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Over 200 celebrate sustainable research and collaboration in 2019 CSCT Summer Showcase

Over the first two days of July 2019, the CSCT Summer Showcase featured talks, student presentations, interactive discussions, a networking event and a dinner reception. Bringing together over 200 people, from researchers to industrial and international partners, the two-day conference focussed on promoting collaboration to work towards a circular economy.

Plenary talks from high-profile speakers such as Professor Kees van Leeuwen (Utrecht University), Professor Doug MacFarlane (Monash University), Professor Telma Teixeira Franco (University of Campinas) and Dr Dan Green (Wessex Water) highlighted some key challenges to achieve a circular economy, and how sustainable solutions can be developed through collaborative research.

Organised into the four CSCT’s themes (Renewable Feedstocks & Biotechnology, Healthcare Technologies, Processes & Manufacturing, and Energy & Water), talks by invited guest speakers addressed various aspects of sustainability. These speakers included Professor Marcelle McManus (University of Bath), Professor Jon Parquette (The Ohio State University), Dr Alison Willows (University of Brighton), Dr Tim Young (NCC), Dr Simon Grant (Thomas Swan), Dr Chris Norris (ARTIS), Professor Marcus Newborough (ITM Power), Dr Victoria Durban (Cellesce), Dr Andrew Sutton (Los Alamos National Laboratory) and Dr Steven Brown (Scott Bader). Dr Helena Quilter, CSCT alumnae now employed by Scion, and Dr Sarah Abou-Shehada, from Abel & Imray, also had the opportunity to present.

A firm favourite of the audience, CSCT student presentations were delivered in a variety of formats, including flash presentations, Ignite talks, and Three Minute Thesis (3MT).

Jamie Boden (CSCT student), Professor Matthew Davidson (Jamie’s supervisor) and Dr Chris Norris (industry partner from ARTIS) highlighted the Centre’s work with industry in a collaborative partnership presentation.

Five roundtable discussions were organised to discuss each of the CSCT’s research themes. Led by experienced CSCT PhD students, lively discussions took place among fellow students, academics and industrial partners. This year’s discussion topics included second generation renewable feedstocks, translating healthcare technologies to emerging economies, the future of the UK’s National Grid, processing discrepancies between academia and industry, and necessary technological advances for a sustainable water cycle.

For the first time ever, a networking event, sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry Industrial Physical Chemistry Group, was also held. This session was an opportunity for industrial partners and invited guests to display their work, and served to strengthen networks and forming collaborative partnerships. Representatives from ARTIS, Sampson, BMC Springer Nature, CatSci, Multibox, The Biofactory, Abel+Imray, Los Alamos National Laboratory, FiberLean, PhosphonicS, EnvoPAP, Green Biologics, Cellesce, Lambda Stretch, GSK and TetraPak were in attendance.

To conclude the conference, a number of prizes were introduced. The ‘Whorrod Prize for Excellence’, awarded for outstanding performance in the MRes research project and presented by Roger Whorrod himself, went to Jonathan Barnard. Dr Sarah Abou-Shehada presented the ‘Abel & Imray Research Prize’ to Scott Allan, who won the award for academic excellence during the MRes year. Finally, CSCT Training Director Professor Janet Scott awarded poster prizes, sponsored by Springer Nature, to Kerrie Morrison and Rachael Hutchings.

This event was organised by a committee of EPSRC-funded PhD students: Jamie Boden, Philippa Kearney, Eleanor Roake, Viviane Runa, and Kathryn Watt.

Next year’s CSCT Summer Showcase will take place on 22-23 June 2020.

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By 20 July 2019

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