Scientific talent was celebrated at Science and the Parliament; an event organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry on 11 November. Bringing together leading scientific bodies and politicians from across all parties, the conference focused on the theme of ‘Science and the Scottish General Election’.
The outstanding achievements of school pupils from across Scotland in STEM subjects were commended by Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, who presented awards on behalf of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Physics, Royal Society of Biology and the Royal Scottish Society of the Arts (for Technical Studies).
The Royal Society of Edinburgh’s BP Hutton Prize in Energy Innovation was awarded to Dr Cairong Jiang of the School of Chemistry at the University of St Andrews. This prestigious prize, funded by the BP Trust, and carrying a prize of £10,000, is awarded to an early career researcher based in Scotland, who has shown a significant individual contribution to energy innovation through research and knowledge exchange.
Dr. Cairong Jiang, who recently received a Scottish Energy News Researcher of the Year award from Heriot-Watt University, has made a major contribution to energy development through her extensive work on direct carbon fuel cells (DCFCs). She has developed a practical system of converting the chemical energy of solid carbon into electricity. This electrochemical device generates a performance ten times higher than 100 mW cm-2, which is a value from a commercial molten carbonate fuel cell. This is an excellent example which highlights the potential prospects of DCFCs for practical applications. The research that she is involved in offers the clean utilisation of coal, waste and renewable carbon sources at high efficiency and merits development as a realistic alternative technology.
On receiving the award, Dr. Jiang said, "It is a great honour to be the recipient of this prestigious reward. It means a lot to me. It is not only the recognition of my past work but also encourages me to do more and get more people involved in this energy field in the future. This award will give me opportunity to exchange knowledge and take my research a step further for commercialisation."