An even bigger prize giving!

This item first appeared in 2008

15 November 2008, Portico Library and Gallery, Manchester, UK

The SCI Liverpool and North West Regional Group was pleased to agree to a request from the Royal Society of Chemistry’s North West Trust (RSC NW) to present its Alfred Williamson Prizes at the group’s prize giving in Chester Town Hall. Following its success a joint event was agreed for 2007. A late request from the North West (NW) branch of the RSC’s Analytical Division to join us and present their Gerry Davison prize was also welcomed and meant a larger gathering.

The event took place at the Portico Library and Gallery in Mosley Street, central Manchester on Thursday, 15 November. This was a splendid venue – although exceedingly difficult to find. I enquired at the Bank pub, where neither barmaid knew it, but fortunately a customer overheard and told me it was above the pub!! Even the guest speaker, Sir Alan Cockshaw, who has an office only 60 metres from it, was unaware of its existence!

Over 50 people attended including ALL the SCI Prize Winners and their tutors. Congratulations to our Honorary Secretary, Marie Connor, for achieving this and also her for her superb organization of the event and the photography.

The Group’s Chairman, Mike Pitts, chaired the event and in his introduction emphasized the vital contribution that young people, such as our prize winners, would make to the advancement of science and science-based industry, and how many exciting challenges chemistry is poised to solve. He illustrated how valuable his SCI membership had been in his career so far. When making decisions on changing jobs, discussions with SCI colleagues and friends had been invaluable.

Our guest speaker, Sir Alan, emphasized and supported many of the points that Mike had made in his own speech and outlined some important aspects of his own long and distinguished career. This included chairing several major construction companies plus the committee which co-coordinated the rebuilding of the Arndale Centre after it was destroyed by a bomb several years ago.

After his speech, Marie Connor introduced the SCI Prize Winners to receive their awards from Sir Alan, as the best student graduating in chemistry courses from their institution. Like the RSC prizes each consists of a certificate, cheque and one year’s membership of the Society.

The recipients were:

Liverpool University – Leverhulme Prize

Laura Brophy

Liverpool John Moores University

Roshani Mistry

Liverpool John Moores University (Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences)

Racheal Rowles

University of Manchester

Hao Liu

Manchester Metropolitan University (Medicinal and Biological Chemistry)

Sarah Shiels

Open University (S205 Course)

Mark Birtwistle

University of Wales, Bangor

Benn Heatley


I then introduced the RSC NW Trust Alfred Williamson Prize Winners for the best part-time student graduating in Chemistry. These were:

Manchester Metropolitan University

Aimee Spencer

Open University (Third Level Chemistry Courses)

Joanna Stevens (not present)


Peter Doyle, RSC Analytical Division representative, then introduced the Gerry Davison Prize Winners, who were representatives from the Manchester Grammar School for Girls, which came 2nd nationally in the RSC’s Analytical Competition. This prize was awarded jointly by the RSC’s Analytical Division (North West) and the North West Trust.

Following the presentations and photographs, everyone then went to enjoy a splendid buffet.

Professor Alan Heaton
RSC NW Trust and
SCI L&NW Regional Group

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