Final Year Undergraduate Wins the University of Leeds Beaumont Award 2019

Final year undergraduate student, Ellie Marigold, supervised by Professor Paul Williams, won the University of Leeds Beaumont Award for her research into the commercial hydrogen production process.

The University of Leeds Beaumont Award recognises research projects in the areas of Biological, Environmental and Physical Sciences, Engineering, Medicine and Health undertaken by undergraduate students from any discipline. This might be a Final Year Project, a research project, or related to an internship pursued at the University.

The award is inspired by the life and work of Michael Faraday, whose discoveries were crucial in the development of technological innovation. It is sponsored by Professor Adam Beaumont, CEO of aql and a Visiting Professor in Cybersecurity at the University of Leeds.

Each winning student is awarded £500 cash, and receives an engraved medal. They will also be offered the opportunity to take up a free place at the Enterprise Boot Camp run by Spark at the University’s Careers Centre.

Ellie’s research

Ellie studied the enhancement of hydrogen production using plastic waste for her Masters research project within the School of Chemical and Process Engineering. She commented:

“Hydrogen is a fuel of the future, therefore meeting the growing hydrogen demand sustainably is a crucial challenge for the energy sector. In light of major global issues such as climate change and plastic accumulation in the environment, I enjoyed investigating a process that holds potential to help solve these issues in the future.

By adding a third stage to the pyrolysis-reforming of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), we were able to increase the hydrogen composition of the product gas, increasing the viability of hydrogen production through this sustainable method. The project investigated two main routes to hydrogen optimisation, through carbon dioxide adsorption and water-gas shift reactions by varying the catalysts and temperature conditions.

I am incredibly honoured that the potential social impacts of my research project have been recognised by the Beaumont Award.

Receiving this recognition has been a great way to end my university experience, and will undoubtedly continue to motivate me throughout my career as an Energy engineer.”

Award eligibility

All final year undergraduate and integrated Masters students from any discipline who have completed research projects in the areas of Biological, Environmental and Physical Sciences, Engineering, Medicine and Health can apply for the University of Leeds Beaumont Award. They must meet the following criteria:

  • Ability to explain your research to non-specialists
  • The contribution to scientific knowledge and/or potential application of the findings
  • The level of innovation as demonstrated through, for example, the use of creative scientific methods
  • Ethical awareness displayed within the research
  • Ability and potential to benefit society
  • Application of the research in terms of technology development/future research etc.

Further information

For more information on the University of Leeds Beaumont Award visit the For Students website.