Chemical engineers celebrate prestigious medal haul



Five academics from Imperial have been recognised by a leading institution for their outstanding contribution to chemical engineering.

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) has revealed this week the winners of the 2014 round of its medal programme. Five researchers, from Imperial’s Department of Chemical Engineering and the Centre for Environmental Policy, received medals, out of a total of 16 presented to academics around the world.

These medals underline what we already know in the department and that is we have a bunch of extremely talented chemical engineers working here.

– Professor Andrew Livingston

Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering

Professor Stephen Richardson Associate Provost (Institutional Affairs) and former head of the Department of Chemical Engineering, along with Professor George Jackson and Drs Camile Petit and Paul Fennell also from the same department received medals. Dr Niall MacDowell from the Centre for Environmental Policy was also recognised as were alumni Ken Morrison and Ignacio Grossman, who both did their PhDs with Emeritus Professor Roger Sargent from the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Professor Andrew Livingston, Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial, said: “These medals underline what we already know in the department and that is we have a bunch of extremely talented chemical engineers working here. Whether working closely with industry, helping to lead the College, hunkering down on their next research paper or inspiring the next generation of chemical engineers, this year’s medallists are some of the best and brightest in their fields. I look forward to raising a glass, or two, with them all in the future to celebrate this fantastic acknowledgement of their success.”

Professor Geoff Maitland, from the Department of Chemical Engineering who is also President of the IChemE, said: “We had a record number of entries to our medal programme this year and I’m delighted to be able to announce so many winners. It just goes to show how much the chemical engineering community values the honour and recognition these medals bestow.”

The medals cover a broad range of categories including services to IChemE’s journals and other publications. The 2014 round for the first time included medals for research excellence in a range of categories. Winners will be presented with their awards at a range of events during 2015, including at the IChemE’s Annual General Meeting.

Medals were awarded to Imperial researchers for:

Research medals

Professor George Jackson
Professor George Jackson is world renowned for an approach he developed that permits scientists to make precise predictions about the behaviour for a broad range of liquids including solutions of plastics and detergents. Professor Jackson was awarded the Guggenheim Medal for “research excellence in thermodynamics and/or complex fluids”.

Dr Niall MacDowell
Dr Mac Dowell’s research focusses on modelling of low carbon energy systems. Niall was awarded the Nicklin Medal for his “exceptional contribution to the process sciences by an author who has graduated within the last ten years”.

Dr Camile Petit
Dr Petit’s research group works on developing new materials that could be used in the energy and environmental sectors. Dr Petit was awarded the Warner Medal for showing “exceptional promise in sustainable chemical process technology, nuclear technology and making chemical engineering more accessible”.

Services to the Institution

Dr Paul Fennell
Dr Fennell’s research focuses on clean and efficient energy production, including carbon capture and storage, where harmful CO₂ gases can be stored underground, and he also works on developing biofuels from waste. He is well known for his outreach activities, presenting and demonstrating at events such as the Cheltenham Science Festival and the British Science Festival. He was awarded the Ambassador Prize for “his broad range of outreach activities, including advising the UK government on decarbonisation, chairing the new Clean Energy Special Interest Group and helping to promote science and engineering to the general public”.

Professor Stephen Richardson
Professor Richardson’s research focusses on making the oil and gas industry safer. Among his many achievements, he is a world expert in ‘blowdown’ - the standard, but often hazardous, procedure carried out by engineers to rapidly depressurise a pipeline or pressure vessels in an emergency. Professor Richardson was awarded the Arnold Greene Medal for “his long-standing engagement with IChemE journals”.<


Colin Smith

Colin Smith
Communications and Public Affairs

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