The University of Southampton

Fantastic Plastic lecturer honoured by plastics industry

Published: 20 June 2007

Dr Averil Macdonald's contribution to the plastics industry was this week recognized by the award for Personal Contribution to the Plastics Industry. Over 45,000 schoolchildren in the UK have heard her Fantastic Plastic lecture, which was hosted from 2004 to 2006 by ECS.

How do you capture the imagination of GCSE students with the subject of plastics? Covering everything from Lego to false legs, Dr Macdonald keeps her young audiences enthralled with the multitude of applications and capabilities of plastics. Her talk and demonstration inspires students by revealing the physics and chemistry that give plastics their special properties.

The lecture has been hosted by a number of different academic institutions, providing a different flavour to the lecture from the different research specialisms of different universities. Between 2004 and 2006 Fantastic Plastic was hosted by ECS in Southampton, when the Principal Investigator was Dr Alun Vaughan of the School's Electrical Engineering group.

Earlier this year Dr Macdonald was honoured by the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology, when she was recognized as a Woman of Outstanding Achievement. She is based at the University of Reading, which is currently hosting Fantastic Plastic.

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