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Chemistry students shine

Zoe Schnepp

Zoe Schnepp

23 April 2009

Two students in the School of Chemistry have recently received accolades, from the Salters’ Institute and NESTA FameLab respectively.

Liam Ball, a final-year MSci undergraduate in the School of Chemistry, has been awarded a 2009 Salters’ Graduate Prize by the Salters' Institute. There were five awards made to chemistry undergraduates this year, with the other prizewinners drawn from Oxford, Nottingham, Edinburgh and Durham. 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. Professor Tim Gallagher, Head of the School of Chemistry, said: ‘We congratulate Liam for what is an outstanding achievement in a highly competitive environment.’  

Zoe Schnepp, a postgraduate student working with Professor Steve Mann, has won the south-west regional final – one of five regional rounds – of the NESTA FameLab competition that took place at At-Bristol recently. NESTA FameLab is a national competition ‘to find and support talented scientists who can share their enthusiasm and knowledge with the public in an innovative and entertaining way’. Ten finalists (there are the five winners and five runners-up from each of the regional rounds) will receive a ‘media makeover’, make podcasts to be shown via Channel 4 and present their cases at the national final to be held at the Cheltenham Science Festival on 5 June. The winner will receive real airtime on Channel 4 and a ‘significant’ award.

At the regional final Ms Schnepp spoke about her work at the University, which involves growing nanowires of electronic materials using nothing but heat and seaweed. She also gives talks and demonstrations to school groups for the Bristol ChemLabS outreach project. Professor Tim Gallagher said: ‘This is a fantastic and well-deserved achievement for Zoe, and all her colleagues in the School of Chemistry wish her well for the final.’

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