The YPWLC is an extension of the Young Persons' Lecture Competition (YPLC) and is organised by the IOM3 Student & Early Career Committee.
The winners of the national finals, held in countries where IOM3 has international branches or sister institutions, compete in the world final, which every year is held in a different location around the world. The first YPWLC was held in London in 2005, and since then has travelled to different locations in four continents.
The YPWLC finalists normally gather in the city where the final is to be held ahead of time, to have the opportunity to get to know each other and exchange experiences. They also have a programme of technical, cultural and social visits based around the competition, so that they get to know something of the country they are visiting and experience its culture and industry. For most finalists, it is the experience of a lifetime!
To submit your abstract and enter the Competition, please visit the 2021 YPWLC - National Finals page.
YPWLC finalists 2020
Meet the finalists from all around the world who have competed and won in their individual country's final. The World Final took place virtually on 12 November and was sponsored by Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração.
Morgan Lowther - Winner
Morgan Lowther - Winner
Having studied for an MSci in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, UK, Morgan returned to his Midlands roots to work at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in 2016. As part of the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing, he spent time characterising the feedstocks used for metal powder bed printers. This led to a fascination with how powder, printing parameters and post-processing alter the behaviour of additively manufactured materials.
Now a final year PhD student at the University of Birmingham, UK, Morgan's research uses 3D printing to deliver antimicrobials from biomedical implants, hoping to tackle the increasing challenge of implant-associated infections. Engaging with science outreach since his undergraduate days, a highlight has been helping students become human 3D printers. In his spare time, Morgan is a (very) amateur baker, climber and badminton player
Head, shoulders, knees and microbes: 3D printing better implants
Over 100,000 joint replacement surgeries take place each year in the UK alone, accounting for 1 in 10 hospital admissions. But the prevalence of metallic implants belies that the human body is among the most challenging environments for materials design. Implants often fail not through mechanical means, but biologically, by failing to integrate with native tissues and being colonised by microbes. With the increasing prevalence of antimicrobial resistance predicted to kill more people than cancer by 2050, making previously simple surgeries life threatening, preventing implant-associated infection is a necessity.
Conventional approaches have relied on coatings and other secondary processing to modify implants after manufacture. However, in the past decade, advances in metal additive manufacturing (AM) have opened the possibility of radically new approaches to implant design and materials. How might AM simultaneously revolutionise the production of implants and help mitigate the threat of antimicrobial resistance?
Bianca Gevers - 2nd Place
Bianca Gevers - 2nd Place
Bianca is a PhD student in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She is passionate about the environment, green technology and devising novel approaches to reduce society’s dependence on fossil fuels. Her work focuses on developing materials for renewable energy applications. She loves detail and seeks to understand the materials with which she works (currently layered double hydroxides, anionic clay) on a deeper level. As a result, she has spent most of her PhD investigating the mechanism whereby these materials interact with light and the implications of this on engineering the said materials for renewable energy applications. This has led to multiple publications and conference contributions. After completing her PhD, she hopes to pursue her research interests and (one day) head her own green technology company. When not disappearing into the ever-frequent rabbit holes of new research fields, she loves to look after her plant collection, play tennis, paint, play piano or violin, cook, bake, embroider, sew and host dinner parties.
Engineering photo-active materials for renewable energy generation
In a world where our lifestyle (unchanged) may result in self-destruction, the renewable generation of energy is ever more important. However, the development of renewable alternatives to fossil fuels is evolving too slowly to prevent some of the catastrophic effects of climate change. Many of these alternatives are based on limited natural resources and/or require large amounts of energy to produce or maintain – reducing their positive impact on the environment. In this lecture, a promising sub-category of these alternatives is explored – photo-active materials and their use in solar energy conversion. The mechanisms and applications of these materials are discussed, and their requirements and challenges explained. Layered double hydroxides – a specific class of these materials that can be produced in an environmentally friendly way – have shown promising results and exhibit potential for material engineering. These are used to illustrate the potential of the field and the challenges faced therein.
Anand Jyothi - 3rd Place
Anand Jyothi - 3rd Place
Anand is a design engineer at Worley, working on marine pipelines and subsea engineering. Anand did his Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering in India and completed his Master’s at the University of Western Australia. He was exposed to a broad range of industries during this time, including mining, wastewater management, biogas and bulk material transport. He has a passion for dancing and photography and has won competitions in the state level for both.
SSBC – Self-Regulating Suspended Biogas Collectors
The global biogas industry market is expected to double over the next decade with a value of $48.8bln (USD) by 2026. Conventional biogas capturing technologies present a number of problems such as limited access to the inside of the reactors, risk of damage to the cover that can cause complete loss of methane produced, and difficulty in retrofitting to existing open reactors. The Self-Regulating Suspended Biogas Collectors (SSBC) propose a new approach to capture gas from reactors. There are significant economic and social benefits for the Australian industry and community resulting from this new technology.
The SSBC can capture and retain produced biogas while floating on top of anaerobic lagoons or reactors. The system consists of a number of small floating biogas capturing modules that operate independently. The collectors have a system that control the internal pressures, which maintains the stability of the modules and stops them capsizing. SSBC's modular design negates the need to shut down the entire anaerobic system for maintenance. Desludging and crust removal operations of the anaerobic system have been shown to be much more accessible in contrast to current technologies. The patented SSBC method presents an opportunity for business to implement biogas energy generation with reduced maintenance costs and better production efficiency using a flexible system that can be retrofitted to current reactors.
Kai Xin Tan
Kai Xin Tan
Kai Xin Tan graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Universiti Malaysia Perlis. She also holds a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering with first class honours from Politeknik Shah Alam Malaysia. She has participated in and won several medals in national and international competitions, namely iCompEx2017 (gold medal), ITEX2017 (gold medal) and Seoul International Invention Fair (bronze medal). She has been actively involved in students’ society and public speaking competitions. She loves sports in which she holds a black belt in WuShu martial arts. She has participated in several performances and a national singing competition. She enjoys singing and plays musical instruments.
Metastable phases and mechanisms in the dehydrogenation process of titanium hydride
Titanium hydride (TiH2), which is an intermediate product of titanium extraction, has great potential to be an alternative material to produce pure titanium powder. This research describes the characterisation of titanium powder after dehydrogenation using various techniques. Non-isothermal dehydrogenation up to 700°C has been carried out under a high-purity argon environment. High-temperature, in situ, x-ray diffraction and Rietveld refinement were used for characterisation. Cell parameters and phase changes that were determined through the Rietveld method proved that dehydrogenation occurs through heating. It was found that several metastable phases that shared the same crystal structures were formed during phase transformation. Lattice parameters increased under the influence of thermal expansion and reduced due to dehydrogenation. The effects of these two parameters on the phase transformation and crystal structures formed were studied. The non-isothermal dehydrogenation process had a sequence of phase transformations starting from δ-titanium to a final α-titanium phase.
Wen Di Chan
Wen Di Chan
Wen Di went to Hong Kong in 2016 to study Materials Engineering in City University. She was attracted by nanomaterials and their potential applications in a wide array of industrial sectors. After graduating, she joined Professor Lawrence Wu’s Research Group as a Research Assistant, focusing on biosensing and nanomaterials. She is currently in her first year of her PhD under the supervision of Professor Wu. Her research work involves using nanomaterials to improve the sensitivity and selectivity of biosensors. In her spare time, she plays Taekwondo Sport which she finds fun and challenging.
Molecular study on formation of multi-compartment structures by self-assembly amphiphilic terpolymer with dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulation
Efficient drug delivery, such as micelle and vesicles, plays a crucial role in disease treatment for cancer therapeutics. Current drug delivery research is moving from single compartment to multi-compartment structure to increase the capability of taking different drugs at one time. Dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulation at the molecular level was carried out to build micellar structures with more than one compartment. By monitoring the arm length of self-assembled amphiphilic star terpolymer, spherical, branched and cylindrical micelles and vesicles were obtained. Worm-like multi-compartment structures, which have a high potential for the uptake of several drugs, were obtained. Furthermore, evolution of the whole formation process can be clearly obtained and easily studied. DPD simulations have saved time and effort in developing new drug delivery mechanisms, and it is believed to be a powerful tool in driving development of the drug delivery system.
Andrey is a postgraduate student in the metallurgy department at Saint Petersburg Mining University. Before entering the postgraduate programme, Andrey received his Master’s degree at the School of Non-Ferrous Metals and Material Science in Krasnoyarsk, where he was part of a research unit involved in developing
high-amperage aluminium reduction cells. He continues his work dedicated to increasing energy efficiency and stability of aluminium electrolysis through designing new technological solutions. Andrey thinks that the sustainable production of aluminium is of great importance due to its constantly growing production rate and, as a result, environmental impact. Andrey likes to spend his leisure time playing the guitar, meeting his friends and travelling.
Primary aluminium production – how the wettability of carbon anodes influences energy efficiency
In 2019, almost 64Mt of primary aluminium were produced, exceeding the 2010 indicators by 40%. Primary aluminium production requires a huge amount of electrical energy, which is the reason why world producers apply much effort to reduce specific energy consumption. Due to the serious environmental issues the world is facing today, it is vital to use energy and resources sustainably. This lecture introduces aluminium reduction technology and ways to improve the energy efficiency of this process. It highlights the phenomena observed during the anode process – one of the most important parts of aluminium electrolysis – and how the wettability of carbon anodes influences the anode process and its connection to specific energy consumption. The presentation also discusses existing and potential technical solutions to improve the interaction between carbon anodes and cryolite-alumina melt, hence the energy efficiency.
Mariana Alves Ribeiro
Mariana Alves Ribeiro
Mariana Alves Ribeiro is an undergraduate metallurgical engineering student at the Federal University of Minas Gerais. She studied Ferrous Metallurgy at the Montanuniversitaet Leoben in Austria and is also a Chemistry Technician. Since 2012, she has been working on mining, metallurgical and material science projects.
In 2017, she started an internship in a steelmaking group, accumulating around ten science projects, which won some academic and industry relevant awards. This included R&D around steelmaking reactors using water models and Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations. The last project has an environmental focus, using cleaner production concepts on greenhouse gases for steelmaking industry reduction. Her working passions are metals reduction and refining. In her spare time, she usually reads, watch some movies, and is now starting to do some abstract watercolour painting.
Greenhouse gas management and energy efficiency in an oxygen steelmaking plant
Carbon emissions and climate change are increasingly in focus. Several studies have been carried out on strategies to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases. According to the World Steel Organisation, between January 2019 and May 2020, 148,775,000t of steel were produced worldwide, demonstrating the expressiveness of the steel industry. Management of greenhouse gases must be carried out to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
This presentation approaches the management of greenhouse gases for an oxygen steelmaking plant, under the standards of the Brazilian GHG Protocol. According to the results, carbon dioxide emissions in the melt shop have been reduced by 92% over the years. Pig iron consumption and gas recovery are variables with the largest impact on greenhouse gas emissions.