25 Aug 2011
James Womack spent his childhood in the south of Devon. He attended a local grammar school which allowed him to indulge his fascination with all things scientific with inspiring science teachers and extra-curricular activities such as astronomy club.
In 2005, James went on to the University of Bristol, where he studied chemistry. In 2006, he suffered a setback when he fell ill with chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, resulting in him having to suspend his studies and repeat the academic year. Despite his continuing ill-health, he was able to finish his degree in 2010, with support from the university and School of Chemistry, earning a BSc with first class honours and ranking highest in his class. During his undergraduate studies, James also received an AstraZeneca bursary and several School of Chemistry prizes in recognition of his academic acheivements.
James spent the final year of his BSc working in the School of Chemistry on a research project in theoretical/computational chemistry, supervised by Dr (now Prof) Fred Manby. James found this research project so interesting and rewarding that he applied for a PhD studentship at Bristol's Centre for Computational Chemistry, also supervised by Fred Manby. The application was accepted and James is now investigating explicitly-correlated electronic structure theories in chemistry at the Centre for Computational Chemistry.