UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Say hi to the newly appointed 2020 Beakers Committee

19 June 2020

A warm welcome to the new postgraduate events society committee: Tom Fanthom (President), Alexander Armstrong (Vice Pres), Patricia Santos (Secretary), Elizabeth Edwards (Treasurer), Annabel Lyle (Communications Officer) and Catarina Pereira Galo Neves (Social Media Officer)

Beaker Society members 2020

Elizabeth Edwards, Treasurer (top left) 

I'm Elizabeth, or Libby, and I’m from the UK. I did my BSc at Imperial College in Biochemistry before I moved to this department to study the MSc in Biochemical Engineering. I really enjoyed the course, particularly Dan's work on chromatography, so I took on a PhD project with him in affinity chromatography. I'm working on developing a resin that will separate monoclonal antibodies based on their glycosylation patterns, as different antibody glycoforms have different clinical efficacies. I have the role of Treasurer of the Beakers Society, so I’ll be responsible for managing the budget over the next year. I joined the committee as I had a lot of fun at the events that the previous Beakers Committee organised during my Master’s year. Although the Covid situation brings many challenges in terms of organising social events, it also opens up opportunities to try different events that haven’t been done before!

Catarina Pereira Galo Neves, Social Media Officer (bottom right)

Hi. I'm Catarina, I'm Portuguese and I started my PhD here at UCL in September as part of Professor Suzy Farid’s Decisional Tools group. What I intend to do during the next year is to evaluate continuous manufacturing, economically and environmentally speaking, so my project title is: “Integrated economic and environmental evaluation of continuous bioprocesses”. I took both my bachelors and Masters in Portugal, in Biological Engineering and after doing my master’s thesis in The Netherlands I worked for two years in a biotech company in Delft, after which I then decided to go for my PhD.

In the Beakers team I'll be responsible for the social media, with focus on Facebook and Instagram and I’m hoping to generate more content on our pages and share relevant topics for our community.

Alexander Armstrong, Vice President (bottom centre)

Hi, I’m Alexander Armstrong, Vice President of The Beaker Society. I was born in the US, though my parents are originally French and Irish. I completed Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Indiana, USA).  Following my Bachelor’s Degree, I moved to Europe to complete a Master’s Degree in Life Science and Technology (Specialization: Biochemical Engineering) at TU Delft in the Netherlands. I started my PhD here at UCL in September under Professor Suzanne Farid’s Decisional Tools group. My project title is: “Data mining approaches for continuous bioprocesses” and, I am currently focused on integrating and applying correlations to develop advanced control solutions for continuous counter-current chromatography. What I would like to do in the Beaker Society is brainstorm ideas of what we can do in quarantine. We are really pleased at the great stuff the Clarke Society (our postdoctoral committee) are doing with online quizzes. We are currently discussing the idea of doing an online journal club, which would be a great addition to the department during these trying times.

Patricia Santos, Secretary (top right)

My name is Patricia, although most people call me Pati, and I’m Spanish. I did my MEng in Imperial College London in Biomedical Engineering. Directly after, I jumped into doing an EngD here at UCL Biochemical Engineering. I'm currently working on 3D Bioprinting mostly with a focus on developing a disease model for osteoarthritis. It's a bit weird because my main Supervisor is not even part of the department! I'm currently working at the Royal Free Hospital, which I think is why I joined the committee, so I could keep contact with the department and learn a bit more. In the committee, I am the secretary, so I hope I can help with the social events, keeping up the great reputation that the Beakers’ events already have! I was social secretary in the Cross Country Club at Imperial during my undergrad and I really liked it. I hope I can bring my enthusiasm and experience to this new committee.

Annabel Lyle, Communications Officer (top centre)

I'm Annabel, I'm from Wales and I did my undergrad at UCL Biochemical Engineering - I love the Department! I felt like I wanted to continue and do and EngD here and now I’m part of the Decisional Tools group like Catarina. I’m on a project that’s focusing on portfolio management and process economics for novel therapeutics like viral vectors. Right from my time as an undergraduate student I’ve seen all these amazing events taking place, the famous Christmas Ball, and I thought it would be great to be part of the team that were organising them.

Tom Fanthom, President (bottom left)

Hi, I'm Tom, President of The Beaker Society. I'm currently a first-year EngD student researching protein aggregation in the bioprocessing of botulinum neurotoxin, supervised by Prof. Dan Bracewell and in collaboration with Ipsen. I did my BEng in Chemical Engineering way back up North at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, before coming to UCL and converting to Biochemical Engineering by doing an MSc. It’s a choice I have not regretted, to be a part of this amazing department and to see some of the cutting edge research by postgraduates whom are solving global problems.

Beakers has always put on amazing events that bring the entire department community together and build connections between people that are more than the working rapport. As president, I hope to continue these events that Beakers are famous for and some of us forget the morning after! Given the current circumstances, it is going to be a challenge, but I’ve got the best team to deliver a great year ahead. Follow us on social media to stay up to date with the latest events and news!