Research projects are a major part of the coursework for Chemical Engineering students in their fourth year at Cambridge, leading to the MEng degree. The students are required to undertake a piece of original research in pairs or singly. In addition to a final report on their work, they are required to give a 6 minute presentation and produce a poster. There were two sessions, on Tuesday, 23rd February and Tuesday, 1st March 2016.
On the first day, the First Prize winners were Ian Leung and Jason McCammon with their project Anti-freeze proteins for cell preservation. Their work involved the production and purification of a novel antifreeze protein that they developed during Michaelmas term. This novel antifreeze protein was shown to display increased antifreeze activity compared to naturally occurring molecules and thus shows potential for its use as a cryoprotective agent.
The second prize went to Eamon Wan and Yeuk Nam Ho for the Effect of culture conditions on Bacillus spore paramagnetism. Their work investigated the newly-discovered paramagnetic properties of bacterial spores by quantifying this phenomenon and developing theories for its origin. Their results show significant magnetic responses and could indicate possible industrial and sensor applications.
On the second day, the First Prize winner was Jacek Osinski for his project, Modelling of coupled reactors undertaking looping reactions. This involved developing a mathematical model of a packed bed reactor integrating ethane dehydrogenation and selective hydrogen combustion as a more economical and environment-friendly method of producing ethylene.
The second prize went to Betsy-Ann Ward and Sam Wibberley for Green sticky fingers. Their project investigated the rheology of synthetic and natural fluids. It involved testing the Seymour extensional rheometer, modelling the fluid properties and taking the Seymour to the botanic gardens to investigate pitcher plant fluids.