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Successful Summer Showcase celebrated 10th Anniversary

On 25 and 26 June, this year’s Summer Showcase celebrated 10 years since the establishment of the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies. The event brought together over 200 academics, doctoral researchers and our industrial and international partners from around the world. Organised by the students of EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Sustainable Chemical Technologies, the two days were packed with talks by high profile speakers, interactive discussions, a joint session with our colleagues from SAMBa , our sister applied mathematics CDT at Bath, and a dinner reception.

The programme covered our four research themes: Renewable Feedstocks & Biotechnology, Healthcare Technologies, Processes & Manufacturing and Energy & Water. The speakers included Professor Phil Andrews (Monash University), Dr Jenny Baker (SPECIFIC), Dr Sicco de Vos (Corbion), Professor Jong Hak Kim (Yonsei University), Dr Mike Mason (University of Oxford), Professor Igor Polikarpov (University of São Paulo), Professor Hannah Shafaat (The Ohio State University), Professor Roger Sheldon FRS (Delft University of Technology) and Professor Lord Robert Winston (Imperial College London).

An interactive panel discussion was chaired by our Whorrod Fellow Dr Antoine Buchard which led to a lively debate around the question ‘How can we ensure a sustainable society through the development of new chemical technologies’. Dr Jenny Baker from SPECIFIC commented: “I thoroughly enjoyed being on the panel. Not only did we have a good discussion during the panel but it prompted further discussions with students after the event.”

A special dinner reception was organised to mark the 10th anniversary where a 10-year timeline was showcased to highlight notable events, achievements, prizes and awards. To demonstrate our engagement beyond the university, the students also put together a Public Engagement showcase. We also had the pleasure of hearing from our benefactor Roger Whorrod who shared his journey with the centre since its establishment and his passion for sustainable chemical technologies. The evening then continued with a ceilidh band led by CSCT graduate Jon Chouler.

To conclude the conference, a number of prizes were introduced by CSCT Co-Director Professor Tim Mays. The Whorrod Prize, presented by Roger Whorrod, went to Emily Taylor for excellence in her research project. A new sponsored prize, the Abel & Imray Research Prize, established through one of our alumni Dr Sarah Abou-Shehada and was jointly won by Megan Stalker and Stefanie Federle for academic excellence during their MRes year. We also celebrated Bethan Charles winning the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement with Research and Mike Joyes winning the runner-up title for the University’s 3 Minute Thesis competition – both were awarded certificates by Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Jonathan Knight. Finally, CSCT’s Training Director Professor Janet Scott awarded the best poster prizes, voted by the attendees, to Maya Singer Hobbs and Jack Glancy.

CSCT Director Professor Matthew Davidson said: “There was a real buzz around the showcase this year and I would like to thank everybody who contributed in such a dynamic way. The best meetings generate new science, new thinking and new friends and I know that all of these have been initiated in last couple of days. Even better, this was achieved without any ceilidh injuries so we can all look forward to the next 10 years in great shape.”

Professor Hannah Shafaat from The Ohio State University said: “I was very impressed with the event! The invited speakers presented on very diverse topics, which were extremely interesting to learn about. The most impressive component was the student presentations – it was clear that they had put time and effort into assembling professional and informative slides (and posters), and they gave very clear presentations on their research. It is clear that the program is doing an excellent job at training scientists and ambassadors for the future. Thank you for including me in such a fun and informative event.”

Professor Phil Andrews from Monash University said: “The 10th anniversary showcase of the CSCT was yet another outstanding and well organised event. The importance of these couple of days in keeping the necessity of innovative interdisciplinary science at the forefront of confronting some of the greatest challenges of our times cannot be overstated. The diversity and quality of the presentations and discussions was excellent. Our contingent from Monash were very happy to be involved and are looking forward to cementing a greater partnership between our two institutions in the near future, particularly with the anticipated launch of our joint PhD programme.”

Dr Mike Mason from University of Oxford said: “Had a really inspiring and fun time with students from the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies in Bath. It was great to see so many people all working on solving the big problems of our time; some of the posters on display showed the potential for game changing global outcomes. What’s more, they can even dance (well some of them anyway)!”

Thanks to the organising student committee: Vicky De Groof and Martyn Bennett (co-chairs), Jamie Boden, Oriol Escursell Jove, Stefanie Federle, Helen Liang, Isabella Poli, Viviane Runa, Alison Ryder, Natalie Sims, Maya Singer Hobbs, Hannah Sullivan, Caitlin Taylor, Emily Taylor, Kathryn Watt and Liana Zoumpouli.

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Highlights of the conference can be found on our twitter @csctbath or #csct18

By 28 June 2018

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