Sheffield students wins IoM3 Young Persons' Lecture Competition

Congratulations to PhD student Colleen Mann, announced the winner of the IoM3 Young Persons' Lecture Competition.

Colleen Mann receiving her awardHeld at the Armourers’ Hall, London on Wednesday 20th April, Colleen Mann, PhD student within the NucleUS Immobilisation Science Laboratory, competed against 6 other finalists to take home the award.

The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoM3) 2016 Young Persons’ Lecture Competition (YPLC), invites students and professionals, up to the age of 28, to deliver a short lecture on a materials, minerals, mining, packaging, clay technology and wood science related subject.

Colleen's lecture, titled ‘In the Bin for 100,000 Years: An Intergenerational Burden’ focuses on her research in Geological Disposal Facility (GDF), was recognised for its excellent structure, content and presentation, as well as Colleen’s question handling.

Her journey to the final began on Tuesday 1 March at the Sheffield heat of the competition, hosted by Sheffield Metallurgical and Engineering Association (SMEA). She then competed and won the North East Regional heat, held on Thursday 17 March at the Materials Processing Institute in Middlesbrough.

Colleen will now represent the UK at the World Young Persons' Lecture Competition in October.

I was elated to win on Wednesday evening, it was totally unexpected given the high calibre of all of the competitors. The standard was very high, so well done to everyone who took part! I have enjoyed each step of the competition, it has been a great experience; It's inspired me to encourage more students from Sheffield to enter next year. I can't wait to represent the UK at the World YPLC in October!


The final disposal of nuclear waste is a contentious topic to many. Colleen is an excellent communicator and I am extremely proud that her skills in describing the science and engineering behind nuclear waste management have been rewarded with this prestigious award. Well done Colleen!


Further information

Colleen graduated from Queen's University, Belfast, in 2013 with an MSci in Chemistry. She then embarked upon a Next Generation Nuclear PhD working in the NucleUS Immobilisation Science Laboratory within the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. 

The focus of Colleen’s work is to determine the durability of glass in conditions that stimulate that of a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF). An understanding of the reaction mechanisms and dissolution chemistry involved can help predict how the glass wasteform will behave in a GDF, which is key for safe geological disposal of nuclear waste.