Interview with René Dekkers

Name: René Dekkers
From: the Netherlands
Degree(s): Bachelor of Chemistry, Avans university in Breda, the Netherlands.
Studying: Master in Molecular chemistry - organic, polymer and systems chemistry, at Radboud university in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Did a Erasmus exchange in Uppsala.

Why did you choose to study chemistry?
I was thinking about studying chemistry or architecture. To be completely honest; a diagram containing starting salary for different kinds of proficiencies attracted me partly in this direction, especially for chemistry as I was not sure yet what future prospects with this study would be. My high school organized an event were teachers from universities came and explained more about content and future prospects of their studies. I went to the chemistry talk, and was amazed by the many options it had after studies. For example work in the medicinal industry, developing new materials, new ways of energy production or reducing energy demand, finding solutions to environmental problems and so on. Chemistry seemed to be the study with most available proficiencies after studying, wherefore I decided to drop the idea of studying architecture and go for chemistry.

How come you chose to do your Erasmus exchange at Uppsala University?
In my bachelor I did an exchange in England. The friends I made there were amazing, but the English culture and attitude overall was not really suiting me well to be fair. Now in my masters, the final part of the study could have been done back home (Dutch university or company for example) or abroad again. I wanted to go abroad again because of the overall great experience of last time, but to another country. One of my former teacher assistants of courses I used to follow actually went to do his internship in Uppsala. When he came back I asked him how it was. He didn’t say anything negative so I thought: why not? He made the connections with the professor and that’s how I ended up here.

What did you like the most about studying in Uppsala?
I like everything about it. There is nothing here I don’t like. It sounds like a lie, but it’s absolutely true. Maybe it’s because I have not experienced the winter - I was here all summer and I’m going back to the Netherlands later this fall.

You are doing research as a part of your master degree. Can you tell us a little bit about your research?
The group I’m working with is doing research about the halogen bond – something more or less equal to the hydrogen bonding. The overall idea is to get more fundamental knowledge so that many scientists that are using halogen bonding, application wise, can use it more targeted. My project is specifically about to study the strength of the halogen bonding, or the possibilities of halogen bonding, in solutions. We know a lot about it in water like systems, but we want to get to know more about it in non-water like systems.

What do you want to do when you have finished your master?
I want to do a PhD! Maybe in the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden or Norway.


Favourite place in Uppsala?
Wherever close to Fyrisån, at a cafe or just to sit along the stream.

Best student tradition in Uppsala?
Valborg! Especially the Champagne showers event (Champagnegaloppen)! It was a nice experience, supercool.

Dream job?
Becoming a Doctor in chemistry and manage a small research team.

Last modified: 2022-05-17