Faculty of Natural Sciences Impact Challenge - Finalists selected



Three successful student teams have been selected to go through to the final of the Make-a-Difference Competition.

The Faculty of Natural Sciences launched its Make-a-Difference Impact Challenge Competition in January 2014. The competition, running for the first time this year, challenged teams of undergraduate students in the Faculty of Natural Sciences to apply their skills and creativity to develop a low-cost technology that would have a positive impact on Society.

On Friday 30 May, the teams reached the end of Stage 2 of the competition, where they presented their formal project proposals to a VIP panel of judges comprising Professor Lord Robert Winston; Professor Sir John Pendry, from the Department of Physics at Imperial; and Professor Lesley Yellowlees, President of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Edinburgh.

The judges selected the following three teams to go through to the final stage of the competition:

  • ‘BioMilk’ :  Alan Chang, Timothy Yin Ho Hui, Tin Shing Lee, Xin Zhan
  • ‘ZymeDeal’:  Jiawen Dou, Evelyn Liu, Sijia Yu, Qiyun Zhong
  • ‘FunGu(Y)s’:  Tim Pauwels, Vasily Shenshin
We were deeply impressed with the projects presented by the teams - they were imaginative and ambitious

– Professor Lesley Yellowlees

President of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Lesley Yellowlees said, 'We were deeply impressed with the projects presented by the teams - they were imaginative and ambitious. The winning teams were all well researched and presented their ideas enthusiastically. We anticipate real progress from the teams during the summer and look forward to hearing about their results.'

The successful teams, which include a mix of students from the Departments of Life Sciences, Physics and Mathematics, will now be given access to facilities to develop their project to a proof-of-concept stage over eight weeks this summer, with each student receiving a bursary of £1,500 to cover their living costs.

The teams will submit a detailed summary of their findings at the end of the 8 weeks and the competition will culminate in an event open to staff, students and the general public, where the teams will present their final projects to the VIP judges and an overall winner will be announced.

Competition organiser Professor Ramón Vilar from the Department of Chemistry said: ‘Students from across the Faculty of Natural Sciences have come up with fantastic ideas to tackle a wide range of real problems that affect our well-being. We have been impressed by their creativity, hard work and innovative approaches to tackling these challenges. The three selected teams will now have 8 weeks to demonstrate that their idea works – I look forward to seeing their prototypes later this year!’ 


Rebecca Middleton

Rebecca Middleton
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 2689
Email: rebecca.middleton@imperial.ac.uk

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