06 July 2015

UCL postgraduate awarded commemorative fellowship in UK Parliament

UCL postgraduate Michael Jenkins

Michael Jenkins, an engineering doctoral student at University College London (UCL), UK, has been named as the successful candidate to be awarded the Ashok Kumar Fellowship for 2015.

Jenkins will spend three months working at the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) for the Fellowship, which is jointly funded by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and the North East of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC).

The Fellowship was introduced in memory of Dr Ashok Kumar, a chemical engineer and Fellow of IChemE, after his sudden death in 2010. He was a Labour Member of Parliament (MP) for Middlesbrough South and Cleveland East, UK.

Jenkins is currently working towards an engineering doctorate in bioprocess design and optimisation which helps address the identification of stem cell therapies and research. He will be the fifth postgraduate to receive the Fellowship since its inception.

Jenkins said: “I’m delighted to be awarded the Ashok Kumar Fellowship. How cutting edge research in STEM subjects is accounted for in policy and debates at parliamentary level has always been an interest of mine, and I recognise that this is a unique opportunity to engage with this process.

“I look forward to working alongside the team at POST where I will no doubt improve my ability to disseminate scientific concepts to broader, non-specialist audiences.”

Chandrika Nath, scientific advisor for physical sciences and IT at POST, who was part of the panel who interviewed Jenkins, said: “We are pleased to be able to offer somebody the experience of working with us here at POST. Our aim is to help parliamentarians examine science and technology issues effectively and with balance.

“Previous POST fellowships included low carbon technologies for energy-intensive industries, maximising the value of recycled materials and new nuclear power technologies. We look forward to working with Michael.”

During the three months of the commemorative Fellowship, Jenkins will be expected to produce a short briefing paper, contribute to a longer report or assist a select committee in a current inquiry, the topic of which will be relevant to the chemical and process industries.

Applications are now open for the next Ashok Kumar Fellowship in 2016. The deadline for applicants is 31 October 2015. Full details on the application process, including eligibility, are available on IChemE’s website.

My IChemE

IChemE is a registered charity in England & Wales (214379), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 039661).