IChemE member wins Salters' Graduate Prize

Article by Staff Writer

An IChemE student member is celebrating double success in gaining her degree and receiving the UK-wide Salters’ Graduate Prize for her achievements as a student.

Carol Nairn received her MEng qualification with distinction after completing her studies at the Department of Chemical & Process Engineering at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

She is also one of just ten students to win the Salters' Graduate Prize, awarded annually by the Salters' Institute to outstanding final-year chemistry and chemical engineering undergraduates.

Salters' Graduate Prizes are awarded 'on the basis of assessments of the potential of candidates ultimately 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.'

Her thesis work involved the treatment of wastewater and the recovery of nutrients in the water.

Nairn told The Chemical Engineer she worked on the partition-release-recovery (PRR) process, which could offer significant improvements for nutrient recovery and reduce energy requirements. The process uses purple phototrophic bacteria (PPB) cultures grown on domestic wastewater (DWW). The aim of the project included achieving consistent enrichment of PPB under anaerobic conditions and infrared (IR) light and demonstrating rapid partitioning of soluble organics such as nitrogen and phosphorus.

The work established that PPB are metabolically diverse enough to uptake a range of organic substrates when using DWW. They can also exhibit additional phosphorus uptake when exposed to non-optimal conditions.

The PPB process will be useful in designing future treatment facilities.

She said how pleased she has been with all her achievements over the past year: “I was awarded my MEng degree with distinction and the GSG Beveridge Prize from my department for graduating top of my class. The [greatest] has been winning Salter's Graduate Prize. The past five years have been hard work, but the best of my life.

Nairn was nominated for the prize by her department. In her application, she outlined her achievements and experience with interning for pharmaceutical companies such as GSK and Novartis. She has worked and studied around the world.. She has also acted as a lecturer and student mentor.

She has also won prizes and financial support from companies including BP, ConocoPhillips, Aker Solutions and Genesis Oil and Gas, as well as the GSG Beveridge Prize for achieving the highest marks in her year.

She has also become a brand ambassador for the 2015 Saltire Foundation Undergraduate Internship Programme – an entrepreneurial leadership programme for Scottish universities.

Article by Staff Writer

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