Three students from the Sir Robert Woodard Academy were recognised for cutting-edge research which could help clean-up the textile industry. Last Spring, the Year 12 girls were offered work experience by Professor Tom Welton, President of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Professor of Sustainable Chemistry at Imperial College London, on the back of their involvement in IRIS’ Ionic Liquids project. Unfortunately, lockdown put these exciting plans on hold. However, they will be working as research assistants in his world class facility labs at Imperial College London -hopefully sometime in the foreseeable future – collaborating with scientists to take their cutting-edge research a step further.
The students have been creating ionic liquids that could potentially be used to absorb waste chemical dyes widely used in the textiles industry. Their work could provide a new water purification technique which could help reduce the polluting effects when this type of chemical waste is released into neighbouring rivers and lakes.
In the future I am hoping to synthesise and research medicines and specialise in biochemistry at a higher level. This work experience allows me an insight into a working environment in a lab.
Jo Foster, director of IRIS, says it is occasions like these that really illustrate the strength of IRIS. “IRIS was founded on the principle that if given the opportunity to cut their teeth on scientific research, talented students would unlock their passion for science and unleash a desire to do great things and know no boundaries.
“As IRIS continues into its fourth year, it’s evident that our strong network within the scientific community is key to realising our founding principle. Individuals like Professor Tom Welton, who believe in and support our mission, enable us to give bright young scientists a leg-up in the world of research,” continues Jo.
“We have been offered a rare opportunity to spend a week in the labs at the White City campus, Imperial College London. I am grateful that Professor Welton has provided this invaluable experience for us because of our involvement in the IRIS project. In the future I am hoping to synthesise and research medicines and specialise in biochemistry at a higher level. This work experience allows me an insight into a working environment in a lab. “ – Lucy Rawlinson, Year 12 student at Sir Robert Woodard Academy.