Winner of 2019 UK Junior Water Prize discovers new photocatalyst to solve water pollution

Winner of 2019 UK Junior Water Prize discovers new photocatalyst to solve water pollution

Diana being presented the UK Junior Water Prize Award ceremony at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham.

This year’s UK Junior Water Prize was presented to Diana Virgovicova from Sutton Valence School, for her discovery of a new photocatalyst to solve water pollution.

Diana’s project uses heterogenic photocatalysis. Photocatalysis is a process, where specific substances called photocatalysts absorb radiation and the results produce radicals. These radicals are ions which can eliminate unwanted organic and inorganic pollutants (unwanted substances which pollute water).

The 2019 final took place at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham. The Judging panel included representatives from CIWEM, the Environment Agency, Jacobs and industry. Diana blew away the judges with her extensive research, knowledge, and presentation skills but also her enthusiasm for water environmental wellbeing.

Two teams were also highly commended, for the high standard of their project and presentation.

Jake Thakur and Samuel Moore from Sutton Grammar School for their project on employing inertial measurement units for cost-effective and accurate wave monitoring, and Alanah Ferguson, from Kirkcaldy High School for her project which investigated a wave energy device.

This year the competition was proudly sponsored by Jacobs, and The Environment Agency.

Amy Bentley, Divisional Director at Jacobs said,

“It was a privilege to be on the judging panel for this event. The quality of submissions was very high and it was inspiring to hear the students talk with such passion about the water environment. I congratulate all participants for the effort they have put into their respective projects.”

Paul Cross, Senior Skills and Workforce Advisor at the Environment Agency said

“The Environment Agency is delighted to sponsor this year’s UK Junior Water Prize for the second year running. Some of our greatest global challenges revolve around water. It is imperative that we continue to feed the imagination young people and attract the greatest minds of future generations to help solve the challenges of today and the future.”

The winner of the UK Junior Water Prize will now go on to compete against 35 other national finalists at the international final which takes place during World Water Week in Sweden, The winner will be announced at a gala dinner with HRH Princess Victoria of Sweden, and students will have the chance to showcase their projects to academics, industry and the media.

Click here for more information about the competition.

Share this article

Become a member

Whether you are studying, actively looking to progress your career, or already extensively experienced, our membership will add value and recognition to your achievements. We can actively help you progress throughout your career.

Become a member

View our events

We organise a wide portfolio of UK and international thought leading events, providing an industry recognised forum for debate, CPD and sector networking. These events also support our policy work and inform key initiatives.

View our events