FoNS-MAD Finalists selected


Undergraduate students working together

Three teams of students have been selected to go through to the final of the FoNS Make-A-Difference Competition 2016.

The Faculty of Natural Sciences first launched its Make-A-Difference Competition in January 2014. The competition challenges teams of undergraduate students in the Faculty of Natural Sciences to apply their skills and creativity to develop an idea that would have a positive impact on Society.

On Friday 27 May, the teams taking part in this year’s competition reached the end of Stage 2, where they presented their formal project proposals to a VIP panel of judges comprising Dr Ruth Allan, Manager in Consulting at Deloitte MCS Ltd.; and from Imperial College, Professor Dame Julia Higgins, Professor of Polymer Science and Senior Research Investigator, Department of Chemical Engineering; Professor Lord Robert Winston, Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies; and Professor Sir John Pendry, Chair in Theoretical Solid State Physics.

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


  • Kevin Halim (Chemistry)
  • Joel Wong Wen Han (Chemistry)
  • Johnathan Mei (Maths)
  • Kamal Nahas (Life Sciences)

Summary of idea: Simple and rapid test of peroxide concentration in frying oil to determine if it is suitable and safe for consumption and re-use


  • Uddhav Vaghela (Medicine)
  • Stephan Koenigstorfer (Physics)
  • Ana Losada De La Lastra (Chemistry)
  • Dimitrios Karponis (Medicine)
  • Claudia Liang Peng (Life Sciences)

Summary of idea: Prevention of mosquito penetration by minimising the frictional adhesion forces between mosquito and a host surface, using epicuticular wax crystals


  • Kaiji Wang (Medicine)
  • Ashim Sen Gupta (Physics)
  • Wern Ng (Chemistry)
  • Xinran Liu (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
  • Alice Cao (Physics)

Summary of idea: Electrochemical MIP-capacitor sensor powered by smartphone NFC

The successful teams, will now be given access to facilities and funds to develop their project to a proof-of-concept stage over eight weeks this summer, with each student receiving a bursary 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, in October 2016, where the teams will present their final projects to the VIP judges and an overall winner will be announced.

More information on the contest can be found on the FoNS MAD! webpages.



Rebecca Middleton

Rebecca Middleton
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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