Akshay Deshmukh, a graduate of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, has been awarded this year’s Ashok Kumar Fellowship. The Fellowship, which is jointly funded by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and the North-East of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC), enables a chemical engineering researcher to spend three months working in the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST).
Dr Ashok Kumar MP, a Chartered Chemical Engineer and IChemE Fellow, served as the Labour Member of Parliament (MP) for the Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency until his sudden death in 2010. Previously, Dr Kumar had worked as a research scientist for British Steel at the Teesside Technology Centre in Grangetown.
Having graduating from the department in 2013, Akshay is currently pursuing a PhD in Chemical and Environmental Engineering under Prof Menachem Elimelech at Yale University in Connecticut, USA. His research centres on the water-energy nexus and focusses on improving our understanding of transport phenomena in energy efficient water desalination processes. While at POST, Akshay will be responsible for working with Scientific Advisers to research and write a short briefing document, called a POSTnote, on a science and technology topic for MPs and Members of the House of Lords.
POSTnotes provide parliamentarians with a concise, balanced, and unbiased analysis of a complex body of scientific evidence from a diverse range of academic, industrial, and governmental sources. The briefings, which are downloaded over a million times each year, help MPs and Lords scrutinise government policy during parliamentary debates and select committee hearings. Previous Ashok Kumar Fellows have co-authored POSTnotes on Energy Storage, New Nuclear Power Technologies, Maximising the Value of Recycled Materials, and Low Carbon Technologies in Energy-Intensive Industries.
Akshay, who has a keen interest in the inner workings of our parliamentary system, is eager to learn about how scientific research is used to better inform our legislators and is thoroughly looking forward to joining the POST team this summer. He would like to thank the IChemE and NEPIC for sponsoring this opportunity.