17 May 2024

Young Persons' Lecture Competition Winners 2024

Celebrating emerging talent in materials, minerals and mining

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2024 Young Persons' Lecture Competition (YPLC) UK Final, held on 15 May. This prestigious event, which has been running for over 30 years, showcased the remarkable talents and innovative research of young professionals across the nation. 

Emilia Russell, a second-year PhD student in the Department of Engineering at Durham University, representing the North East claimed first place with her outstanding presentation on investigating the impacts of mechanical strain on the electrical properties of 2-dimensional semiconductors. Reflecting on her experience, Emilia said, ‘The 2024 YPLC was such an incredible experience! Getting to meet some amazing PhD students and learn about their research, and having the opportunity to talk about my own in such a beautiful venue feels like a dream come true. I am honoured to have been awarded first place and I am really looking forward to being able to communicate my research on an even larger scale in the future.’ 

Philipp Schulz, a second-year PhD student at University College London (UCL) representing the South East secured second place with a compelling talk on the environmental degradation that nickel-base superalloys may face in hydrogen combustion jet engine environments. His thorough research and clear delivery demonstrated the significant advancements and potential of composite materials. 

Hannah Hilton-Tapp, a third-year PhD student at the University of Leicester, representing the Midlands earned third place with her presentation on the production of copper nanocomposite coatings via a novel pulse-reverse plating technique. Her innovative approach and detailed exploration of this cutting-edge field impressed the panel, showcasing the exciting possibilities of nanotechnology. 

We extend our heartfelt thanks to the event Chair, Dr Michael Kenyon, the judging panel, and all the sponsors for their invaluable support and dedication. This event would not have been possible without their commitment to nurturing the next generation of experts in materials, minerals, and mining. 

Special thanks to our sponsors: 

  • Worshipful Company of Armourers & Brasiers 
  • Henry Royce Institute 
  • The Midland Institute of Mining Engineers (MIMinE) 
  • East Midlands Materials Society 

Without their generosity, sponsoring the finalists' and winner's prizes, this event would not be possible. Their support reflects their commitment to excellence and innovation. 


  • 1st Place: £750 and The Worshipful Company of Armourers & Brasiers medal. An invitation to speak at the Armourers & Brasiers Cambridge Forum and tour the Henry Royce Institute laboratories. 
  • 2nd Place: £400 
  • 3rd Place: £200 

All Participants: £150 prize sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Armourers & Brasiers, in recognition of their selection as a regional finalist. 


Hearing from our judges: 
Dr Ilija Rasovic MIMMM, Chair, SECC said, 'The enthusiasm with which all participants spoke about their research was infectious. They were confident and engaging. Materials, minerals and mining have excellent ambassadors in all of these participants. I congratulate them all and hope that their experiences in the competition are a useful launchpad in their careers.’ 

Adrian Carley FIMMM, Chief Mining Engineer, RJB Mining, added, ‘It was brilliant to see the enthusiasm, knowledge and understanding that all the young persons had and demonstrated during their subject presentations. They are a credit to all who support them. 

The overall standard of the presentations made the judging very difficult to pick an overall winner, but congratulations to Emilia Russell and good luck in the Young Persons’ World Lecture Competition final where I’m sure she will do herself and the UK very proud.’ 

We are excited to announce that Emilia Russell will represent the UK at the 2024 Young Persons' World Lecture Competition online final. 

Congratulations to Emilia, Philipp, and Hannah, and all the participants who made this year’s competition a resounding success. We look forward to seeing their continued contributions to the industry. 

The finalists’ presentations are now available to watch on the YPLC homepage.

For more details about the finalist presentations, please visit the 2024 Young Persons' Lecture Competition UK final page.