Researcher achieves 2nd place in EPSRC Science Photography Competition

Alexandru Moldovan, researcher in the School of Chemical and Process Engineering here at Leeds, came second in the EPSRC Science Photography Competition, in the Weird and Wonderful category.

The EPSRC Photo Competition is an opportunity for all EPSRC-supported researchers and EPSRC-supported doctoral students to share their research using images. The competition attracted 169 entries, which were grouped into five categories.

  • Equipment and Facilities - Images of the equipment, facilities and tools used in your research

  • Eureka and Discovery - Images that reflect that Eureka moment or new discoveries and understanding that arise from your research

  • Innovation - Images of research that has inspired innovation or is related to commercial breakthroughs

  • People and Skills - Images of people working as part of your research team, taking part in or affected by your research

  • Weird and Wonderful - Unusual, eye-catching and bizarre images arising from your research

Crystal Summit

Alexandru’s photograph, Crystal Summit, shows the crystallised surface of paracetamol on a glass slide. The crystals were grown from a crushed up paracetamol tablet dissolved in methylated spirit. The image was carefully stitched together from approximately 35 individual frames.

The photograph was taken at Alexandru’s home using a Frankenstein-ed microscope, comprising of a Leitz SM-LUX Base with Olympus DPlan 10x objective and polarised gel filters. The camera was a Sony A7 III, and he used polarised light to showcase the different colours. Alexandru made basic contrast and histogram adjustments using Adobe Lightroom.

The story behind the image

Alexandru’s current research looks at predicting and measuring the sticking between particles within drug formulations. His hope being that one day we can predict drug formulations and their impact on the patient, allowing for tailored drug design and manufacturing for individual needs.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 

EPSRC is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

EPSRC is the main funding body for engineering and physical sciences research in the UK. By investing in research and postgraduate training, we are building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation.