Sheffield scientist wins thesis prize

Posted on Thursday, June 21st, 2012 in News| Share this article
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Dr. Kate Kirkham (nee Thompson) has just been awarded the inaugural Macro Group prize for the best PhD thesis in the field of polymer science in the UK.

Her thesis was entitled “Covalently Cross-linked Colloidosomes” and her PhD supervisor was Prof. Steve Armes, the Director of the Polymer Centre. Kate’s PhD degree was part-sponsored by Procter & Gamble, who provided a CASE award to match her EPSRC studentship. Her research studies involved the synthesis of novel well-defined hydrophilic macromonomers via ATRP, the evaluation of these macromonomers for the preparation of model sterically-stabilised latexes, the use of these latexes to prepare low polydispersity Pickering emulsions and the covalent stabilisation of such emulsions to produce colloidosome microcapsules. Her results have been widely published in Macromolecules, Langmuir and Chemical Communications and some of her research samples have been further examined by scientists working at the University of Hull (UK), at McMaster University (Canada) and also at Newcastle University (Australia). These informal collaborations have produced three further joint papers in Langmuir, with a fourth manuscript currently in preparation.

After her PhD degree, Kate was awarded an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship and she continues to work within the Department of Chemistry at the University of Sheffield. She is currently evaluating whether block copolymer vesicles can be used as Pickering emulsifiers. She will present an invited lecture discussing her PhD studies at a major international polymer chemistry conference to be held in July 2012 at the University of Warwick.

For more information, please contact the Polymer Centre via the link below.