June 2021

Outstanding Leeds students recognised at the 2021 Beaumont Awards

The University of Leeds and Professor Adam Beaumont (Chemistry 1993; PhD 1996) have announced the winners of this year’s prestigious Beaumont Awards.

Despite the incredibly difficult learning conditions for students in the past year, 11 students have been awarded a coveted Beaumont Award to acknowledge outstanding research projects with the potential to impact society and solve real-world problems – with projects ranging from the identification of a potential oral COVID-19 medication, to finding environmentally friendly alternatives to energy intensive cooling systems.

Sponsored by Leeds alum, innovator and technologist Professor Adam Beaumont, the award scheme enables each winning student to take advantage of personal introductions to relevant contacts within industry and opportunities to work with world-class organisations to further progress their research.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has meant students had to overcome great difficulties and adapt the way their final year projects were conducted, creating more analysis based papers due to restrictions around physical research,” comments Professor Adam Beaumont.

“This year’s award entries have shown the resilience of students at the University of Leeds to be able to continue with vital research in challenging times and create papers that show genuine interest in helping to solve real world problems. Supporting future generations is crucial in helping society move forward and drive the country to build back better.”  

"This year’s award entries have shown the resilience of students at the University of Leeds to be able to continue with vital research in challenging times.”

Professor Adam Beaumont (Chemistry 1993; PhD 1996)
Founder and CEO, aql

Stand out entries include research into a SARS-CoV-2 (the virus responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak) antiviral that could make the possibility of self dosing at home with an orally prescribed medicine a reality, potentially saving billions of lives.

Other winning submissions looked at Passive Radiative Cooling (PRC), an environmentally friendly future alternative to energy intensive cooling systems which requires no energy input, and an investigation into sociological issues and bias around social media algorithms.

Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Chancellor, said: “Now in its fourth year, the quality and diversity of entries to the Beaumont Awards further demonstrates the University of Leeds’ commitment to research-led education and learning. The support that the Beaumont Awards gives our students is invaluable and supports them long after their graduation, to put them on a path to a truly successful career."

Each winning student is awarded a cash prize of £500 and the opportunity to take a place on the University’s Enterprise Boot Camp run by SPARK, a programme designed to nurture entrepreneurial vision and offer advice to those interested in establishing a new business venture. 

Professor Peter Jimack, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Student Education, said: “Our students have faced an extraordinarily unsettling time and to produce this high standard of research is testament to their determination to drive change in society. The Beaumont Awards offers both encouragement and inspiration to our students to confidently kick-start their careers and it’s this that we are continuously thankful for."

The 2021 award recipients and their winning research projects are announced below:

  • Stewart Holloway - Engineering and Physical Sciences – Design and synthesis of novel SARS-CoV-2 Mpro Non-Covalent inhibitors.

  • Matilda Collins - Engineering and Physical Sciences – Optimising the Instruments Used in the Smear Test Procedure with a Focus on Patient Comfort.

  • Joe Jeffcock - Engineering and Physical Sciences – Object Aware Navigation for Mobile Robots with 3D Multiple Object Tracking.

  • Timothy Griffiths - Medicine and Health – Diffusion MRI for Diagnosing Cubital Tunnel Syndrome: A Proof of Concept Study.

  • Lucie Charvatova - Engineering and Physical Sciences – 1-D Simulation of the Effect of External EGR System on Motorcycle Engine Fuel Consumption and NOx Formation.

  • Sanna Khan - Engineering and Physical Sciences – Passive Radiative Cooling (PRC).

  • Emily Johnston - Arts Humanities and Cultures – Zoonotic Disease Emergence and the Bushmeat Trade: A Critical Analyses of Zoonotic Spillover Risk as a Result of Bushmeat Related Activities.

  • Ellis Garland - Medicine and Health – Infection-Related Hospitalisation in Heart Failure WithReduced Ejection Fraction.

  • Elena Piscitelli - Biological Sciences – Maternal protein biomarkers and their association with structural changes in the placenta.

  • Paulina Pawlak - Engineering and Physical – Computing, Tech, Society: Living by Algorithms.

  • Benjamin Matheson - Engineering and Physical Sciences – Investigation into the use of Physics Informed Neural Networks to Predict Soft Tissue Deformation for Computer Aided Surgery.

Find out more about awards founder Professor Adam Beaumont, his inspiration for setting up the awards and his advice for graduating students.