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Oxford Chemical Engineers win top prize at 2023 IChemE Global Awards

Collaborative 'Rapid test for Covid-19' project won the 'Outstanding Achievement in Chemical and Process Engineering Award' plus two additional awards

IChemE Awards Outstanding Achievement Winners Oxsed: two white men - far left and far right; two East Asian men - second from left (holding the framed certificate) and centre; one East Asian woman (holding the award statue).

Photo credit: Dan Eden, IChemE

In the prestigious IChemE Global Awards 2023 held on 30 November 2023 in Birmingham, the collaborative project 'Rapid test for Covid-19' by the University of Oxford and Oxsed Limited clinched the top prize, the 'Outstanding Achievement in Chemical and Process Engineering Award.' The team also secured two additional trophies in the categories of 'Innovative Product Award' and 'Business Start-up Award.'

The ICHemE event showcased organisations and teams from around the world that are demonstrating excellence in chemical, biochemical and process engineering. A panel of 30 judges, representing diverse industries worldwide, selected from more than 100 excellent finalists across 19 award categories, to shine a spotlight on organisations and individuals that are leading the way in their fields.

Keith Batchelor, Chair of the IChemE Global Awards volunteer judging panel, said: “The Global Awards recognise the fantastic achievements of chemical engineers around the world as our profession focuses on tackling our global challenges and creating a more sustainable future. I’ve been delighted by the innovative and varied projects submitted to the panel this year, all demonstrating why chemical engineering really matters, and our thanks go to every entrant, as well as our rigorous judges.”

Led by Professors Zhanfeng Cui and Wei Huang, the Oxford team developed a rapid Covid-19 test during the pandemic, now successfully commercialized through the spinout Oxsed Limited. This joint initiative involved the Department of Engineering Science and the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR). Expressing delight at receiving the awards, Professor Zhanfeng Cui, the Donald Pollock Professor of Chemical Engineering, said, "It is an outstanding recognition for Oxford Chemical Engineering by our professional community."

The IChemE judges considered that the significant social impact, economic returns, and clear demonstration of the direct contribution that chemical engineers made to combating the pandemic, meant that the entry was a very worthy winner.

Professor Wei Huang said, "This is a testament to the dedication of our DPhil students and postdocs at the University and in OSCAR, who contributed to the project during challenging times."

Danny Young, Founder and CEO of Prenetics, the company that acquired Oxsed, added, "Oxsed set multiple records and is a compelling example of the powerful combination of top scientists and great entrepreneurs."


IChemE 2023 Awards