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Valuable undergraduate research was presented by students of the BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Science and BSc Laboratory Analyst Apprenticeships programmes at a joint poster session held in the Atrium at SETU Waterford on Thursday, 18 May.

Students presented their final year laboratory or desk-based project work as a poster presentation to staff, industry representatives and fellow students. Each student gave a short pitch and answered questions on their work.

Dr Kathleen Grennan helped students prepare their posters. There was a broad range of innovative projects. A sample of some of the project topics were the investigation of greener solvents in chemical synthesis reactions, new technologies to degrade microplastics in water, investigation of green tea-incorporated wound dressings, development of new transdermal drug delivery platforms and analytical methods for pharmaceuticals and related products.

Programme Leader of the BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Science Dr Claire Lennon said, “We are delighted that students could showcase their important and valuable undergraduate research at our event today. As well as an assessment, this event also gives students the experience of presenting their work as if at a research conference and is an event to mark their four years of work within the programme.”

The highest-ranking posters and presentations were judged a second time by Prof Peter McLoughlin, Head of School of Science and Computing at SETU, for Industry sponsored prizes kindly supported by Sanofi. The winners Arunas Jag and Tze Shyuen Lim will be presented their Awards at the Department of Laboratory Science and Land Science Industry Awards Ceremony on 9 June.

Students from The BSc. Laboratory Analyst Apprenticeship programme also presented their final Year projects. The apprenticeship programme is specifically an industry-led programme, combining on-the-job training with academic study in SETU Waterford.

The programme is now in its fourth year and currently has 33 registered apprentices. The winner of the Laboratory Analyst Apprenticeship Work Based Learning poster was Michael Kelleher and this prize was kindly sponsored by Ibec. The topic of the reviews varied from the use of smart chemometrics for rapid drug analysis, utilising mobile spectrophotometric techniques and the use of new technologies in cleaning verification, amongst others.

Programme Leader of the BSc Laboratory Analyst programme Ambrose Hayden said, “The Laboratory Analyst Apprenticeship programme has given the students real time, hands-on working experience in a laboratory role coupled with the academic rigor of a university education. The poster presentation of their Work Based Learning projects is the final assessment after three years of their Level 7 Apprenticeship experience.”

Erasmus student Jade Soglo who spent the year studying on the BSc(Hons) in Pharmaceutical Science programme was also presented with an Inaugural Award the “Student Spirit Award", which was awarded to the student who was deemed to have made the most significant contribution to creating a positive atmosphere of engagement in the student group, enriching the learning experience of others.

The event was closed with tea and coffee which was kindly sponsored by the PMBRC at SETU.