29 March 2021

Success for MSE student at Royce Student Summit

The inaugural Henry Royce Institute Student Summit took place earlier this month and one PhD student in particular was celebrating success at the event after winning both categories in the poster competition.

A photo of the winner of the poster competitions at the Royce Student Summit Daniel Syed Mohamed

Syed Mohammad Daniel Syed Mohamed, who joined the University of Sheffield in October 2020, won prizes in ‘the poster that most surprised participants’ and ‘the poster that most impressed participants’ categories for his doctoral project plan entitled ‘Development of a Bioartificial Kidney using Polyhydroxyalkanoates’. He was rewarded with a certificate and vouchers.

The two-day online Student Summit was open to doctoral students in materials-related fields from all over the UK. Focusing on the latest research in the areas of Royce’s key drivers for Advanced Materials Research, it featured talks from Royce CEO Professor David Knowles and Chief Scientist Professor Phil Withers.

There were keynote presentations on the Circular Economy, Health and Wellbeing, Digital and Communication, Sustainable Manufacture and Transition to Zero Carbon, followed by student talks on these subjects. The event also included a series of careers drop-in sessions and small group micro-sandpit sessions, which provided the opportunity for the students to work in multidisciplinary teams on materials challenges topics.


An image of the winning poster from the Royce Student Summit

Poster competition winner Daniel said: “I started my PhD journey at the University of Sheffield in October last year under the supervision of a biomaterial Professor, Prof. Ipsita Roy, a principal investigator of the Roy Lab. I got the invitation to the event through the University, and Prof. Roy further elaborated on the prestige of Henry Royce Institute.

“Attending the summit is really a huge advantage for a new doctoral student like myself. The summit was organised seamlessly, despite the virtual platform, as the online facilities were utilised to the fullest. I am really glad that I managed to share my doctoral project plan on the development of bioartificial kidney using a bacterial polymer called polyhydroxyalkanoates. 

“My favourite part of the event was the micro-sandpit workshop, which allows engagement between participants in addressing certain issues and challenges regarding materials. I enjoyed the raw discussion involving a multidisciplinary approach from participants with different backgrounds. I really wish to participate again in the future, hopefully in person after this strange time ends.”


This summit has reminded me of just how important it is to get together. There has never been a more important time for student engagement in the very big challenges facing our move to a more sustainable society.”

Regius Prof Philip Withers

Royce Chief Scientist

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