Mr Clemons finished his PhD last year at UWA researching drug delivery methods and received a position as a research scientist at the university.
He received a fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council about the same time he was named student scientist of the year.
‘I just found out I passed, which is great, and means I’m one step closer to being a doctor,’ he said. ‘I’m working on heart attack treatment and cardiovascular disease at the moment.
‘It is the number one killer of people in the Western world so it’s pretty easy to find relevance in what I do.
‘Pretty much everyone knows or has had a loved one that has had a heart attack.’
Mr Clemons said he has not had to choose between his research commitments and being a goalkeeper for the WA Thundersticks and the international Kookaburras hockey teams, and did not look forward to deciding.
‘I’ve been lucky, and both my supervisors and coaches are pretty accommodating,’ he said.
‘If it came down to it, I would have to choose hockey. I won’t always be able to play hockey, your body doesn’t stay young forever and I want to keep playing while I still can.’
He is in India playing for the Kalinga Lancers in the country’s hockey league for four-and-a-half weeks.
Mr Clemons could not decide what to study at university, and said his mother looked through the course guide and pointed out nanotechnology.
‘Mum said ‘this sounds interesting’ and I looked at it and said ‘yeah, it does’,’ he said.
‘I guess the moral of the story is to always listen to your mum.’