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Strathclyde student wins national graduate prize

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An Engineering graduate from the University of Strathclyde is celebrating a double success after gaining her degree – and winning a UK-wide prize for her achievements as a student.

Carol Nairn has received her MEng qualification with Distinction after completing her studies at the Department of Chemical & Process Engineering.

She is also one of just 10 students to win the Salters' Graduate Prize, awarded annually by the Salters' Institute to outstanding final-year Chemistry and Chemical Engineering undergraduates.

Carol won the prize after being nominated to enter by her department. In her application, she outlined her achievements to date and her aspirations for working in the pharmaceutical industry.

During her degree, she has worked on internships with pharmaceutical companies GSK and Novartis and has worked and studied around the world, in Madrid, Philadelphia, Basel and Kingston, Ontario. She has also acted as a lecturer and student mentor.

Carol, who is from Mauchline, East Ayrshire, said: "I'm delighted to graduate and to win the Salter's Prize at the same time. It's great to have the recognition of the prize and I'd like to thank the department for helping me become the engineer I am today – as well as my family and friends for their endless support and encouragement.

"All of my placements were different – they covered research and development, manufacturing and conceptual design. My research for my thesis project also gave me the chance to explore wastewater treatment; the aim is to develop a more sustainable approach to the treatment of domestic wastewater and recovery of nutrients in the water.

"Strathclyde has offered a different academic experience to what I would have at other institutions, in that you get very practical experience. It makes it much more real and tangible when you're learning from with people who have worked in these areas before."

Carol has won prizes and financial support during her time at Strathclyde for achieving the highest marks in her year, from companies including BP, ConocoPhillips, Aker Solutions and Genesis Oil and Gas, as well as the GSG Beveridge Prize.

She has also become a brand ambassador for Saltire Foundation Undergraduate Internship Programme, an entrepreneurial leadership programme for Scottish universities in which she participated in 2015.

Carol is currently working as a research graduate with KCP Environmental Services in Cumnock, East Ayrshire, and will shortly take up a post with GSK at its site in Barnard Castle, County Durham.

Carol is the second Strathclyde winner of a Salters' Graduate Prize in recent years. Chemistry alumnus Chris Steven was a winner in 2012, when he graduated in Applied Chemistry & Applied Engineering.

Salters' Graduate Prizes are awarded "on the basis of assessments of the potential of candidates ultimately to occupy leading positions in public life, either by employment in the Chemical or related industries, or more generally in employment that supports the industrial life of the UK."

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