Leicester scientists take sustainable energy research to Parliament

PhD student Manon Lachmann with supervisor Dr Patricia Rodriguez-Macia.

Two University of Leicester scientists will be showcasing how chemistry is making an impact on sustainable energy to politicians. 

Dr Patricia Rodriguez-Macia, a Lecturer in the University’s School of Chemistry, will join her PhD student Manon Lachmann in attending Parliament to present their chemistry research to a range of politicians and a panel of expert judges, as part of STEM for BRITAIN on Monday 4 March.

At the event, Dr Rodriguez-Macia will present a poster on the development of new biohybrid catalysts for green chemistry and energy sustainability, while Manon will present a poster into artificial metalloenzyme design for green energy conversion. Both will be judged against dozens of other scientists’ research in the only national competition of its kind. 

Manon and Dr Rodriguez-Macia were shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to appear in Parliament.

Manon, who hails from Cambridge, said: “It’s an extremely exciting opportunity for me to showcase the potential that enzymes hold for providing new solutions to the climate crisis. I hope to advocate my research to politicians and discuss new ideas that will help to advance my work with fellow scientists from a diverse field.” 

Dr Rodriguez-Macia, who hails from Alicante in Spain, said: “I am really excited to present my science to the Members of the Parliament and discuss the important contribution that chemistry can have in our transition to a more sustainable future. I am thrilled to meet other early-career researchers and learn about their science, as well as meeting MPs and get a feeling of how one day in the life of Parliament is.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, said:

“This annual competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak to a wide range of the country’s best young researchers. 

“These early career engineers, mathematicians and scientists are the architects of our future and STEM for BRITAIN is politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work.”

Both scientists’ research has been entered into the chemistry session of the competition, which will end in a gold, silver and bronze prize-giving ceremony.

Judged by leading academics, each winner will receive a cash prize with a medal for the gold recipient.

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee runs the event in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Biology, The Physiological Society, The Nutrition Society and the Council for the Mathematical Sciences, with sponsorship from Dyson, Clay Mathematics Institute, United Kingdom Research and Innovation, Warwick Manufacturing Group, AWE, the Society of Chemical Industry, Institute of Biomedical Science, the Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research, the Biochemical Society and the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences.