Dr Bethany Corbett (Research award, co-winner)
School of Psychology
"Bethany has demonstrated exceptional research productivity in just 10 short months of postdoc experience. She has consistently gone above and beyond the requirements of her post to progress as a researcher. First, she has secured a number of competitive external funding awards, allowing her to exercise independence and design her own program of research. This notably includes ESRC NINE DTP funding as PI, and British Academy/Leverhulme funding as Co-I. Bethany has also demonstrated an impressive ability to forge and maintain new connections and collaborations. For example, she has led the project management of an interdisciplinary, international project involving seven institutions across Europe and USA. She has also designed and carried out independent projects with a research partner in the Republic of Ireland, and has disseminated research regularly among their institution’s networks. Indeed, in this time, Bethany has undertaken an impressive array of dissemination activities, including successful submissions to highly competitive symposia at the leading national and international conferences. Perhaps most impressive, Bethany has achieved all of the above while positioning herself within a new subject area, relative to her PhD expertise, successfully bridging her interests, across academics, institutions, and projects, all to produce high quality research and future proposals."
Dr Brian Cunningham (Research award, co-winner)
School of Mathematics and Physics
"The structure of atoms and molecules governs most of physics, chemistry and biology. The theory of electronic structure (~100 years old) is well established and successful. In stark contrast, the interactions of antimatter with atoms and molecules are very poorly understood. Whilst pioneering technological achievements over the last two decades have enabled the measurement of positron binding energies to over 90 molecules, a theoretical description has remained elusive. Brian was joint first-author on a very recent ground breaking Nature paper [Nature 606, 688 (2022)] that developed the first accurate ab initio theory of positron interactions with molecules, uncovering the fundamental mechanisms of positron binding and providing deep fundamental insight, required to develop e.g., antimatter-based technologies (traps, beams and PET medical imaging) and diagnostics of materials. The work was reported in The Irish Times “Antimatter mystery solved by physicists at Queen’s University Belfast and Trinity College”. Since 2019, Brian has been instrumental in the successful formation of a collaboration between the group of ERC-funded PI Dermot Green and Trinity College Dublin. It has resulted in the development of the internationally-unrivalled high-performance computer code “EXCITON+”. As a Postdoctoral Assistant Supervisor Brian is formally involved in training our thriving PhD students."
Dr Teresa McGrath (Citizenship and outreach award)
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
"Teresa has been a carbon champion long before the title became common across the University. Throughout her career she has worked closely with public bodies and social housing associations to develop solutions for cost effective energy solutions. In 2017 she spoke at Belfast City council meetings highlighting the fuel poverty crisis in Northern Ireland. Her expertise in carbon reduction has seen her achieve impact across a wide range of sectors, including concrete material and transport. She has led on Queens outreach programmes including the Pathway Opportunity Programme for MAE in 2022 to support widening access to Higher Education (2022) and countless open days for the Schools of NBE and MAE. She provides outstanding mentoring to PhD and Junior Postdocs and has represented Queens on over 20 public outreach activities to primary, secondary and colleges across Northern Ireland. She is currently working in partnership with Wrightbus and Translink on the development of carbon measurement toolkit, for and has assisted an Energia led consortium outside of her main research project with delivery of energy evaluation for future net zero harbour operations (2021-2022), continuing to demonstrate her commitment to ensuring her research has impact on the businesses and organisations that she collaborates with."
Dr Aodhan McIlvenny (Support award)
School of Mathematics and Physics
"It is unquestionable that Dr. Aodhan McIlvenny deserves to be nominated for the EPS postdoctoral awards for his incredible levels of support to both myself and all PhD students in the Centre for Plasma Physics. Dr. McIlvenny provided essential training in laser operations, vacuum systems and, most importantly safety procedures at the TARANIS laser at QUB and the VULCAN laser at the Central Laser Facility to several students who had started their PhD over the Covid-19 period. Many students found they were unable to complete their training at the start of their PhD due to laboratory closures and travel restrictions and Dr. McIlvenny played a vital role in the teaching of essential scientific skills. Furthermore, he assists many PhD students, myself included, in high performance computational work and excellently explains complex simulation theory. He will always provide advice and support to anyone who asks, often in his own personal time. His strong work ethic encourages PhD students to research to the best of their ability and it is for this, and many more reasons, that he deserves this post-doctoral award."
Highly commended 2022
Commendations were made by the judging panel for categories with higher numbers of nominations.
Dr Dilidaer Yusufu (Research award)
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
"I am delighted to nominate Dr. Dilidaer Yusufu for the Research Prize based on her outstanding achievements in scientific publishing, building collaborations, school outreach, and leadership. Dilidaer’s research calibre is evident from her publishing 14 research papers (lead author in 7 papers) in prestigious peer-reviewed journals. Her latest publication on 3D printed, colour based, early wound-infection indicator received a great deal of media attention this year. Throughout Dilidaer’s postdoc years, she has established a strong and successful network with industries and fellow scientists. She worked closely with a major, international industrial collaboration partner and helped them published multiple patents. She also developed a prototype for an inexpensive, colour-based High-Pressure Pasteurization (HPP) indicator; published on the very first 3D printed O2 indicator as lead author; and one of her lead author papers about a vacuum indicator make the cover of a well-respected journal. Dilidaer excelled in every project she worked on, and impressed not only the industrial partners but also her fellow researchers. Dilidaer enthusiastically pursues professional development for both herself and others, and is currently mentoring 2 PhD students. She is an extremely committed colleague who seeks professional growth while consistently delivering high quality research and outputs."
Dr Hannah Kramer (Research award)
School of Psychology
"Hannah demonstrates research excellence within our Kids in Context research group. She has taken a discernible leadership role in our research group improving best practice in open science, data collection, and data management. Most impressively, her leadership extends across the Developing Belief Network, a broad international research network of over 40 researchers in 24 different research sites. Hannah has volunteered to contribute her unique skills in study design above and beyond her day to day project duties, and her efforts have been recognised and praised by the principle investigators and network core team as well as leaders within the School of Psychology. While her main project has largely been in the design and development phase, she has taken initiative to disseminate related lines of research at international conferences and submission of book chapters and empirical articles."
Dr Jade Scott, Dr William Hendren, and Dr Achyut Maity (Support award, joint nomination)
School of Mathematics and Physics
"Dr Jade Scott, Dr William Hendren and Dr Achyut Maity have provided support above and beyond the usual expectation of role and grade over the period January to April 2022. During that time as PI I was on ill-health leave following a sudden and unexpected diagnosis. At short notice and with little input from myself he, and they collectively, assumed management for my significant research group (RAEng Chair, Seagate and initiation of activities in UKRI Strength in Places) that included 6 PhD students, an MSci project student and a 1st year CDT PhD student on a 2 month lab based project. Of particular challenge was the support and encouragement of three PhDs in write up of their theses where they took on roles in support to critique and help develop thesis chapters. In addition, there was the successful conclusion of the MSci and CDT projects. All this was done while still delivering and making progress on their own work agendas as part of their own job descriptions. Individually, and together they exemplified all the values that we espouse within the ICARE framework."
All nominees 2022
Amir Honaryar (School of Natural and Built Environment)
Bethany Corbett (School of Psychology)
Brian Cunningham (School of Mathematics and Physics)
Cormac McSparron (School of Natural and Built Environment)
Dilidaer Yusufu (School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering)
Hannah Kramer (School of Psychology)
Sara Lorimer (School of Psychology)
Scott Millen (School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)
Aodhan McIlvenny (School of Mathematics and Physics) - nominated by 6 individuals
Chunchun Li (School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering)
Emily McGlinchey (School of Psychology)
Achyut Maity, Jade Scott & William Hendren (joint nomination) (School of Mathematics and Physics)
Philip Martin (School of Mathematics and Physics)
Citizenship and Outreach award
Behnam Firoozi Nejad (School of Natural and Built Environment)
Teresa McGrath (School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)