Mechanical Engineering


UCL MechEng PhD Philipp Schulz Advances to National Finals of Prestigious Materials Competition

7 May 2024

Philipp Schulz, a PhD researcher at UCL Mechanical Engineering, is one of six finalists competing at the National Finals of the 2024 Young Persons’ Lecture competition next week, held by Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining.

Photo of Philipp Schulz with the Young Persons' Lecture Competition logo

Philipp Schulz has emerged victorious in the regional and local rounds of the prestigious 2024 Young Persons’ Lecture Competition, ran by the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (IOM3). Schulz’s success in the regional competition has propelled him to the national finals, where he will compete against five other finalists from across the country.

The 2024 Young Persons’ Lecture Competition encourages students and early-career researchers (up to the age of 28) in Materials Science and Engineering to showcase their work and engage with a wider audience. Participants are required to present a Materials Science-related topic within a time limit of 12 to 15 minutes.

The journey to the finals began at the local level, where Schulz competed against peers from various universities in the London area, including Queen Mary University of London, Imperial College London and the University of Surrey.

Philipp Schulz winning the first round of the competition, the Local round in London

His outstanding performance secured him a spot in the regional competition, where he successfully faced competitors from esteemed institutions from across southeast England and secured his position as one of six finalists. The winner of the national competition will then compete at the world competition later this summer.

“I am excited and honoured to have the opportunity to represent UCL and the Southeast region in the national finals,” Schulz commented. “The competition has been tough, but it’s also been a fantastic learning experience.”

Schulz’s presentation is on his PhD project titled ‘Environmental Degradation of Nickel-Base Superalloys in Hydrogen Combustion Environments.’ His research addresses the crucial need to develop materials resistant to hydrogen to achieve climate goals, such as making aviation carbon neutral.

Dr Enrique Galindo-Nava (Associate Professor in Materials Science and Engineering and Schulz’s PhD supervisor) emphasised the significance of Schulz’s achievement: “Philipp has worked tirelessly on his research project, and his success in this competition is well-deserved. It’s a testament to his dedication and the quality of his work.”

“The competition is not just about winning; it’s about showcasing the innovative research happening in our field and inspiring others to pursue careers in Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering,” Dr Galindo-Nava added. Dr Galindo-Nava is the UCL representative for the London Materials Society, who organised the local round of this competition.

Philipp Schulz and other presenters at the Southeast Regional Finals

The national finals of the 2024 Young Persons’ Lecture Competition will take place on Wednesday 15 May, 5 – 9pm, at The Armourers’ Hall in London. The event is open to the public, with registration available through the IOM3 website. Attendees will also have the chance to network with researchers and industry professionals.

As Schulz prepares for the finals, he remains grateful for the support he has received from his colleagues and the opportunity to represent UCL on a national stage. “I’m proud to be part of a community that values collaboration and innovation,” he concluded.

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