Student awarded Chancellor’s Medal for city volunteering and inspiring children into STEM
- A final year bioengineering student has been awarded the prestigious Chancellor’s Medal from the University of Sheffield
- Dimitris Boufidis received the medal for his extensive voluntary work in the local Sheffield community, which involved befriending an elderly lady in a scheme to help people with dementia
- The prestigious medal was also awarded in recognition of Dimitris’ extensive extracurricular activity, drive for diversity in STEM and research in the fight against Covid-19
A student has been awarded the Chancellor’s Medal from the University of Sheffield, in recognition of his drive to inspire young children into STEM and his positive impact on the local community.
Final year bioengineering student, Dimitris Boufidis, aged 22, was presented with the prestigious medal at his graduation ceremony today (19 July 2022), in recognition of his hard work, research and contributions to the University.
During his time at the University, Dimitris has remained committed to inspiring others; having an active involvement with senior leadership committees at the University to bring positive change; and volunteering within the local community.
Dimitris said: “I feel absolutely honoured to be awarded the Chancellor’s Medal and I am deeply thankful to everyone who inspired me to work hard, dream without limits and be the positive change I would like to see in the world. As Alexander the Great wisely said more than two thousand years ago, I am indebted to my parents for living, but to my teachers for living well.
“This is definitely the best way to end my studies at Sheffield, before embarking on the next chapter of my life with an upcoming PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. At this early stage I want to make a promise; to remain passionately curious, hungry and focused, endlessly interested and tirelessly inventive; to stay true to my values, service society and be the good I want to see in the world.”
Dimitris went above and beyond during his time in Sheffield, taking on various ambassadorial roles and significant voluntary work, which involved befriending an elderly lady in Sheffield as part of a scheme to help people with dementia.
At the heart of his work, he hopes to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers and champions by widening participation and representation in STEM.
Dimitris said: “Sheffield’s melting pot of cultures, thanks to the diverse and international student body, taught me valuable skills and enabled me to actively lead actions and scale up my work towards diversity and representation in STEM.”
Over the last few years, Dimitris has presented at a TEDx Conference in Athens in front of over 700 people to inspire children on ‘how to become a hero’ and overcome barriers that keep them away from their dreams.
He also co-founded the Anyone Can Engineer project, which hopes to empower young people of all backgrounds to discover their potential.
Dimitris added: “I will never forget the feeling of realising that my words and actions can have a direct impact on the lives of others. From inspiring the next generation of future scientists and engineers as a student ambassador to interacting with senior University leadership to enhance student experience at Sheffield, my happiness has derived from the powerful and fantastic feeling of being able to contribute towards a good cause.”
Dimitris has also been an International Engineering Ambassador, Science and Engineering Champion, Chair of the Students’ Union Council, Engineering Digital Ambassador via the Faculty social media accounts and a member of the University Senate.
Dimitris’ academic excellence has also been recognised internationally, leading to him being named a top 100 Leader of Tomorrow in the biotech industry and the UK's Student Employee of the Year 2020.
During his placement as an R&D Engineer at the multinational company Plastika Kritis SA in Greece, Dimitris successfully led a project on the development of anti-viral materials that stop coronaviruses from growing on their surface.
He also helped launch a new material that expanded the company’s product range, and then returned to University and completed his dissertation on ‘3D printed flexible bioelectronics for brain implants and wearable devices’ contributing as a co-author to a published research paper.
Dr Nicola Green, Senior Lecturer in Bioengineering from the University of Sheffield, said: “Dimitris is known to all my academic colleagues, and professional and administrative staff because of his exceptional energy, drive, and ability.
“I am absolutely delighted that Dimitris has received the Chancellor’s Medal and wish him all the best for the future. I am immensely proud of him and I am certain that he’ll do very well in the next stage of his career, in his PhD studies. He is a truly excellent student who really deserves this award.”
Natalka Shackley, International Engineering Ambassador Scheme Coordinator and Recruitment Support Officer at the University of Sheffield, said: “From the outset, Dimitris has shown a passion for helping people, which is evident in all of the work he has done and he is a fantastic role model to every student he interacts with.
“His warm-hearted nature and good sense of humour have been tremendous assets, as he is very approachable and inclusive. Dimitris’ passion and enthusiasm to promote bioengineering to prospective students, as well as his integrity and great energy, all add up to making Dimitris a very deserving winner of this prestigious award.”
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