By Justine O'Brien
Arriving in Cambridge I was greeted by sunny blue skies, a welcome change from the drab grey of Dublin. Thanks to 3D-NEONET I had been given the opportunity to go on a month long secondment to the Cresset in Cambridge. Thankfully, these sunny skies were a continuous occurrence during my stay.
I instantly fell for the charm of Cambridge. It is a beautiful city. The place has a unique character and charm as around every corner one can find historic university buildings or decorative gardens. During my time in Cambridge I visited one of the most iconic colleges in the city, King’s College, which is home to the largest fan vault ceiling in the world. It was well worth the visit to see the enormous stain glass windows on each end and side of the chapel
One of my favourite things about the city was its numerous parks, green spaces and walking trails. My favourite walking trail was along the river Cam from Jesus Green to Fen Ditton. This is the best place to see teams of rowers training and racing along the river. I always followed my walks with a visit to my favourite bakery/café known as Fitzbillies.
Of course, the main purpose of my visit was to work in Cresset. The company specialise in provide computational chemistry software and services. Cresset lies in the countryside outside of Cambridge. This is great for driving as you avoid all the morning traffic going into the city.
As a biologist going on secondment to Cresset I was worried I would be a fish out of water. However, everyone in the company made me feel right at home. I could not have wished to work with a nicer group of people. They provided me with all the help and assistance I needed to learn how to use Cresset’s software. It was refreshing to dive into an area of science I have never explored. I learnt so much from my experience and these skills will greatly expand my own capabilities and that of our lab in UCD.
Before I left, I knew my visit to Cambridge would not be complete without going punting. I went for a punt down the river along the ‘backs’ of Cambridge’s colleges. This is the best way to see the historic heart of the city as many areas within the colleges are only open to students and staff. You can even self-punt if you’re feeling particularly brave, but be warned there are no L plates for newbie punters!
I really enjoyed my time with Cresset in Cambridge and would encourage everyone to go. If a biologist such as myself can learn to use their software anyone can! Thank you again to everyone in Cresset for an amazing experience and I really hope I can visit again in the future.