And the winners are: Borealis has announced the winners of its 2011 Borealis Student Innovation Awards. On January 19, 2012 Alfred Stern, Borealis Senior Vice President Innovation & Technology, presented Rana Qudaih and Dr. Said Mehdiabadi with their awards, certificates and monetary prizes at the Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz, Austria.
Linz/Austria – The awards recognise the most innovative research papers for master’s and doctorate degree students working in olefins and polyolefins. The master thesis award went to Rana Qudaih, while Dr. Said Mehdiabadi received the PhD award. The jury of independent academics and Borealis representatives said it recognised the high quality of all submissions and expressed its appreciation for the overall standards of innovation and insight, which will bring significant benefits for the industry in the future.
Alfred Stern said that Rana Qudaih showed “in a very comprehensive way” the recycling possibilities of crosslinked polyethylene cable materials: “The broadness and applicability of her work was impressive.” Alfred Stern also complimented Rana as the first female winner of the master thesis award.
The title of Dr. Mehdiabadi’s PhD is “Synthesis, Characterization and Polymerization Kinetic Study of Long Chain Branched Polyolefins Made with Two Single-Site Catalysts.” According to the jury, Dr. Mehdiabadi was able to present a new pathway for polyolefin catalysis leading to structures of high industrial relevance.
Borealis held the awards ceremony during its 17th annual Innovation Day. This year’s event was titled “Accelerating Excellence.” The Borealis Student Innovation Award is an important element in Borealis’ support for the development of new talent and thought processes in chemicals and polymers. Late last year, Borealis further increased its support for external students and research with the creation of the Borealis Social Scholarship Programme, under which pupils, students and international research programmes in Europe have been targeted to receive support for the first time. As a first step, long-term contracts were signed with the Johannes Kepler University Linz and the TGM Vienna (School of Technology) in December last year.
Announcing this new initiative, Borealis Chief Executive Mark Garrett said that society needs skilled professionals dedicated to finding innovative solutions for a sustainable future. “As a leader in the plastics industry, we see it as part of our duty to society to provide financial support to pupils and students who need it to help them pursue their courses of study in these fields,” he said. “The Borealis Social Scholarship project is aimed at helping them realise their full potential."
The call for the 2012 Borealis Student Innovation Awards will be issued in early April. Potential entrants will have until mid-November to submit their applications. Admissible subject areas include olefin and polyolefin production processes, analysis and characterization, polyolefin properties, applications, sustainability, and discoveries in the polyolefin world that have practical relevance for society.