Ryta's Product-Development Secondment

Posted on Mon, May 14, 2018 by Ashley Wong

If you've been keeping up with our recent blogposts, you may already know that Ossila have a collaborative partnership with the EU-funded Excilight Innovative Training Network (ITN) programme. As part of this collaboration, we host Excilight PhD students on secondments - the most recent one being Ryta! Throughout her secondment, she has been carrying out research & development activities to scope the feasibility of a new product. Now that her secondment has just been completed, we want to share what she's been working on so far.


Ryta Vasylieva, Excilight PhD student on secondment at Ossila
Ryta working in the Ossila labs.


Before joining Excilight, what were you working on?

Before Excilight, I worked on several scientific projects during my time at university. My work focused on the investigation of polymer composites that can be used to treat skin burns. I studied proteins, particularly protein-protein interactions. I also worked on some R&D projects.


How would you describe your Excilight experience so far?

I changed my field of interest (and a lot of other things in my life), so my experience in Excilight has centred on studying the basic fundamental materials for OLED devices.  I am based at the Silesian University of Technology in Poland, and I study the behaviour of molecules in electric fields.  Throughout the past 2 years, I have learned new methods of analysis and gained considerable knowledge in the field of materials science. Being a part of Excilight has given me the opportunity to network, gaining many friends & collaborators in the field. This also helped improve my communication skills. Furthermore, I've managed to improve the way I present my scientific results.


Source Measure Unit | Ossila
The Ossila Source-Measure Unit.


Tell us about the work that you’ve been doing here during your secondment at Ossila.

My secondment consists of two parts: business skills training, and participating in the research and development of new products based on an existing Ossila product.

During the first part of my secondment, I learned the main principles of creating the project. I also learned other practical things, such as what to do to make your project more successful, how find new development opportunities for your project, how to find a niche, how to make a business plan, amongst others.

The second part leaned more towards the engineering side of things. I have been involved in the scoping and development of new features for one of Ossila’s current products. Previously, I worked with this type of equipment as a user, and now I have the opportunity to act as a creator - which is very interesting and exciting!


What have you enjoyed most about living in Sheffield?

Sheffield is a small and beautiful city. There are lots of parks around, it’s easy to get around using public transport and is well-connected with other cities. You can go somewhere, spend the weekend visiting beautiful new places, and get back to work easily.


What advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue a PhD in your field?

There is a wide range of applications in the field of organic electronics. Development in this field is really fast-paced, so being able to adapt quickly is an essential skill for researchers to have. Thanks to strong collaborations between industry and academia, this field has a promising outlook.  A PhD in this field could be an important investment towards your future, as it is likely to provide you with opportunities to work in academia or industry. 



Author: Ashley Wong

Hailing from a Psychology background, Ashley has an MSc in Organizational/Work Psychology from the Sheffield University Management School. Prior to joining Ossila, Ashley worked with two multi-national organizations, researching emotional labour in the life insurance industry. In 2017, she successfully led the process of writing & applying for a prestigious Institute of Physics Business Innovation Award, which resulted in Ossila winning its first-ever industrial award.