the scientists

Tim Causon

Honours student, School of Chemistry, University of Tasmania

Tim Causon

What did you study at University and why?

When I first started at university, I studied a wide range of science subjects including Chemistry, Geology, Geography and Physics. Chemistry was the most interesting area I studied - and more likely to lead to exciting jobs – so I chose to major in Chemistry.

I did a short chemistry research unit in my final undergraduate year looking at the ‘normal’ amounts of salts found in explosive devices - if there are abnormally high amounts of these salts, this can help with the detection of explosives. This was a really interesting topic so going on to do an Honours year was an easy choice.

What is your current research?

I am currently doing an Honours project in separation science which uses many different types of chemistry including organic, computational, supramolecular and analytical chemistry. In particular, I am looking at how to develop faster and more reliable methods for separating and identifying compounds from mixtures. This type of chemistry is widely used in science and industry including applications varying from forensic detection of explosives to understanding what compounds make food taste nice. It is often used in drug testing as well, and has become more well known with the popularity of television shows such as CSI.

What are your future aspirations?

In the future I want to continue doing research as it provides an exciting work environment where you can learn new things every day and develop practical skills working with an enthusiastic group of people. Continuing study in the next few years seems to be the best way to fulfil my research interests in chemistry and getting a good job.

What do you love about science?

Learning how to apply your knowledge to solving problems is the best aspect for me, especially in cases when the approach you take is completely new.