Climate Change Award Winners Goes to Two Exceptional Students Within The Renewable Energy Industry

Two exceptional students have been honored with the prestigious Climate Change Thought Leadership Award in recognition of their groundbreaking dissertation projects dedicated to combating climate change. These awards, hosted annually by Privilege Finance, a specialist in anaerobic digestion (AD) and green projects, aim to identify and foster future leaders within the renewable energy industry. The announcement of this year’s winners came from Privilege Finance’s Chief Executive Officer, Chris Winward, following rigorous evaluation by a panel of esteemed judges.

The awards are divided into two categories: one for students completing a Master’s degree and another for those pursuing a PhD. Winners from each category receive a £1,000 (€1.1k) cash prize, a tour of an AD plant, as well as invaluable networking and mentoring opportunities.

In the PhD category, Maryam Dewiandratika from Imperial College London secured the top prize with her research project centered on enhancing the anaerobic digestion process for woody agricultural byproducts such as straw in developing countries. Winward noted, “By utilizing local materials to improve the efficiency of breaking down agricultural waste products that would otherwise be burned, Maryam’s research offers the potential for substantial carbon savings.”

Jack Baker from the University of Exeter emerged victorious in the Master’s student category with his research project that compared various domestic shower systems to develop a highly efficient wastewater heat recovery mechanism suitable for retrofitting in UK homes. “Drawing inspiration from the global energy crisis, Jack’s project holds the promise of enabling millions of families to reduce their energy consumption for water heating during showers, ultimately leading to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” Winward explained.

Reflecting on the awards, Winward expressed his appreciation, saying, “It’s an honor to host these awards.” He extended gratitude to the external judges, including David Hurren, President of the British Compressed Gases Association, Mark Sommerfeld, Deputy Director of Policy at the Renewable Energy Association, and Thomas Minter, Director at Malaby Biogas Ltd, Palisade Real Assets (UK) Ltd, and BioticNRG Ltd, for their contributions to the selection process.

David Hurren commended the merit of both winning projects, highlighting their exceptional enthusiasm, innovation, and the tangible real-world impact of their research. This year’s competition showcased an outstanding pool of entries, making the task of choosing the winners exceptionally challenging. Nonetheless, Maryam Dewiandratika and Jack Baker stood out for their remarkable contributions to addressing the pressing issue of climate change through their pioneering research.


  • Samson Adeyemo

    An experienced broadcast and print media journalist with nose for news and proven track records of success without compromising objectivity.

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