Poster 2014 The FoNS-Make-A-Difference! (FoNS MAD) competition ran for the first time during 2014.

30 students across the departments of Chemistry, Mathematics, Life Sciences and Physics applied to take part with 8 teams entering their ideas into Stage 1 of the competition.

In June 2014, three teams of students were selected to go through to the final stages of the competition:


Alan Chang, Timothy Yin Ho Hui, Tin Shing Lee, Xin Zhan

The BioMilk team worked on a project to create a milk substitute to provide a lactose-free milk option to the public using synthetic biology techniques. The core objective of their project was to make milk affordable and readily accessible to everyone.


Tim Pauwels, Vasily Shenshin

The aim of the FunGu(Y)s team project was to improve the quality of research with air displacement micropipettes by designing one which was more resistant to errors and which would demand less strenuous movements, thus decreasing the risk of RSI. 


Jiawen Dou, Evelyn Liu, Sijia Yu, Qiyun Zhong

ZymeDeal worked on a solution to the problem of beverage preservation, which they identified as an emergent problem in many aspects of daily life. They explored a method of natural, low-cost and efficient beverage storage by developing an enzyme coated polymer for long-term liquid storage at room temperature.

At an event on Tuesday 28 October 2014, the three teams presented their projects to an invited audience and a VIP panel of judges comprising Professor Lord Robert Winston, Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies, Imperial College London; Professor Sir John Pendry, Chair in Theoretical Solid State Physics, Department of Physics, Imperial College London; and Professor Lesley Yellowlees, Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Edinburgh.

The judges announced the winner as ZymeDeal and the team were presented with certificates and a cheque for £1000.

Read the full story or watch a video of the 2014 launch event.