Thesis Prize sponsored by AWE won by UCL graduate

Mateen Mirza, who completed his PhD in Chemical Engineering at University College London this year, has won the prestigious 2023 Materials Science Thesis Prize – jointly sponsored by AWE and the Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers.

Mateen’s thesis concentrated on Nuclear Materials reprocessing and was titled ‘Electrochemical Processing in Molten Salts for Refractory Metal Recovery and Battery Materials Recycling’.

Mateen now works as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UCL in Nuclear Materials Reprocessing, funded by AWE.

Mateen was presented with his Thesis Medal by the Past Master of Armourers & Brasiers’ Company, Nicky Davies and Head of Outreach at AWE, Professor Norman Godfrey at the Armourers & Brasiers’ Cambridge Forum – held at the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, on 20 June 2023.

 Mateen said: “It is an honour to be awarded the 2023 AWE/Armourers and Brasiers’ Company Thesis Prize. My research makes a small contribution to the growing need to recycle valuable materials using molten salts and has much broader relevance to nuclear materials reprocessing. It serves as a reminder of the value interdisciplinary scientific endeavour brings as we continue to make headway towards a Net Zero economy.

Furthermore, this work represents a huge team effort, and I am extremely grateful for the support I have received from my supervisors at UCL and AWE and collaborators at the National Nuclear Lab. I look forward to continuing my collaboration with the Armourers and Brasiers’ Company as a member of the alumni community and AWE in the future.”

Nicky Davies from Armourers & Brasiers said: “Materials Science is the modern discipline most closely aligned to our ancient craft of working with metals and materials. Through this award given in partnership with AWE, who share our commitment to encouraging young people to pursue careers in Materials Science, we are proud to celebrate Mateen’s work at the start of what we hope will be a long and impressive career.”

Professor Norman Godfrey from AWE said: “The strength and depth of Mateen’s thesis made him a worthy winner for 2023. The potential impact of his work in the recycling of valuable materials and the reprocessing of nuclear materials cannot be underestimated and we are delighted to present him with this year’s prize.”

The Thesis Prize was inaugurated in 2019. It is awarded annually for the best thesis on a materials science theme produced by an AWE sponsored postgraduate student and published in the 12 months preceding the judging. The process is initiated by an invitation to industrial supervisors within AWE to nominate their sponsored student(s) and the shortlisted theses are then judged by a panel of our Distinguished Specialists for presentation, readability and scientific content.

Photo: Mateen Mirza with his medal presented by the Past Master of Armourers & Brasiers’ Company’s Nicky Davies and AWE’s Professor Norman Godfrey