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Department of Biochemistry

Department of Biochemistry news archive

The Inaugural Impact and Public Engagement with Research Awards took place yesterday, recognising staff whose research goes beyond the academic setting.


Among the winners was Dr Paolo Bombelli whose work focuses on harnessing electrical energy from plants. Paolo has engaged audiences at more than 40 public events, including science festivals and design fairs, reaching thousands of people in seven countries.

Collaborating with Professor Christopher Howe, Paolo has demonstrated his findings by creating a prototype 'green bus shelter' with lighting that is powered by solar panels and energy produced by plants through photosynthesis. He often demonstrates his work at public events using a moss-powered clock, and is currently developing a toolkit to engage school students on advances in plant-powered technology.

Paolo would like to share this award with the following people: 

  • Chris Howe, Alison Smith, Beatrix Schlarb-Ridley and every member of the Howe lab (working together on several occasions)
  • Alistair McCormick and Sonia Cruz (2010 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition and 2011 Big Bang Fair)
  • Alex Driver, Carlos Peralta and James Moultrie (the Moss Table: 2011 London Design Festival, 2012 Salone Satellite of Milan)
  • Ian Harvey (2012-2013 National Science Week)
  • Fabienne Felder (2013 MossFM)
  • Christina Bury, William Newnham and Bertie Webster (2014 Felsted School)
  • Matt Wright (2014 Edinburgh International Science Festival)
  • Alasdair Davies and Louise Hartley (2014-present, London Zoological Society)
  • Elena Mitrofanova and Silvia Brandi (2015 MossVoltaic, IAAC Barcelona)
  • Margherita Cesca (MCMM), Angus Cunningam and Anna Roochove (Scotscape)
  • Hamish Watson and Joanna Slota-Newson (Polysolar)
  • Ross Dennis and Robert Nimmo, Sally Pettit and Felicity Plent (2015 P2P Cambridge)
  • Mandy Knapp (2015 St. Barnardas Church Exibition, Cambridge)
  • Deisa Centazzo (2016 Magic Dye House)
  • Kerri Hicks (2016 Eton College Environmental Society)
  • Brenda Parker, Marc Jones and James Lawrence (2016 Big Algae Experiment)

Further details on the award can be found on the University website.


Stephanie Low

Publication date

21 June 2016