Ryan Gorman, a final year chemistry PhD student working on the CHEM21 project in Prof Richard Taylor’s research group at the University of York, was awarded the medal for his research into making drug synthesis affordable and more environmentally-friendly by developing novel copper catalysed procedures. Alongside the medal, Ryan will receive a prize of £1,000.
The SET for Britain awards celebrate young researchers who are working on science that may help medicine in the future. Gold, silver, and bronze winners were selected from 30 finalists shortlisted from hundreds of entries for the annual competition. Students presented posters summarising their work in the chemical sciences to MPs and a jury of experts in the field.
Ryan, aged 25 from Leeds, said: “I am overwhelmed. I was honoured just to be selected, never mind winning a prize. There were so many fantastic posters and there is so much great research.
“Entering the competition, I learnt a lot about presenting to people from different backgrounds. It’s a good challenge to try to explain your chemistry to people who aren’t in the field. You can get so stuck in your ways when you’re just talking to other chemists so it’s great to talk about the bigger picture.”
Professor Helen Fielding, from the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: “As a member of the chemistry judging panel, it has been inspirational to see so many excellent posters from the finalists. Chemistry is crucial to society, playing an important role in energy, health, food, and tackling climate change.
“Inspiring young people into science is also crucial for the UK’s economic growth and job creation. We hope that many more talented scientists – like these finalists – have the opportunity to contribute to society. I’m thrilled to see such excellent and inspiring science going to Parliament.”
Ryan was interviewed by BBC radio York on the ‘Teatime with Elly Fiorentini’ show on Wednesday 11th March at 16:40 which can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02k6nkh#auto