ARU BSc Forensic Science students participated in a Live Brief with leading global life sciences company LGC Group.
LGC asked students to help produce and present an information poster, summarising detailed knowledge of chemical reagents and analytical methods in the field of criminalistics; the selection of methodologies appropriate to a variety of casework; and derivation of conclusions from real life problems in line with established professional practice.
ARU Associate Professor in Forensic Science Dr Lata Gautam has been collaborating with Dr Blagovesta Tomova from LGC’s Fordham site near Cambridge to deliver employer-led solutions to real-world problems linked to the group of antioxidants known as Irganox. These are polymer additives used as stabilizers in food packaging or medical devices.
The general public is regularly exposed to these compounds and some of them have migrated into food and been detected in biological fluids.
The characterisation of these compounds provides invaluable information required by LGC Fordham when embarking on extractables and leachables studies during the drug development process.
How the Live Brief benefited LGC Group
ARU students worked together to respond to the Live Brief by producing a group poster presentation on 7 different Irganox compounds, their chemistry, safety, and method of analysis.
LGC Group Senior Scientist Dr Blagovesta Tomova is ARU alumni and has been working in collaboration with Lata for more than a decade. She described how the Live Brief delivered a “win-win” result for both LGC and ARU students.
Dr Tomova says:
“It was fantastic to see all students embracing the challenges of researching and presenting on this topic.
“In addition to enabling students to perform independent research and better understanding of the challenges of the industry, this module has been a great opportunity for students to develop a range of transferable skills such as team and individual work, poster design and delivery of presentation to an audience.
“We were treated with some very interesting presentations - well done everyone! This is a great initiative and showcases how academia and industry can work together to inspire future scientists.”
Lata also agrees, as she elaborates, “It was a lot to learn to deliver a Live Brief, but we all were excited to hear and learn from students during their presentation as the topic was new to us all.
It was great fun and the Live Brief turned out to be an innovative way of teaching and learning."