Deception Bay graduate drawn to chemistry career

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Deception Bay graduate drawn to chemistry career


Michael Keats in his graduation garb

16 October 2014

Michael Keats of Deception Bay has earned a promotion to the position of chemist at AgriSolutions Australia after recently completing a Bachelor of Science — majoring in chemistry and biotechnology — at USC.

Michael, 25, who graduated on Thursday 2 October, started work as a lab assistant at AgriSolutions shortly after finishing school at Mueller College seven years ago.

“The work I do now mainly focuses on the determination of trace-level pesticide and chemical residues in plants, soil and water,” he said. “And part of my job is to research and develop analytical methods for their extraction and analysis.

“Fortunately, USC really gave me the opportunity to develop my analytical chemistry skills.

“I gained invaluable hands-on experience in the laboratory of USC Analytical Services, on the brand new, state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation there, including the gas chromatograph mass spectrometer.”

Michael began part-time study at USC in 2008 and found it easy to manage his work and study commitments throughout his degree.

“All the required content from lectures and tutorials was available at any time online,” he said. “As a working student, this was not only a handy study tool but also instrumental in the development of my scientific career.

“Many different aspects of my studies have been critically important for my work as a chemist – from the research skills I developed, to the mathematics and the practical elements needed to operate safely and free of contamination, which were reinforced in my chemistry and biotechnology majors.”

Michael, whose brother had studied at USC previously, said he was already familiar with the University’s campus when he enrolled.

“I was drawn to USC because of the ease of transport compared to inner-city universities, the relaxed atmosphere, the modern architecture and the health of the surrounding environment as evidenced by the resident kangaroo population,” he said.

— Jane Cameron


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