Dr Sophie Marie Briffa read for a BSc (Hons.) in Chemistry with Materials (2011) and a MSc. in Mechanical Engineering (2013) at the University of Malta. Her MSc was funded by the Strategic Educational Pathways Scheme. In 2017 she was awarded a PhD in Environmental Health Risk from the University of Birmingham. This was part funded by the FP7 project NanoMILE and Malta’s Endeavour Scholarship Scheme.
During her doctoral research studies Sophie was awarded a transnational access grant from QualityNano for a laboratory visit to Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, which enabled her to carry out further research related to the PhD. Her PhD thesis, titled “Synthesis and Ageing Transformations of Manufactured Metal Oxide Nanomaterials” has recently been awarded the Sir Oliver Lodge Prize (2017) for its quality. She is currently working as a research fellow in the Environmental Nanoscience research group at the University of Birmingham on the H2020 funded project ACEnano.
Sophie has participated in several international conferences with 11 oral presentations and 4 poster presentations. She was awarded a Best Talk Award at the 2nd NanoSafety Forum for Young Scientists in Visby (2016). To date she has published 4 papers as a first author and co-authored a further 2. Her research interests include nanomaterial synthesis and characterisation, nanomaterial behaviour and transformations in the environment, nanosafety and nanomaterials for the purpose of conservation.
Although thoroughly devoted to her academic life in her free time Sophie pursues a number of interests away from laboratories and out of her white coat. Sophie holds a Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies from the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and teaches with established local private ballet schools. She is currently reading for a BA in Dance Education with the RAD in conjunction with the University of Bath (on a part-time distance-learning basis). Her performance in these studies has been rewarded with the Iris Truscott Scholarship (2015-2016). Furthermore, Sophie is a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award holder and a scout leader with a local Birmingham scout group.