Applied chemistry studies, conducting research and attending conferences, involvement in Students’ Union projects and website development – these are just some of the daily activities of Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) GIFTed student Aistis Melnikas. While active since childhood, Aistis admits that balancing so many things is a challenge, but his formula for success is quite simple – proper time management helps to accomplish more.
“The busier you get, the more you get done,” says Aistis, a sophomore student of Applied Chemistry at KTU. Having learned the importance of time management while participating in competitions and projects at school, he says that the ability to allocate his time to various activities has become even more important during his studies.
Fulfil your potential
Driven by a maximalist attitude, he chose to study chemistry out of all his interests because he felt he had the most potential in this field. The choice to study chemistry at KTU was not difficult – Aistis was already familiar with KTU’s laboratory while preparing for the school contests, which was enough to make a firm decision to pursue a degree.
Driven by a maximalist attitude, he chose to study chemistry out of all his interests because he felt he had the most potential in this field. The choice to study chemistry at KTU was not a difficult one – Aistis was already familiar with KTU’s laboratory while preparing for the school contests, which was enough to make a firm decision to pursue a degree.
The student is happy with his choice of the University: “After each academic year, I seek to tell myself that this year was the best. So far, I have been able to do that, especially after joining KTU.”
After starting his studies, he became a student of the KTU talent development programme GIFTed.
Conducting broadly applicable chemistry research
The desire to gain as much experience as possible during his studies, to create innovations and inventions, encouraged Aistis to choose an academic mentor. Melnikas is happy that together with his mentor Dr Skirma Žalenkienė from the KTU Faculty of Chemical Technology, he is exploring the important and future-focused aspects of the field, and he has already had the opportunity to present the experiments he carried out in the international arena – at the conferences Advanced Materials and Technologies 2023 and Open Readings 2023.
“My academic mentor is helping me to learn more about inorganic chemistry, and more specifically about semiconductor deposition on FTO glasses. These projects and the materials we are researching can be applied in solar cells, gas sensors, green hydrogen production or photo-optical devices,” says the GIFTed student.
Tutors schoolchildren in his spare time
In addition to all his scientific activities, Aistis also took part in two Erasmus+ projects last year: “In Italy, we learned about sustainability and climate change, and in Slovenia, we were exploring mental health. I came home more aware of both my environment and myself.”
When it comes to leisure time, Aistis says that he finds chess and videography most relaxing, but he often enjoys being active in his free time. When he’s not studying, he’s involved in organising informal activities with the university community, or working on his website Pitagorietis – a team of tutors set up by Aistis to offer distance learning lessons to high school students.
For those who are hesitant or unsure about how to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the University, the student advises to try everything: “I have often noticed that getting out of your comfort zone helps you to discover new possibilities, and university is a great place for that, where everyone can find something for themselves. The only one who loses is the one who never tries.”