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22 September 2005 PR 05/92

Loughborough graduate is Chemical Engineering Student of the Year

A Loughborough University graduate has been named the 2005 Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) Chemical Engineering Student of the Year.

Simon Davies (left) is presented with the award by Jim Ford, Managing Director of BOC Industrial and Special Products Europe.

Simon Davies, who gained a First in Chemical Engineering, was presented with the BOC Group sponsored award at a ceremony held in London on 20 September.
The SET Awards are organised by the World Leadership Forum and have become the ‘Oscars’ of British science education. They attract entries from across the country and were first presented in 1998 to shine a spotlight on the achievements of the UK’s most outstanding science and engineering students. Projects entered for the SET Awards are considered to encapsulate the best research and analysis currently being undertaken at British universities.

Simon’s project was concerned with the engineering of artificial blood for transfusion purposes. The aim was to conceive and formulate a healthcare product, as well as to design the manufacturing process route, which could supply ten percent of the UK’s demand for synthetic blood.

Professor Richard Wakeman, head of Loughborough’s Department of Chemical Engineering, said: “Simon’s project was outstanding and a worthy winner of such a prestigious award. I am certain that he has a very exciting career ahead of him and the department is proud that he is one of our graduates.”

Simon is currently working at the Colorado School of Mines in the USA.


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Notes to editors

1. A more detailed description of what Simon’s project entailed is included below:
Following a survey of the literature, it was found that the artificial blood closest to commercialisation is based on perfluorocarbon (PFC) emulsions. These emulsions require nanosized droplets of PFC to be dispersed in an isotonic biocompatible liquid. In pursuit of this goal Simon’s team experimentally investigated: various feedstock PFCs for their ability to carry oxygen; purification of feed PFCs to pharmaceutical grade using silica gel adsorption and batch distillation; emulsification of various PFCs in ultra-pure water formulated with stabilisers and surfactants, using high pressure homogenisation or alternatively ultrasound. The experimental data were incorporated into models, taking into account the accumulated energy/power density, to design the full-scale homogeniser and ultrasound units.

2. A photograph of Simon receiving his award is available upon request to the Public Relations Office.

3. Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place Loughborough in the top flight of UK universities, and industry highlights Loughborough in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 45% of the University’s income is for research. The University has been awarded four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; and for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development.

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