Imperial College London

Student Contribution & Citizenship Awards presented at Newitt Lecture


Students attending a lecture

Undergraduates celebrated for their contribution to student life in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

There have been forty-three Newitt Lectures in the history of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London. The lecture was established in 1977 in commemoration of Professor Dudley Newitt, a former lecturer and Head of Department who had an influential role in the early development of the department. This year was different. The Lecture is always run by students, and, thanks to former Year Representatives and Departmental Representatives, the Department introduced student-led Student Contribution & Citizenship Awards (SCACAs).

Professor Nilay Shah presenting second year undergraduate Miles Guildford with his award
Professor Nilay Shah presenting second year undergraduate Miles Guildford with his award

The SCACAs were introduced to celebrate undergraduates who are active in student life and improve the Department for everyone. All students were nominated by undergraduates in their year, showing the level of appreciation for what these undergraduates do. Five prizes were awarded, to students from each year, including the exchange students, except for first year who did not post any nominations.

In addition to a monetary award, all year winners and highly-commended nominees received an invitation to the Newitt Lecture to receive their award and the chance to dine at Ognisko Restaurant, South Kensington after the ceremony.

Victor Dillard delivering the Newitt Lecture
Victor Dillard, Imperial Alumnus and Founder of Desktop Genetics, delivering the Newitt Lecture 

The lecture was delivered by Victor Dillard, an alumnus from the Department. After his degree, he joined the University of Cambridge where he completed a Masters in Bioscience Enterprise. Through the course, he met the two people with whom he would co-found Desktop Genetics, currently a global leader in genome editing technology. Assuming the role of Chief Operating Officer after the company’s inception, Mr. Dillard was responsible for raising $3 million of business financing, scaling operations to support a 20-person team, doubling sales year on year and leading the execution of $1 million of R&D projects. As CEO, he led the company's acquisition by cell therapy developer Celixir in June 2018. Mr. Dillard’s contribution to and passion for his industry has led to him being nominated for Forbes 30 Under 30, MIT Innovator Under 35 and Entrepreneur of the Year by the MIT Technology Review. He is a true testament to the power of students from this department.

Thanks once again to our Departmental Representatives, Louis Boyer and Hariprasad Kesavadas, for organising the lecture.

Student Contribution & Citizenship Awards (SCACAs) Winners:

Exchange: Alexander Koh, for his work as department year rep and for being a friendly face across the year

Year 2: Miles Guildford, for two years of well-being rep work and for being a person always willing to listen

Year 3: Abrar Masud, for his work on ChemEngSoc committee, his work as year rep last year and his services to the orange suit industry

Year 4: Jessica Quigley, for her services to ChemEngSoc as President, Mums and Dad’s co-ordinator, Industrial Relations Officer, and Daniel Wigh,for raising awareness about sexual misconduct and chairing a Union Working Group on the topic


Year 2: Vanessa Tang

Year 3: Xie Mingrou, Aniket Chitre and  Kathryn Jaitly

Year 4: Omar Abdulla & Robert Clark


Kathryn Jaitly

Kathryn Jaitly
Department of Chemical Engineering

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