Rhyme time for research students

Article by Amanda Doyle

DOCTORAL students were challenged by the University of Bath, UK, to summarise their research in a limerick. The entries were all fantastic, and the winner was sustainable plastic.

The challenge was initiated by the University's centre for sustainable chemical technologies (CSCT) and attracted entries from other universities, with the hashtag #PhDlimerick. The director of CSCT, Matthew Davidson, started it off with:

"I reckon that now is the time
To render your research in rhyme
Haiku's too pretentious
And might work against us
But something like this would be fine"

Davidson said the idea for the challenge came about because the department wanted its students to hone their communication and public engagement skills. "We thought that challenging our doctoral students to write limericks would be fun, but both the level of interest and the rhyming skills displayed have been amazing. I hope students from other institutions will continue to get involved and use the hashtag to show us what they can do."

In first place among internal contestants was Isabel Thomlinson, who is working to develop sustainable plastics from biological alternatives to crude oil.

"Sustainable plastics are trendy,
But when hot, polylactide gets bendy
Helping molecules lie
Tucked in side by side
Can make bio-based cups coffee-friendly"

The first runner up was Jasmine Lightfoot.

"If we could use sugar and CO2
To make plastics from things we grew
We could develop the tools
To avoid fossil fuels
Planet Earth might just pull through"

The second runner up was Andrew Hall.

 "For reaction kinetics to know
Then to flow you surely must go
For in-situ reactions
Despite their attractions
May cause your results to plateau"

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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