UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Undegrads Agnes and Aditi IChemE SIESO medal runners up

16 October 2020

The SIESO Medal is an award given by the IChemE and others to recognize undergraduate and postgraduate students who create an article and a creative media regarding process safety. UCL Biochemical Engineering undergraduate students Agnes Aparte and Aditi Holey were runners up.

UCL Biochemical Engineering students Aditi Holey and Agnes Aparte

Last year, the first year of its running, the medal was awarded to a team of 6 post-doctoral students. This year, Aditi and Agnes were one of the youngest participants (being first year UG students) and awarded Runners Up for their paper and video “Implications of recent events on the risk of Legionnaires disease” which looks at the impact of COVID on the risk of a disease called Legionnaire’s Disease. As a result, of their achievement, their paper was published in the Loss Prevention Bulletin of the IChemE on 5 October, 2020.

We asked Aditi and Agnes to answer some questions about the competition

What are our motivations? How did you get into this?

We first learned about the competition earlier this year, around January/February and were keen on participating. However, due to other commitments and then the sudden changes due to the pandemic, we were unable to create a submission. 
In April, we were thrilled to receive an email from the IChemE outlining the extension of the deadline. We decided to work on the project again, with the extra time in our hands, and utilize our background in Biochemical Engineering. We chose the topic of Legionnaires’ Disease and what are the implications of it to the current COVID situation. 

Throughout the process, we were participating for the experience, not so much for the award. We knew from last year the competition was high and that it would be unlikely to be nominated, but we wanted to give it our absolute best because this was such a great opportunity. 

How was the process?

The submission for this award required one creative media and one paper. Agnes wanted to develop her video skills so we decided that she could make the video submission that would be submitted with the paper, which Aditi would write. It was a repetitive process of researching, writing and editing which required constant collaboration between us. Since the article involved comparing legionnaires to COVID, it was imperative that we kept ourselves up to date with the current advice, findings, and figures and make it applicable to the paper. We collaborated with the editing team and we made numerous changes throughout the paper until we were able to come up with our finalised paper and video. 

What were the key learning points?

In this project, collaboration was key! We were both in different time zones and our only communication was online. We had to make sure that we equally divided our tasks, practiced proper time management and had open communication between us throughout the whole process. We were constantly sharing our opinions and giving each other feedback which helped us improve our skills and project as a whole.  We also developed our patience and resilience as editing the paper can lead to numerous drafts and involves looking through multiple research papers to

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