Introducing SCI Scholar, Angelica Orsi

For over thirty years, SCI has supported and recognised the excellence of early career people, by aiding their studies in the form of an SCI Scholarship.

Since 1985, over 65 scholarships have been awarded which have not only given the recipients financial assistance, but have enabled them to broaden their network and strengthen their skills and knowledge. SCI Scholars receive access to publishing and mentoring opportunities and are given a platform to present their work amongst esteemed scientists and industrialists, thus raising their profile within the scientific community. In the past eight years alone, SCI has generously bequeathed nearly £115,000 of its charitable funds to SCI Scholars and the scientists of the future.

Angelica Orsi was awarded an SCI Scholarship in 2015. Below, she tells us about herself and her research project.

Angelica Orsi is from South Wales where she attended Cardinal Newman RC Secondary School. She gained a Nuffield Science Bursary (2009) to carry out a summer research project (Asymmetric catalysis using bisimidazoline ligands) under Dr Benjamin Ward at Cardiff University and received a Gold CREST Award from the British Science Association.

In 2010 she commenced her undergraduate MChem studies (direct 2nd year entry) at the University of St Andrews, after having won a Purdie Scholarship. Central to her degree was a one year external placement (2012-2013), carried out at SINTEF Materials and Chemistry, Trondheim (Norway). The research, headed by Dr Anders Ødegård, involved the investigation of protective coatings for bipolar plate materials for PEM fuel cells and contributed to the project STAMPEM (Stable and low cost manufactured bipolar plates for PEM fuel cells) funded by the European body, The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. An ERASMUS Mobility grant was awarded for this industrial research opportunity and her first scientific journal entry as lead author resulted (J Power Sources, 2015, 285, 530-537).

Her final year research project, with Prof Philip Lightfoot, investigated the rubidium doping of perovskites (Size Matters: Pushing the Stability Limits of Functional Perovskites by the incorporation of Rb+ cations.). In 2014, she completed her MChem with first class honours and received various awards: the SCI Scotland Group prize for Third Year Practical Work in Chemistry (2011/2012), a Deans’ List award (2013/2014) and the Gray Prize (2013/2014). Additionally, in December 2014 she gained RSci status from the RSC.

Angelica has remained at the University of St Andrews (July 2014) having joined the research group of Prof Paul Wright. Her work focuses on synthesizing metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) as nanoparticles, with exceptional CO2 adsorption capacities to integrate them into polymer-based membranes for CO2 capture and separation from flue streams of power plants. This research has been implemented for the EU collaborative project E=M4CO2 (Energy efficient MOF-based Mixed Matrix Membranes for CO2 capture), funded by the 7th European Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. The 16 partners in the E=M4CO2 project are comprised of research institutes and industrial companies from throughout Europe. Thus far, Angelica has attended collaborative project meetings in Zaragoza and San Sebastian, and has also carried out laboratory research at the Institut Lavoisier (France) in Dr Christian Serre’s group.

Angelica is a keen cook, loves fashion and enjoys exploring new places.

Angelica Orsi
University of St Andrews, SCI Scholar 2015-2017

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