Page 15 - PERIODIC 2017
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Sustainability



             next year or two we hope to expand and employ more   Showcase
             people. We are getting very busy and have several paying
             clients in the industries that use enzymes - synthetic   salutes green
             biology, agriculture and big pharma – and they are now
             synthesising enzymes we have identified.           progress

             We’re now developing our own intellectual property, and
             we’re looking at solving new problems, leading to more
             clean and efficient production routes for different classes   At the University’s Sustainability Showcase on 12th   Keep sash below RED ZONE
             of medicines.  One of the problems in the pharma industry   June, the Department of Chemistry was proud   RED ZONE for hood set-up only!
             is that of ‘batch failure’, which can lead to scarcities of a   to receive a number of awards to recognise the
             particular drug; sometimes the process of manufacturing   hard work of a small team (who call themselves
             a drug fails if the chemical techniques aren’t sufficiently   “Green Meanies”) of students and staff who have
             robust.  Enzymes can improve batch failure rates, but the   been working during the past year to make the
             catch is that you can spend a long time and around 2-3   Department more environmentally sustainable.
             million pounds creating the right enzyme for a process.    The Green Impact scheme is a National Union of
             Every single position on an enzyme protein is unique, and   Students scheme to empower people to achieve
             there are millions of combinations, but the technology we   sustainable workplaces by asking them to complete
             have created allows us to predict enzyme activity quickly   a number of criteria, and reward them with a
             and accurately.   Procedures that usually take many months   Bronze, Silver or Gold award.
             can be compressed down to a single day.  It’s a mixture of                                      KEEP SASH
             programming and scientific method - essentially providing   Building on their work and experiences, from   AT OR BELOW
                                                                                                             THIS LEVEL
             a quantitative answer to a qualitative problem.    previous years the Green Meanies were able
                                                                to achieve a first for the University, namely an
                                                                Excellence Award. This was for a series of short
                                                                films which they had produced which promote
             What have you learned from creating a business,    sustainability and safety within the working
             and do you have any tips for aspiring scientific   environment, and especially the labs.  The team
             entrepreneurs?                                     also achieved Gold for both the Department and its
             There have been challenges along the way, but it has been   laboratories.
             stimulating and great fun.  The main thing I have learned   Individuals within the Green Meanies team were
             from this experience is the effect that a few people can   also highlighted, with Jean-Charles Buffet awarded
             have on your trajectory – that adds a lot.  We talked to   Staff Award and Theresa Scharbert and Siyu Chen
             Professor Graham Richards at the very beginning.  He   highly commended in the Student Award category.
             was extremely generous; he gave us good advice and
             legal contacts and introduced us to our investors, Oxford   The Green Meanies team don’t intend to let the   MORE SAFE, LESS ENERGY
             Sciences Innovation.  Professor Davies has been with us   ink dry on their awards, and are already starting to
             from the start too – he enabled us to get the project off   plan what to do over the new academic year. They
             the ground and remains Enzbond’s Scientific Advisor.   My   would be delighted to have new members from
                   Sustainability Showcase salutes green progress
             DPhil supervisor, Professor Rob Paton, was enormously   within the staff and student community.
                   At the University’s Sustainability Showcase on 12  June, the Department of Chemistry was proud to receive a
                                                 th
             helpful in allowing us freedom and space to get things
                   number of awards to recognise the hard work of a small team (who call
             going, as were Professors Cathy Pears, Kylie Vincent, Chris
                   themselves “Green Meanies”) of students and staff who have been
             Schofield and Luet Wong.  It’s tremendous when people
                   working during the past year to make the Department more
                   environmentally sustainable. The Green Impact scheme is a National
             help you out.
                   Union of Students scheme to empower people to achieve sustainable
                   workplaces by asking them to complete a number of criteria, and reward
             As far as tips go, I’d say that perseverance is king.
                   them with a Bronze, Silver or Gold award.
                   Building on their work and experiences, from previous years the Green
             I also think that everybody needs to create their own
                   Meanies were able to achieve a first for the University, namely an
             direction.  You’ll get a thousand and one different suggestions,
                   Excellence Award. This was for a series of short films which they had
                   produced which promote sustainability and safety within the working
             but the one that’s right is the one you believe in.
                   environment, and especially the labs.  The team also achieved Gold for
                   both the Department and its laboratories.
                   Individuals within the Green Meanies team were also highlighted, with
                   Jean-Charles Buffet awarded Staff Award and Theresa Scharbert and
             http://www.enzbond.com/
                   Siyu Chen highly commended in the Student Award category.
                   The Green Meanies team don’t intend to let the ink dry on their awards,                   ALWAYS CLOSE
                                                                                                             SASH WHEN
                   and are already starting to plan what to do over the new academic year.                   NOT WORKING
                                                                                                              IN HOOD.
                   They would be delighted to have new members from within the staff and
                   student community.
                                                                                                                15
                                                                                                 Periodic
                                                            The Magazine of the Department of Chemistry
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