A University of Bath chemical engineer has been named the winner of this year’s SET for Britain poster competition, held in the House of Commons.
Dr Patricia Perez Esteban, a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the University of Bath’s Department of Chemical Engineering struck gold and the £3,000 prize for her engineering research on cosmetic testing.
Patricia submitted a poster about her work developing an animal-free cosmetic testing model to better predict how much of a compound will pass through the skin and enter the bloodstream.
She presented her research yesterday to MPs, Peers and a panel of expert judges where she came top out of 60 entries in the engineering category.
Three other University of Bath researchers were also invited to the event to present their research: Jemma Rowlandson (Chemical Engineering), Matthew Parkinson (Mathematical Sciences) and Sarah Dale (Physics).
SET for Britain aims to help parliamentarians understand more about the UK’s thriving science and engineering base and rewards some of the strongest scientific and engineering research being undertaken in the UK.
Commenting on winning, Patricia said: “Winning the gold medal for the engineering session at SET for Britain today was the best recognition a researcher could have.
“The fact that I was shortlisted to show my work in Parliament was an honour on its own, but most of all receiving such positive feedback from the judges, MPs and my fellow researchers was the strongest reinforcement to continue my dream of pursuing a career in academia.
“I had the opportunity to meet excellent scientists and engineers today, and learn about the fascinating research that is conducted in the UK.
“I strongly encourage all researchers to apply and participate in this wonderful event in the future. I am grateful for the opportunity and for the support that my colleagues, family and friends have shown in the process.
“SET for Britain aims to help politicians understand more about the UK’s thriving science and engineering base and rewards some of the strongest scientific and engineering research being undertaken in the UK.”
Head of the University’s Department of Chemical Engineering, Dr Tim Mays, commented: “Patricia fully deserves this prestigious national award for her ground-breaking research on animal-free cosmetic testing, a subject close to many people’s hearts.
“In fact she shares this honour with Dr Valeska Ting, also from Chemical Engineering, who won the SET for Britain Gold Award for Engineering in 2013.”
Associate Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Engineering and Design, Professor Tim Ibell commented: “This is a spectacular achievement by Patricia, and demonstrates the world-leading nature of our research in the Faculty of Engineering and Design at the University of Bath.
“The SET for Britain event is highly prestigious, and fiercely competitive, so to win in the Engineering category is extraordinarily impressive. Many congratulations, Patricia!”
Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, added: “I’m delighted that so many engineers attended Parliament as part of SET for Britain.
“Engineers make a difference in all our lives. They create solutions to the issues we face as individuals and as a society.
“SET for Britain provides a great opportunity for these innovators to connect with the decision makers in Parliament, to showcase the superb engineering research being carried out in the UK, and the new technologies that can help improve our lives and drive new growth in our industries.
“From new materials that ensure safe drinking water to novel uses of 3D printing for efficient energy storage, the research exhibited at SET for Britain provides a glimpse of the talent at work in the UK today.
“We need many more young people to be inspired to take up an engineering career and follow in these footsteps.
“I hope the MPs and Peers who met the engineers are inspired by what they see, and I am sure they will join me in congratulating all the exhibitors on their excellent work.”
The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee runs the event in collaboration with the Council for Mathematical Sciences, the Institute of Physics, The Physiological Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Society of Biology, with financial support from Essar, the Clay Mathematics Institute, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), the Institute of Biomedical Science, the Bank of England and the Society of Chemical Industry.
Research carried out by the University of Bath’s Department of Chemical Engineering was recently ranked sixth nationally for impact by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, an independent assessment of UK university research activity.