.

And particularly for me, it was working in the Education and Public Engagement (EPE) space that I …. to be honest has given me a great platform to improve my communications skills and public speaking abilities. It may be easier to write some research findings on paper (for the publication), but it is completely different when it comes to explain this research to the lay audience. It absolutely needs some skill and some background work. EPE team has always supported with the necessary material to train ourselves when we are presenting our work to publica or to the students in the schools. The skills I gained after the regular participation in various EPE events, had helped me to become a number one in my job interviews.

Industrial Placement: For my SSPC industrial placement at Janssen, Cork, I worked on real issues in the bulk scale production. This has given me an opportunity to apply the research skills I have gained during 3 years of my PhD. At the same time, it gave me a great chance for the industry to observe my skills and knowledge from the very close distance. During this period, I got a chance to talk to various departments in the Janssen pharmaceuticals, my team working skills (gained from EPE programs) helped so much to design and execute the projects in this company.

It was pleasant experience to gain so much knowledge about the industry and apply my knowledge to combat with the real time issues in the company. The internship has really helped me to prove or show case my skills to industry, an experience that made me unique in the interview process.

Thanks, is a very small thing to say to SSPC. It has given me a very strong support during my entire research career in Ireland. SSPC has excelled in helping me to effectively achieve my goals. I really appreciate each and every person in the SSPC team for their continued support and help during this long journey.

#sspcstories #lookingbackmovingforward

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