Student scoops £1000 South Wales Materials Association work placement prize

Second year Materials Science and Engineering student, Michael Agyeman has won a month’s paid work placement in the Sustainable Product Engineering Centre for Innovative Functional Industrial Coatings (SPECIFIC) - the new Innovation and Knowledge Centre, led by Swansea University with Tata Steel.

At the beginning of the summer, the South Wales Materials Association (SWMA) ran a competition for students aged between 18 and 21. The competition involved writing a maximum of 1000 words on how materials science influences our daily lives, with the winner being selected by the President of the SWMA, Dr John Preston and the Director of the Engineering Doctorate, Dr James Sullivan.

SPECIFIC is a £20m UK Innovation and Knowledge Centre, led by Swansea University’s head of Materials, Professor David Worsley, which focuses on materials science research and scaling up of industrial applications for commercialisation .

The competition attracted a large number of applications but “one stood out for its originality and technical content” reported Dr Sullivan.

Michael began work at SPECIFIC in early September and quickly took to academic research. His main project was to assess the microstructure of magnesium based alloys and design a testing rig which would allow a novel liquid metal treatment to be applied.

Michael Agyeman

“I loved getting into the research side of materials, it is much more difficult than I imagined but very rewarding” were the comments made by Michael after 3 weeks in the state of the art labs trying out his ideas.

Professor Worsley was very impressed with the students’ application and drive – “Michael threw himself into this project and really made it his own. We are hoping to publish his research findings”.

The cheque for £1000 was donated by the SWMA. Research equipment, supervision and guidance was supplied by Swansea University.



Picture (left to right); Dr John Preston (President of SWMA), Michael Agyeman (with cheque) and Professor David Worsley (Swansea University’s Head of Materials).