Chemical Engineering


15 Jan 2018

Alumnus receives a Salters’ Graduate Award

Gareth Pym pres'n x 650

Each university is permitted to nominate one student for the annual Salters’ Institute Graduate Awards. Ten awards are shared equally between the Chemical Engineering and Chemistry disciplines. 

Loughborough University nominated Gareth for the Salters' award as he had achieved a First Class degree in Chemical Engineering in 2017 following successful placements in 2014/2015 at GlaxoSmithKline and a summer Placement in 2016 at ExxonMobil, as well as undertaking a Professional Development Project in 2016 at Cornell University.

Gareth, seen below with Dr Valerie Pinfield, Head of Department of Chemical Engineering at Loughborough University, underwent several interviews, many held by influential leaders in industry and education at the Salters’ Institute in London, to get through to the final stages of the selection process.

Gareth Pym & Valerie x 350 vert

Candidates are expected to show some knowledge of the chemical industry’s current situation and the need for changing technology in the future. In reflecting these aims, the panel looks for intellectual ability, initiative, effective communication skills, ability to motivate others and a concern for the future of the chemical industry.

Awards are given based on a range of selection criteria including intellectual ability, enthusiasm for the discipline and a concern for the future of the UK industrial base. Winners received a £1,000 prize, which was presented to Gareth by The Rt Hon The Lord Willetts, Executive Chair of the Resolution Foundation and Honorary Freeman of the Salters’ Company, (top photograph), following a lunch reception at Salters' Hall on 8th December 2017, in front of approximately 180 guests from the Chemical Engineering and Chemistry industrial and education sectors.


On receiving the award, Gareth stated:

“It was a privilege just to be nominated by the Department of Chemical Engineering at Loughborough for the award, and I am proud to join the list of previous Loughborough award winners selected by the Salters’ Institute.

The degree programme at Loughborough really challenged me and ultimately prepared me for a career in industry, mainly due to the opportunities the department promotes to undergraduate students. I have the people I met throughout my five years of being a Loughborough student and the experiences I made to thank in qualifying me for such an award.”

Gareth has recently started working as a Distillation Development Engineer at ExxonMobil’s Refinery and Chemicals site.

The Salters’ Institute was founded in 1918 by the Salters' Company who primarily dealt in salt and salting, along with other activities such as chemical preparations. Today, the company is mainly centred on charitable and educational activities. As well as underwriting the Salters’ Institute - its flagship charity - the company also provides grants through the Salters’ Charitable Foundation. For further information on all the Salters’ Institute activities, please visit

The School of Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering would like to offer their congratulations to Gareth on receiving this prestigeous award and we look forward to hearing about Gareth's future endeavours in Chemical Engineering.