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Top chemistry students compete in national Eurachem final

Author: 

Press Office

Date Article Written: 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Some fifty chemistry students from institutes of technology and universities across Ireland including GMIT are to gather in GMIT School of Science on Friday 30 March for the national final of the Eurachem Analytical Measurement Competition (EAMC).

Eurachem is an association of Professional European Analysts with close links to bodies charged with promoting excellence and reliability in analytical measurement worldwide.  The national final is promoted by Eurachem Ireland, based in the State Laboratory, and Institutes of Technology Ireland (IOTI).

The competition is designed to raise awareness among science students of the importance of accuracy and reliability in analytical measurement, and to raise levels of skills in analytical chemistry techniques.  Competitors are chosen by their own institution for their practical laboratory skills.

The science students taking part in the national finals are in teams of two from colleges all over Ireland. GMIT is entering two teams;  Audrey Cahill from Oranmore and Leanne Kelly from Clarinbridge are students on the Forensic Science and Analysis programme,  and Nicole McHugh from Monivea and Bartosz Kowalski, originally from Poland and now living in Kinnegad, are studying Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science.

All teams will be required to carry out experiments in the laboratory using Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and to process data from these experiments.   

The winners, their Alma Mater and the runners-up will be awarded a specially commissioned art piece based on the Newgrange monument.

The judges this year are Dr Ray Leonard, Henkel Loctite, Dr Darragh Cunningham, Environmental Protection Agency, and Dr Tom Hannigan, State Forensic Science Laboratory. 

GMIT Chemistry lecturer and HEA member, Kathleen Lough, says GMIT is delighted to be hosting the competition this year.  “It is a great opportunity to promote interest among students in analytical chemistry and to develop skills much needed by industry.

“The competition has always received great support from agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and PharmaChemical Ireland, and from professional bodies such as the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland and the Royal Society of Chemistry.”

“Mason Technology are also long-time sponsors of Eurachem, and we are particularly delighted to welcome Allergan Pharmaceuticals from Westport as significant sponsors of the event this year.”

The colleges competing in this year’s final are:

Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT), Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT), Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT), Letterkenny Institute of Technology (IT Letterkenny), Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Institute of Technology Tallaght (ITT), Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), Institute of Technology Sligo (Sligo IT), Institute of Technology Carlow (IT Carlow), Dublin City University (DCU) and Trinity College Dublin (TCD).