University of Sussex Students' Newspaper

Sussex students win top science awards

The Badger

ByThe Badger

Oct 9, 2009

Two students from Sussex have won prestigious Science prizes at the annual Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) awards. The SET awards provide a showcase for educational excellence by publicly recognizing the exceptional achievements of both students and universities. 

Sussex Physics student, Debbie Hill, was awarded BP Science, Engineering and Technology Student of the Year.  She also took the National Physical Laboratory Award for the Best Physics Student.  Molecular medicine graduate, Alastair Copland, won the AstraZeneca award for Best Biology or Biotechnology Student.

To be nominated each student had to be put forward by his or her own academic advisor.  They then had to submit their project and if they made it through to the finals, were then interviewed by a panel of judges.  The event and winners were named at a glitzy gala evening in London on the 24th September.

Debbie achieved the prize for her part in the Neutron Electric Dipole Moment (nEDM).  This aims to explain why there is more matter than anti-matter in the universe.  She was a member of the Sussex Research Placement Programme and will now go on to complete her doctorate.  Debbie said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted. I’ve worked really hard and I feel that reaching this stage shows it paid off.’

Alastair’s project looked at the role certain proteins play in the development of diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Alastair says: “It was a huge privilege to be nominated for a SET Award. The project was both challenging and rewarding – and wouldn’t have been possible without the excellent support of all the laboratory members.’

University of Sussex’s Dr Michael Hardiman, who nominated Debbie, was also announced as Lecturer of the Year.  Heather Campbell was a runner up in the Physics category.  Sussex has had several SET winners in recent years, and this year’s winners adds to the Universities achievements.

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