Scientists from academia and industry got together to discuss the latest in sustainable chemical technologies at the University of Bath from 9 to 11 July 2012.
The Summer Showcase was hosted by the University’s Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) for Sustainable Chemical Technologies, part of the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT).
The DTC in Sustainable Chemical Technologies runs a four-year PhD programme where students mix taught courses with multi-disciplinary research projects in the latest cutting edge research at the interface of sustainable chemistry and chemical engineering, working closely with industrial and international partners.
The Summer Showcase comprised a wide range of short presentations from CSCT researchers, DTC students and industrial and international partners, including such diverse companies as GSK, EADS and Purac.
The talks covered new molecules, materials and processes in sustainable chemical technologies, along with business and societal aspects of sustainability.
The final day included longer, more technical talks by researchers from the University, along with academic visitors from Brazil, Germany and the United States.
Alongside the scientific programme, there were a number of networking opportunities, including a ‘speed-dating’ session arranged by PhD student Julia Griffen. This session resulted in some potential new collaborative projects and a number of internships and other opportunities for the students.
On Tuesday evening CSCT benefactors Roger and Sue Whorrod presented a number of awards including the Whorrod Prize in Sustainable Chemical Technologies, this year awarded to Rhodri Jenkins.
Rhodri is now in his second year, working on his PhD project entitled ‘Renewable liquid fuels from microbes for aviation and road transport use’. The Whorrod Prize includes a cash prize supported by a donation from businessman and University of Bath graduate Roger Whorrod.
This year’s Research Project Prize was awarded Lisa Sargeant for her MRes project in developing microbial lipids suitable as low temperature fuel feedstock.
Poster prizes were also awarded to Fraeya Whiffin, Adam Jackson and Daniel Minett.
Many of the visitors gave very positive feedback. Stephen Myers of Ohio Bioproducts Innovation Centre, based at Ohio State University, is part of the CSCT Stategic Advisory Board and was one of the speakers at the Showcase.
He said: “There was a strong sense of shared ownership and participation in the Showcase, and there were incredible opportunities to build relationships and networks which have the potential to enhance future collaborations.”
Professor Matthew Davidson, Director of the CSCT and Whorrod Professor of Sustainable Chemical Technologies, said: “Our DTC is turning into a great success story at the University of Bath, with ten applications for every available place.
“This is due to our unique programme which has a strong focus on all aspects of sustainability with cross-disciplinary research projects and opportunities for students to work with a range of industrial and academic partners. Such partnerships are extremely valuable and we hope to continue to grow such productive relationships as the DTC develops.
Dr Tim Mays, Deputy Director of the CSCT said: “I was incredibly proud of our students presenting at the Showcase who not only showed the breadth and depth of their research in the DTC but were also superb ambassadors for the CSCT and the University with the many distinguished delegates at the Showcase.”
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