Chemistry has been a winner at this year’s national science images contest organized by UK funding company, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Among the winners were photos of fatberg residues, micro-sized polymer balls, natural crystals, and air pollution sensors.
The contest, which was open to researchers who obtained EPSRC funding, lured 169 entries in five sections.
A colorful photo of a brand new triphenyl phosphite polymorph under polarised light gained Finlay Walton from the University of Glasgow first prize in the Eureka and discovery category. Runner-up in the same class is chemical engineer Wei Li, from Loughborough University, alongside her picture of lovastatin. Li used additives and temperature gradients to crystallize the cholesterol-lowering medicine in a more consistent method.
Qin Hu from the University of Nottingham bagged the innovation section award together with her picture of polymer balls half the width of a human hair. The balls’ complex shapes were made by two-photon lithography, a 3D printing method that can produce micro-sized objects.
The gear and facilities prize was given to Peter Pedersen from the University of Cambridge for displaying off his air pollution sensor within the scenic settings of the Alps. He initially developed the sensor as part of a citizen science venture to measure cyclists’ publicity to pollutants while commuting in Cambridge.
Cranfield University’s biotechnologist Natalia Jawiarczyk gained in the weird and wonderful section. Her photograph of fatberg crystals was shot throughout her research on how these sewer-blocking deposits form and the way they are often eliminated.