Chemistry graduate wins prestigious Salters’ Award 2023

Louisa Joceline Kamajaya, a graduate from the University of Leeds, has won the Salters' Graduate Award 2023, recognising her as one of the top 10 Chemistry and Chemical Engineering students in the UK.

Louisa Joceline Kamajaya, Medicinal Chemistry with a Year in Industry MChem, BSc graduate, has won the Salter's Graduate Award 2023 recognising her as one of the top 10 chemistry and chemical engineering students in the UK.

Image of Louisa Kamajaya at her graduation at the University of Leeds. She is the person who has been awarded the prestigious Salters' Graduate Award for 2023.

The Salters' Graduate Awards are a yearly recognition of the triumphs achieved by undergraduate students in chemistry and chemical engineering. The Salters' Institute offers up to 10 graduate awards to final-year UK undergraduates who are projected to attain a first-class honours degree, each winning a grant of £1,000. 

Louisa studied a preparatory International Foundation Year at the Leeds International Study Centre before progressing to her undergraduate degree at the University of Leeds. Louisa excelled during her time at the University of Leeds, graduating with a first-class honours degree. Her final year project built upon her experience in automation and machine learning, where she created a self-optimising automated flow reactor system for impurity scouting in organic synthesis, supervised by Professor Richard Bourne. Louisa not only received the Organic Chemistry Project Prize for this dissertation project, but also achieved the highest mark for an organic chemistry Masters project.

In addition to her impressive academic performance, Louisa gained professional experience at CPI (Centre for Process Innovation) in the Formulations Business Unit under the Automation and Digital Team for her Year in Industry placement. Here, she focused on building a soft sensor for pharmaceutical wet granulation. Alongside this, Louisa worked with various automated systems and other mRNA projects; “through my placement at CPI, I was able to explore various automated systems and the integration of machine learning principles in chemical manufacturing.”

Aside from her studies, Louisa embraced all that Leeds has to offer and was actively involved in the University, taking on roles such as a Link to Leeds ambassador - a fantastic network of current students who act as the first point of contact for prospective students interested in studying at the University of Leeds. Louisa also worked within the Leeds Institute of Teaching Excellence as a Project Assistant. Learn more about Louisa by visiting her student profile.

Being actively involved in the University gave me various opportunities to develop transferable skills, gain leadership skills and confidence.

Following the completion of her Masters degree, Louisa has secured a position starting a PhD at the University of Leeds under the supervision of Dr Adam Clayton and Professor Richard Bourne. In partnership with UCB and AstraZeneca, Louisa’s PhD project will focus on the autonomous development of telescoped catalytic reactions for sustainable pharmaceutical manufacturing.

In the UK, universities are invited to put forward one exceptional candidate for consideration for the prestigious Salters' Graduate Awards. A distinguished panel of academic and industry experts conducts interviews with the select few who make the shortlist. The recipients of this esteemed award are expected to demonstrate exceptional potential for leadership in the chemical or related industries, along with outstanding intellectual abilities and exemplary communication skills.

Louisa Kamajaya said: “I am incredibly honoured to be awarded the Salters’ Institute 2023 Graduate Award. My degree at the University of Leeds has been an exceptional experience and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. Through my taught modules, I discovered the field of automation in chemistry. I found the research area to be fascinating and was inspired to pursue a career within the area. With the support from the academics and staff from the School of Chemistry, I was able to find opportunities relevant to my personal growth. Everyone within the School has been incredibly welcoming and inspiring, and this is evident in how they deliver their taught modules. This, in turn, has inspired me to be curious and reflect on my own personal ambitions. Through the strong support network and a multitude of opportunities, I was able to develop and attain skills and knowledge that have inspired me to pursue a career within the chemical industry. 

My growth and development would not have been possible without the support and guidance of other people. I would like to thank my managers and colleagues at CPI for supporting my growth during my placement, namely Dr Adam Todd, Dr Sofia Matrali, and Dr Jess Andrews. Additionally, I would like to thank Professor Richard Bourne for his supervision and Thomas Dixon for his guidance and support during my master’s project. I would also like to thank my personal tutor, Professor Andrew Wilson, who has supported me throughout my degree and various difficulties that I have faced. I would like to thank Professor Christopher Rayner and Dr Christopher Pask for their support and feedback during the application process for the Salters’ Graduate Awards. Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the past four years of my journey whose contributions made it possible for me to achieve this award.”

We extend our warmest congratulations to Louisa Kamajaya on winning the prestigious Salters' Graduate Award 2023. Her academic excellence, leadership skills, and outstanding communication abilities have made her one of the top 10 chemistry and chemical engineering students in the UK. We wish her all the best in her future endeavours as she embarks on her PhD studies.

If you want to learn more about our Chemistry and Chemical Engineering degrees, please visit our website for more information.

Learn more about Louisa by visiting her student profile and LinkedIn.