‘Outstanding’ Leeds research officer receives IOM3 award

The dedicated and tireless work of a University of Leeds Research Officer has been recognised with an award by a prestigious industry organisation. 

Dr Zabeada Aslam, Research Officer at the School of Chemical and Process Engineering, receives the Henry Royce Institute Award for Outstanding Contribution by a Technical Professional by the Institute of Materials, Minerals, and Mining (IOM3).  

The honour, which debuts this year, recognises the work of one exceptional and established technical professional over a minimum period of ten years, across several projects or activities. Winners must go “beyond the normal expectation of their role”, sharing best practice and supporting the training and development of new staff. 

Dr Aslam is a key Research Technical Professional (RTP) member of the Leeds Electron Microscopy and Spectroscopy Centre (LEMAS), and offers support to students, academics, and industrial customers. Each year, LEMAS runs approximately 3,500 hours of work for 350 different users across 25 Leeds institutions, 25 UK universities, and 20 external companies. It will soon relocate to the state-of-the-art, £100 million Sir William Henry Bragg Building. 

In 2022, Dr Aslam played a key role in procuring and evaluating two unique electron microscopes worth £4 million: a plasma focused ion beam cryo-scanning electron microscope and, in a major collaboration with manufacturer Tescan, a Tensor Scanning TEM (STEM) beta system – the first of its kind in the UK, and only the second in the world. 

She also teaches at the annual Royal Microscopical Society Electron Microscopy School, and was a regular co-author on research papers that contributed to the University’s Research Excellence Framework submission in 2021, which placed it in the top ten Engineering Schools in the UK. 

Professor Rik Drummond-Brydson and John Harrington, who nominated Dr Aslam for the award, praised Dr Aslam as “a model example of a modern RTP” and “a very highly skilled, dependable, consistent, and expert individual”.

She deserves full recognition for her intense efforts and enthusiasm. We are extremely fortunate to have such a member of staff within the School.

Professor Rik Drummond-Brydson and LEMAS Facility Manager John Harrington

Dr Kate Thornton, President of IOM3, said: “Recognising the achievements of members, who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and quality of work in their fields is important to showcase best practice and encourage others. 

“Congratulations to all our 2023 winners – they should all be proud of their remarkable work resulting in these awards.  

IOM3’s Awards & Prizes date back to 1874 and raise awareness of engineering and scientific excellence and industry best practice in the field of materials, minerals, and mining, celebrating individuals and organisations that make exceptional advancements to the profession. 

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