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2002 - Emma Johnston

Emma Johnston being presented with her Prize

The Young UK Laser Engineer's Prize for 2002
went to
Emma Johnston

Emma Johnston was presented with her Prize by John Bishop (left) and AILU President Bill Steen, who was Emma's PhD supervisor Liverpool University.The Prize comprised of a laser-engraved plaque (courtesy of Identisys Ltd and Trumpf Ltd) and a cheque (donated by The Cutting Edge) being presented by John Bishop

Emma, A Liverpool University graduate, returned to the University after 2 years in industry, mainly at Parsons Turbine Generators in Newcastle, to complete a PhD in Professor Bill Steen's group. Her research subject, laser scabbling, was of particular interest to the nuclear industry, and after completing her research Emma began work at BNFL.

The presentation was made by John Bishop, whose Company generously donated this year's cheque. In has introduction he expressed his particular delight that, in a male-dominated field, the first recipient of the prize should be a young woman.

"Back in the 60's the laser was said to be a solution looking for a problem" John said. "Well, judging by the number of laser applications we certainly seem to have had our problems and indeed still do, as Emma has proved."

After accepting the prize, Emma gave members a should presentation on the potential benefits of laser scabbing, particularly in the nuclear industry, where it provides a reliable, remote means for removing the radioactively-contaminated surfaces of concrete walls of containment buildings during decommissioning.

The Prize, for which applicants are judged on the basis of the real or potential economic benefit of their work, was established to help encourage young engineers to apply their skills for the benefit of UK manufacturing industry. Providing that worthy candidate comes forward, it will be awarded annually.

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