Brendan Mallery ’18
Brendan Mallery ’18 believes in science’s power to support the Common Good. “As a scientist, I have a responsibility to try and tackle the issues facing society as a whole. The area that most attracts me is research into alternative fuels and energy sustainability, which will allow me to exercise my enthusiasm for chemistry and creative problem solving.” Brendan took on an internship in the University of Hong Kong’s Department of Chemistry, assisting Dr. Kwong-Yu Chan’s team in nanomaterial chemistry.
Brendan worked full-time in the lab, investigating the most efficient methods to synthesize nanomaterials used in solar cells and other technologies. “My project was tied to the research of a doctorate student who provided me with guidance when I needed it.” Later in the internship, Brendan drafted an article reporting their findings. “This was a very different style of writing to anything I’d been exposed to in the past, despite my experience with lab write-ups thus far.”
At first, Brendan felt overwhelmed by his responsibilities: “The amount of independence required of me was more than I had expected. This led to some challenges early on in the summer, but helped impress upon me the importance of organization and discipline.” Brendan quickly rose to the challenge and gained knowledge of an area of chemistry not taught at Bowdoin, proficiency in Chinese, and practical experience with laboratory procedures and writing. He continues to edit the lab’s report, which “will hopefully be fit to publish some time in the next year.” His experience in Dr. Chan’s lab has encouraged him to conduct research at Bowdoin in future summers, pursue an Honors project, and consider a career in research after graduation.