UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Welcome to The Beaker Society committee for 2019

9 August 2019

Welcome to the 2019 committee, from left to right Almir Yamanie (Vice President), Artemis Charalambidou (Secretary), Dale Stibbs (Treasurer), Sofia Lopez Viana Nunes (Social media), Mark-Adam Kellerman (President) and Fatma Almulla (Communications)

Beaker Society 2019

Mark-Adam Walter Kellerman, President

I studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester (UoL) where I did a final year project in drug discovery. During this project, I was drawn to biophysical techniques used to characterise proteins/biotherapeutics and wanted to find out what more the immune system had to offer immunotherapy so I then went on to do a Masters in immunology at (UoL). I also joined the basketball society at university where I took on the positions of treasurer and intramural coordinator. 
I am currently a first-year CDT PhD student under the supervision of Prof Paul Dalby (UCL) and Dr Paul Matejtschuk (NIBSC).
My current project involves mapping protein stability and bioactivity using computational methods. I use computational techniques to screen for certain stabilising mutations in dynamically correlated areas of a model protein (G-CSF) and will be using biophysical analysis to test these mutants experimentally. I will also be interrogating the mechanism by which excipients stabilise proteins in the solid-state. The overall aim is to probe a semi-rational approach to adding several mutations to a protein using computational screening so that this can be included in algorithms going forward.
My role as president will involve a general overwatch of all events hosted by the Beakers. I will be giving talks at the departmental updates and also at the new PhD/EngD cohort welcome.  
I would like to continue the Beaker’s legacy of unforgettable Christmas parties and pub crawls among many other events. I would also like to get our research students more connected with other engineering departments through seminars and possibly other events. I look forward to the engineering cup and hope to see Biochem Eng reign victorious. 

Almir Yamanie, Vice President 

I graduated and acquired both of my Bachelor of chemical and biomolecular engineering degree and Master of Engineering (project management) degree in Melbourne University, at the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department in 2013 and 2014 respectively. From the start I have been interested in medicine and engineering, and thus after finishing my masters, I joined and worked in PT Bio Farma in Indonesia in the research department. There, I learnt a lot about biopharmaceutical industry and vaccine production. I was also focused more on the upstream process and upscaling of a couple of projects.
Now, I am currently continuing my postgraduate study as a PhD student in Biomolecular Engineering in University College London (UCL) sponsored by the company I am working in, PT Bio Farma.  I am working with Prof. Eli Keshavarz-Moore as my Primary supervisor (UCL) and Dr. Neni Nurainy, Apt. as my industrial supervisor (PT Bio Farma). My research is working towards optimizing the production of biopharmaceutical products by using Pichia Pastoris.
As the vice president, I will ensure everything is going great (both behind the scene and on the scene) and everyone is on the same page. I will also try my best to ensure that everyone is going to have fun during the events that are to come such as the pub crawl and the Christmas ball.

Fatma Almulla, Communications Officer

My undergraduate degree was in BSc of Biotechnology, before taking a masters of Biotechnology and a Masters of Management at the University of Glasgow. I am currently studying a PhD in Biochemical Engineering 
I am working with Prof. Eli Keshavoorz-Moore on developing a plasmid DNA vaccines and Studying the effect of supercoiling on downstream processing.
I am also currently working on a project (Building a smart school bus with capacitive sensors to determine the number of passengers occupying seat in the vehicle) with the UAE gov - the reason for this is to avoid the problem of children being forgotten on buses after school, an incident happened recently in which a child died after being forgotten for just a few hours, due to the hot weather there.

Apart from my research in UCL, I am a member of the UAE global youth council in the United Kingdom, which bring together Emirati students from across the world to promote cross-cultural understanding, boost leadership skills, and prepare students to make a positive impact in their universities and communities. I am also a member of the Emirati engineering society giving workshops to students every month. 

As Communications Officer I will be responsible for social media communication and advertisements. We’re planning more to foster integration between the individual teams here in The Department of Biochemical Engineering and looking forward to having some fun.

Artemis Danae Charalambidou, Secretary

I studied Chemical Engineering in Greece and I did my MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London. I was always interested in refining my knowledge and becoming an expert in bioprocessing. In this department, I was fascinated by the fact that my chemical engineering knowledge could be combined with biology for the production of biopharmaceuticals for the treatment of serious diseases. 
I am at the end of the 1st year of my PhD project and my supervisors are Dr Alex Kiparissides and Dr Martina Micheletti. My current research is about the investigation of the flow dynamics in a stirred tank bioreactor in order to analyse the development of stresses during cell cultures that can reduce viability and productivity of cells.
As a secretary in the Beakers Society, I am planning on arranging meetings with the rest of the members of the society, keeping track of our discussions and organising our tasks in order to achieve our objectives. I believe that all our events will be exciting and entertaining and I am looking forward to the departmental Christmas ball as this is our biggest event in the best period of the year.

Sofia Lopez Viana Nunes, Social Media Officer

I am chemical engineering from IST (Lisbon) and after I worked for a biopharma consultant company and am currently on a Biochemical Engineering EngD programme. I am working on scale-down models with Dr Andrea Rayat
As Social media officer, I will be responsible for the promotion of our events on social media and I’ll take photos and recordings during the events. I’m looking forward to promoting the union of the department and to organising the BBQ, Christmas ball, pub crawl and engineering cup.

Dale Stibbs, Treasurer

I graduated from the department with an MEng in Biochemical Engineering with Bioprocess Management in 2018, so this will be my sixth year at UCL. Currently, I am doing an EngD supervised by Dr Andrea Rayat and Dr Qasim Rafiq. My project, which is in collaboration with Pall Biotech, aims to create a scale-down single-pass tangential flow filtration system that will be used for the continuous manufacture of lentiviral vectors. As treasurer, my role will involve organising funding and fundraising for our events, such as the summer barbecue and the Christmas ball.