University helps talented student to Gold Crest award
Local school pupil Daniel Blight from Ysgol David Hughes applied for a Nuffield Research Placement and was matched with a supervisor at the School of Chemistry at Bangor University for six weeks over the summer holiday. Daniel, who is fascinated by Chemistry, worked with Dr Paddy Murphy and Dr Leigh Jones, who supervised Dan for the duration of his project. The work Dan undertook focussed on producing new organic ligands as building blocks to novel magnetic materials. This project was real research and may, in future, be published. If this happens, the three Nuffield Research Placement students will be named as contributors.
Nuffield Research Placements provide over 1,000 students each year the opportunity to work alongside professional scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.
Dan’s project was entered into the CREST awards and from there was put forward for the National Science and Engineering Competition. He made it to the final and was invited to go to the NEC to present the project to a panel of expert judges. Including Jason Bradbury from the Gadget Show), Liz Bonnin of Bang Goes the Theory fame, Jim Al-Kahlili a Physics professor) and Helen Sharman who was Britain’s first astronaut.
Dan said: “The Big Bang fair was a great experience; it gave me the chance to not only meet celebrity judges and a large number of people interested in my project, but also other people my age who share the same interests. I would recommend the project to anyone and would like to thank Dr Jones and all the other staff at Bangor University for helping me get there.”
The school of Chemistry took on three talented young students over the summer and plans to host more in 2015. The other two students who undertook the placement were: Shivani Rai from Friars School, Bangor and Gethin Wyn Williams from Ysgol Syr Hugh Owen in Caernarfon.
Dr Leigh Jones said “Daniel, Shivani and Gethin were fantastic for the duration of their Nuffield placements. They worked tirelessly on a project that is of significant importance to myself and my research group and they more than acquitted themselves. My new motto is: “If they are good enough, they are old enough!”
Dan received a certificate from the Nuffield Foundation to recognise successful completion of his placement. At the CREST awards in Cardiff Dan also met the Nobel Prize winner Sir Martin Evans.
More information about Nuffield Research Placements is available at www.nuffieldfoundation.org/nrp.
Publication date: 21 May 2015