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CoSEM CDT students receive ORE Catapult prize

Chris Grace, 2020 ORE Catapult prize joint winner

Chantal Lewis, 2020 ORE Catapult prize joint winner

26 August 2020

CoSEM CDT PhD students Chantal Lewis and Chris Grace have been awarded the 2019/20 ORE Catapult prize for the ‘Best Taught Mark in the CoSEM CDT Taught Component'

Chantal and Chris both joined the CDT programme in September 2019 and have achieved the joint highest average mark in their cohort for their taught units. As joint recipients of the prize they will each receive £75.

All PhD students in the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Composites Science, Engineering and Manufacturing (CoSEM CDT) undertake an innovative taught component in their first year. Students undertake taught units between September and June which introduce them to a wide range of multidisciplinary topics, such as design and manufacture, polymer chemistry, nanocomposites, smart materials, structural mechanics and sustainability. Building on this strong foundation in core engineering competencies, and having developed a breadth of technical and transferable skills, students then embark on an individual three-month project of their choice, prior to starting their PhD projects.

Chantal will be spending her summer conducting an investigation into the scale up of the HiPerDiF process and performance of aligned, discontinuous carbon fibre laminates, while Chris will be looking at Wrapped Tow Reinforced (WrapToR) truss reinforced skin panels for reusable space launch vehicles.

Of course, this year the entire cohort should be especially commended for their efforts in rising to meet the additional challenge of studying remotely for much of the taught component due to the impact of COVID-19.

Chantal said: “I am really thrilled to receive the ORE Catapult prize. Despite the challenges from the coronavirus pandemic, I have enjoyed this past year and learned a lot. The taught component of the CDT has helped to broaden my knowledge of composites giving me a good foundation for my PhD. I feel extremely proud of all I have accomplished, and I am grateful I had the support of my family, friends, and cohort throughout. I now look ahead to the future and the exciting times my PhD will bring.”

Chris said: “I would like to thank ORE Catapult for this award. Despite the pandemic issues towards the end of year, the taught modules at Bristol have been great and provided me with an excellent grounding in advanced composites science that will help me with my PhD going forward.”

CDT Director, Professor Steve Eichhorn, said: “Well done to Chantal and Chris. It’s a really tremendous achievement to have done so well given the circumstances this year with COVID-19.”

ORE Catapult is the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for offshore renewable energy. In June 2017, a £2.3 million research partnership between ORE Catapult and the University, called the Wind Blade Research Hub, was announced. PhD students within the CoSEM and ACCIS CDT’s are amongst the team of world leading composites experts supporting the work of the Hub.

Anna Southall, Academic Engagement Plan Manager at ORE Catapult, said: “Congratulations to Chantal and Chris on this fantastic achievement, particularly given the challenging circumstances. It is crucial that we develop the applied research and engineering skills needed to support the UK’s growing offshore renewables industry. We see this prize and our Wind Blade Research Hub collaboration, both with the University of Bristol, as fundamental to encouraging skills in strategic areas to ensure the UK remains a world leader in offshore wind.”

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Further information

The CoSEM CDT (established in 2019) has evolved from the highly successful and established ACCIS CDT (2014-2022) to address exciting doctoral training opportunities for multidisciplinary composite materials engineering and manufacture.

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