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York student wins Salters’ Award

Posted on 3 July 2018

Alice McEllin, one of our 2018 MChem graduates, has received a prestigious Salters’ Graduate Award.

The Salters’ Awards are based on an assessment of the potential of candidates to occupy leading positions in public life; either by employment in the chemical or related industries, or more generally in employment that supports the industrial life of the UK. Candidates are expected to demonstrate knowledge of the chemical industry’s current situation and the need for changing technology in the future. Each year, up to ten Salters’ Graduate Awards of £1,000 each are made.

In Summer 2017, Alice gained vital insight into the chemical industry through a placement at Astra Zeneca where she studied the solubility of a range of pharmaceutical products in simulated intestinal fluid.

Alice also demonstrated her industrial awareness by participating in a major project as part of the Boeing/Royal Aeronautical Society “Build a Plane” challenge. This included extensive hands-on safety critical engineering construction experience and public outreach activities, including many Air Shows. Alice was the first student worldwide to actually fly in a “Build-A-Plane” aircraft (an event recorded by local TV). The aircraft she helped design also took part in the flying display at Farnborough, where it was the first kit-built aircraft to fly.

During the final year of her degree, Alice carried out her project work in the research group of Dr Isabel Saez working on liquid crystalline properties of cyanobiphenyl phenylacetylene derivatives and graduated with a first class degree. Next year, she will be continuing her research into this important class of applied materials by studying for a PhD on multifunctional metal-containing liquid crystals in the research group of Professor Duncan Bruce here in York.

The Salters’ Institute plays a major role in the support of chemistry teaching, the encouragement of young people to pursue careers in the UK chemical industries and the promotion of chemical education including the whole area of curriculum development.