Reece Foundation Celebrates Engineering Excellence at Newcastle University

15th February 2024

Engineering students at Newcastle University have had their innovative Net Zero solutions recognised in The Reece Foundation Net Zero competition, which aims to foster innovation and engage students and supervisors in tackling the Net Zero challenge through their dissertation and thesis projects.

At the recent prize-giving ceremony held on campus, Anne Reece, our Chair, awarded cash prizes to three students in recognition of their achievements and contribution to Net Zero research. She said: “It is a pleasure for us to be able to support Newcastle University’s student innovation prizes, which aim to enhance STEM education and employment opportunities in the region. Learning from the students about innovative solutions to the Net Zero challenge is always inspiring, and it’s great to see how they will have a positive impact on people’s lives.”
Undergraduate and postgraduate winners received £1,000 and the winning PhD project was awarded a £5,000 cash prize.

Among the winners was Matt Housley, recipient of the BEng prize, who collaborated with North Carolina State University on a project demonstrating a novel approach to catalysis and energy efficiency. Matt’s project, which integrates molten salt chemistry and catalysis for CO2 assisted oxidative dehydrogenation, establishes a groundbreaking pathway towards reducing carbon emissions while enhancing energy efficiency.

On winning the prize, Matt said: “I felt extremely honoured to be welcomed back to Newcastle to be presented with this prize from The Reece Foundation. It was inspiring to see glimpses of the innovative work that is being undertaken throughout the North East, which is making the goal of Net Zero more tangible than it ever has been.”

Over the past decade, we have donated more than £1.3m to advance research and support students at Newcastle University. Their generosity has provided essential laboratory equipment for our Centre for Translational Neuroscience, sponsored activities for students interested in a career in the automotive sector and awarded prizes for student innovation.

Most recently, we have awarded prizes for student innovation in the challenge of reaching Net Zero and has committed £65k to the redevelopment of the Stephenson Building on campus, an engineering hub for the future.

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