Every year Unilever R&D (Vlaardingen, NL) awards the Unilever Research Prize to the most talented Master of Science students. With this prize Unilever aims to underline the importance of academic research for game changing technologies and innovation. All 13 Dutch Universities nominate their top graduates who conducted research in the fields of chemistry, biotechnology, mechanical engineering, biology, agricultural science and social sciences. This year chemistry students could be nominated.
Among the 13 winners of the prestigious award in 2014 is Machteld Kamminga, who recently graduated from the Top Master Programme Nanoscience of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials. This programme transcends in a multidisciplinary approach the traditional boundaries between physics and chemistry. Ms. Kamminga graduated with the highest distinction ‘cum laude’. The Research Prize shows the appreciation for the outstanding work she has performed in the highly interdisciplinary setting of the Top Master Nanoscience. Ms. Kamminga obtained a bachelor degree in physics and immersed herself in chemistry and biology, as shown by her research projects ‘Revealing the influence of the organic part of Cu-based hybrids on its properties’ and ‘Single-molecule tools to study DNA-based processes’, performed in the Solid-State Chemistry and Single-molecule Biophysics labs, respectively. Her creative and interdisciplinary approach in combination with her experimental skills made these projects a big success. Next to her scientific excellence, Ms. Kamminga has used her natural enthusiasm for science to generate excitement among high-school students in many outreach activities of the University of Groningen.
Ms. Kamminga is continuing her scientific career at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials as PhD student in the group ‘Solid-State Materials for Electronics’ under supervision of Prof.dr. T.T.M. Palstra. The PhD project of Ms. Kamminga is funded by the NWO Graduate Programme awarded to her earlier this year.
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