aql-Funded Excellence in Research Awards 2022 winners announced

Winning research projects include
Harnessing the Power of Quantum Computers for Fundamental Physics
and the
Development of a multivalent probe for the superselective targeting of glycolipids on cancer cells.

Adapting to the return from a purely home-based method of education, students from the University of Leeds have demonstrated once again their ability to think critically and consider research projects that can affect the real world. This year numerous research projects have meant that the selection process has been tougher than ever. We’re enormously proud to support young talent with innovative minds and we actively encourage their continued interest in challenging the current norm.

Celebrating 5 Years of Excellence in Undergraduate Research, 10 students from the University of Leeds have been awarded a coveted Beaumont Award to acknowledge their outstanding research projects that have the potential to impact society and solve real-world problems.
The awards are sponsored by aql and judged by consistent innovator and technologist, Professor Adam Beaumont along with a team of academics including aql’s Chief Scientist and fellow Leeds alumnus Dr John Mama. The award scheme, in addition to a coveted medal and cash prize, enables each winning student to take advantage of personal introductions to relevant contacts within industry and opportunities to work with world-class organisations to further progress their research.

Professor Adam Beaumont, aql Founder and CEO:
“When I graduated, I was awarded the ‘Jordan Award’ for excellence in my final year of research. This felt validating and uplifting and an acknowledgment of my hard work. It also was the ‘extra accolade’ which jumped out of the page of a new graduate’s CV. I wanted to share that feeling and opportunity with new generations of graduates.”

Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Student Education:
“I was honoured to speak at the Beaumont Awards this week and meet and hear from the incredibly talented winners whose research is truly outstanding. The quality and diversity of the entries was remarkable and shows the breadth of talent here at Leeds and the University’s commitment to research led-education and learning. I’m grateful to the Beaumont Awards for the invaluable encouragement, inspiration and support they give our students which I know will continue to benefit them as they embark on their exciting careers.”

Gregory Miller, Deputy Director of Student Opportunity:
“It has been an absolute pleasure working with Adam and the team at aql for the last five years and celebrating the extraordinary research of undergraduate students at Leeds. The Beaumont Award validates and recognises the research achievements of the winners. More than this, it supports students to open their minds and consider the questions of where they may go next and what might be possible. Thank you to Adam for having the foresight and passion to invest in the next generation of innovators.”

Each winning student is awarded a unique silver Faraday medal and a cash prize of £500 and the opportunity to take a place in Leeds University’s Enterprise Boot Camp run by SPARK, a programme designed to nurture entrepreneurial vision and offer advice to those interested in establishing a new business venture.

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The 2022 award recipients and their winning research projects are as follows:

Kenneth Royds

Social Sciences

Copyright Protection in the Age of Social Media: A Cross-Jurisdictional Analysis of South Africa and the USA.

Kenza Behih

Leeds Business School

Work-readiness: Why it matters if you’re black or white: A mixed method study.

Hannah Mulcahy

Medicine and Health

Through their eyes: the impact of autism assistance dogs on the lives of the young people they support.

Mia McTighe

Arts, Humanities and Cultures

An Investigation into the Effects of the Covid-19 Remote Learning Provision on Secondary School Students’ Attitudes to Learning and Wellbeing.

Hannah Abdly

Biological Sciences

Development of a multivalent probe for the superselective targeting of glycolipids on cancer cells.

Natasha Murray

Biological Sciences

Field-based evidence for associations between high ambient NO2 concentrations and reduced pollinator biodiversity: urban gardens may not provide the safe habitat for pollinators we need.

Ryan Smith

Engineering and Physical Sciences

Harnessing the Power of Quantum Computers for Fundamental Physics.

David Jones

Engineering and Physical Sciences

A Method for Classical Data Entry Into a Quantum Search Algorithm.

Henry MullineauxSandres

Engineering and Physical Sciences

Kitaev’s Honeycomb Lattice Model on a Sphere.

Mairead Morony


The Sustainability of High-Altitude Mountaineering.An Exploration of Sustainability Challenges and Their Solutions on 8000m Mountains.

About the Beaumont Awards

The Beaumont Awards scheme was founded by Professor Adam Beaumont, himself an alumnus of the University of Leeds, to recognise outstanding research projects conducted by the University of Leeds students in the areas of biological, environmental and physical sciences, engineering, medicine and health. Open to all undergraduate and integrated Masters’ students from any discipline, the annual awards acknowledge research projects that demonstrate the greatest potential impact on society and solve real-world problems.

Inspired by the life and work of British scientist, Michael Faraday, whose research not only contributed to change society but also one of the pioneers of research led teachings.

He brought his research to the masses by way of his many inspiring lectures, bringing science to life through the narrative of the understanding of everyday phenomena; notably “The Chemical History of a Candle’. Faraday notably famously ended this lecture asking his students to be luminous like a candle, and asking them to ‘shine as lights to those about you’, something which goes to the heart of the Beaumont Awards – recognising students who have not only pursued the advancement of science and technology for good, but who can also articulate this clearly and inspirationally. These words are written around the edge of the award.

Sponsored by aql and judged by Founder & Chairman, Professor Adam Beaumont, each winning student is awarded a cash prize and the opportunity to take a place on the University of Leeds Enterprise Boot Camp run by SPARK, a programme designed to support students to kick-start their start-up business from initial idea and beyond. Adam also urges all students to “make an ask” of him and his contacts, to help them make their next opportunity.

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