PhD students' posters win prizes at science showcase

Science Graduate School ShowcaseThree PhD students from the Department of Chemistry won prizes at the University of Sheffield's annual Science Graduate School Showcase.

Saeed Alahmari, Sally Morton and Robert Shaw were recognised out of more than 200 students from seven science departments who presented posters at last week's event in the Octagon Centre.

Only 11 prizes of £50 were awarded by Professor Simon Foster, Director of Research and Innovation for the Faculty of Science.

Saeed's poster, 'Trace Gas Analysis with Near-IR Diode Laser Photoacoustic Spectroscopy', described a sensitive, laser-based analytical technique to measure O2, CO2 or H2S gas in the headspace above a solution. The technique has been used to monitor the aerobic respiration and metabolism of bacteria which has potential applications in biotechnology.

Sally Morton'Investigating Formaldehyde and Crotonaldehyde Induced Crosslinks', presented by Sally, described methods for the chemical synthesis and characterisation of DNA containing aldehyde-induced interstrand crosslinking between bases. This is relevant to patients suffering from Fanconi anaemia that are hypersensitive to agents that crosslink DNA and are 100 times more likely to develop cancer than smokers.

For his research project, Robert aims to tackle the challenges of accurately describing the electronic structures of molecules that contain more than just a few atoms. His poster, 'Accelerating high-accuracy electronic structure theory', described the development of new computational methods in theoretical chemistry to accurately describe the electronic structures of larger multi-atom molecules.

The showcase was organised by the University of Sheffield's Science Graduate School, with sponsorship from ThorLabs, New England BioLabs, Andor, Starlab and the Biochemcial Scoiety.

Science Graduate School