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The University of Southampton

MPs learn about chemistry at Southampton

Published: 1 May 2013

Young chemists from the University of Southampton have showcased their research at Parliament to a range of politicians and a panel of expert judges, as part of SET (Science, Engineering, Technology) for Britain

Doctoral Prize Researcher Dr Nick Alderman was among those presenting their work; his research on light harvesting for low-cost, high-efficiency solar cells involves both chemistry and engineering.  Among his visitors was city MP John Denhan who studied Chemistry at Southampton.

"SET for Britain is an excellent opportunity to present my research to a wide audience, and I felt very privileged to be able to attend such a prestigious event. It was also a great chance to engage with other young career researchers and gain a wider insight into the cutting-edge research achieved within the UK."

Catalyst researcher Becky Leithall and synthetic chemist Dr David Pugh also took part in the event. Becky works both at the University and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) on new sustainable catalysts to improve chemical processes in the manufacture of materials such as nylon. David's work centres around finding new ways to miniaturise microchips at the nano scale as smaller components will be more powerful and use less energy. Both researchers enjoyed the visit to the House of Parliament.

Andrew Miller MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, says "These early career scientists are the architects of our future and SET for Britain is politicians' best opportunity to meet them and understand their work."

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee runs the event in collaboration with the Institute of Physics, The Physiological Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Society of Biology and the Society of Chemical Industry, with financial support from BP, Airbus/EADS, INEOS, AgChemAccess, Essar, the Institute of Biomedical Science, GAMBICA and WMG.

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