Category Archives: Chemistry

4th National RSC/SCI Retrosynthesis Competition

Over the last four months, five members from the Smith group (School of Chemistry), including three women, took part in the 4th National RSC/SCI Retrosynthesis Competition: Elizabeth Munday, Nassilia Attaba, Stéphanie Spoehrle, Calum McLaughlin and Jude Arokianathar. This prestigious competition consists of two rounds and is entered by teams coming from both academia and industry. To progress to the final, each team had to propose a synthesis of acosmine, a complex natural product with a diaza adamantane core. They submitted their entry in December and got selected for the final in January.

The final took place at the SCI headquarters in London on the 10th of March. Ten teams presented their synthesis of a second natural product, Eucalrobusone D, in front of a jury. The St Andrews Team won second Prize.

(Picture: Left to right: Elizabeth Munday, Calum McLaughlin, Stéphanie Spoehrle, Nassilia Attaba, Jude Arokianathar)

Salters Graduate Prize

Alice Green (2016 MChem Chemistry Graduate), was selected to receive one of the prestigious Salters Graduate Prize’s at a ceremony at the Salters Institute in London on December 9th.

The Salters Awards are given to Chemistry graduates of exceptional ability and promise. Alice is pictured receiving her award with the Master of the Salters Company and Dr Annette Doherty, a senior vice president at GSK. Alice is now carrying out a Ph.D in Oxford.

Suffrage Science Award

Professor Sharon Ashbrook (School of Chemistry) has been selected as the next recipient of the Suffrage Science award for women in engineering and physical sciences. The Suffrage Science scheme celebrates women in science across the UK for their scientific achievement and for their ability to inspire others.

The Award (an heirloom) is handed down from one recipient to the next, and in this case Sharon will receives a bespoke piece of designer jewellery from Professor Polly Arnold (Edinburgh, Chemistry), who was the previous recipient for engineering and the physical sciences.

Booklet “Academic Women Now” launched

This publication on experiences of mid-career academic women in Scotland was launched by the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s “Young Academy Scotland”, which is a project managed by Sharon Ashbrook, Aileen Fyfe and Ineke de Moortel (see photo), all from the University of St Andrews.

The new booklet details the careers of female members of the Young Academy of Scotland, which recognises emerging leaders in science and the humanities, revealing their routes to success by discipline, personal circumstances and opportunities.

The booklet can be found here:

SCI Scholarship award

Many congratulations to Angelica Orsi, a 2nd-year PhD student working with Professor Paul Wright in Chemistry, who has just been awarded a SCI Scholarship. The Scholarship provides an additional £5,000 for her research related activities.

Angelica says: ’Being awarded this prestigious SCI Scholarship will enable me to acquire further equipment for my studies and fund possible conference excursions to build relationships with both academic and industrial communities.’

Best Poster Award

Katie Self won the Best Poster Award at the RSC Solid State Christmas Meeting in December 2014, hosted by the University of Glasgow and University of Strathclyde, for her poster presentation titled “Reversed Crystal Growth of Rhombohedral Calcite”. The award came with a £200 bursary towards sending Katie to an international conference (which she used to attend the Advances in Functional Materials 2015 meeting in New York, 29 June – 3 July).

Katie had previously been awarded First Prize for her oral presentation titled “Reversed Crystal Growth of ZnO Microdisks” at the Northern Postgraduate Chemical Engineering Conference held at Newcastle University in August 2013, as shown on the picture.

Prize in “Crystals as Art” competition

Dr Heather Greer won second prize in the “Crystals as Art” competition open to all registered delegates of the 46th British Association for Crystal Growth Annual Conference held on 21-23 June 2015 at Queen Mary University, London. The prize was awarded for Heather’s coloured Scanning Electron Microscope image of a rose-like BiOBr particle.