SCI student prize giving 2007

This item first appeared in 2007

Bristol & South West: a taste of industry for the University of Bristol

Each year, the undergraduate chemists from the University of Bristol who have ventured into industry to undertake a year-long placement return to their department for the Rothwell Symposium, where they each give a short presentation on their experiences of working in an industrial environment. The SCI Bristol and South West Regional Group, as part of its long-standing relationship with the university’s School of Chemistry, sponsors this event and provides prizes for the three presentations judged to be the best on the day of the symposium. Following tradition, the three winners – Kara Cubbage, Jessica Gwyther and Michele Memoli – returned in November to give their presentations one more time to an SCI audience.

Their work exemplified the breadth of the industrial placement programme operated at Bristol. The placements were with GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and AWE (Atomic Weapons Establishment) and the winners applied their chemical skills and knowledge in very different areas of research. Gwyther, placed at AWE, investigated the properties of a polymeric binding material as it aged. An understanding of the properties of this material, used to coat crystalline high explosives, over a protracted period of time is obviously highly important and she outlined the multitude of experimental measurements and techniques utilised to gather data.

The other two students were both placed with pharmaceutical companies. Cubbage, working with GSK, presented her medicinal chemistry work towards the synthesis of a novel glucocortoroid anti-inflammatory drug for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Memoli had a vastly different time at Pfizer, working on the application of dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) to pharmaceutical products. He tested the boundaries of this analytical technique, and contributed his results to a small team working towards the greater uptake of the method within the company.

Each student spoke with enthusiasm, knowledge and clarity on their topic, and fielded questions from the audience afterwards, before collecting their awards – a small cash prize, SCI membership for a year and a framed certificate commemorating their achievement.

Derek Gillespie
Honorary Recorder
Bristol and South West Regional Group

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