A chemical engineering fellowship, in memory of Ashok Kumar the former UK Labour MP and a chemical engineer, has been awarded to Katie Atkinson a PhD student at the University of Cambridge.
Atkinson will spend three months with the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) working on a special project to produce a short briefing paper and contribute to a longer report or assist in a select committee dealing with a current inquiry relevant to chemical engineering or process industries.
The Ashok Kumar Fellowship is jointly funded by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and the North East Process Industries Cluster (NEPIC). Kumar was a fellow of IChemE and at the time of his death the only chemical engineer in parliament. He served as MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland.
Atkinson said, “I’m delighted to have been chosen for the Ashok Kumar Fellowship. It offers a unique opportunity to learn about the crucial role of science in parliament and how to communicate science succinctly and impartially to parliamentarians.” IChemE chief executive David Brown added, “Since we launched the fellowship two years ago we have seen a marked interest in the number of applicants and the quality is very impressive.
“IChemE values the opportunity for chemical engineers to gain experience in parliament. It seeks to improve the ongoing interaction between government and chemical engineers, to bring a neutral, evidence based approach to policy making decisions where engineering has a clear role.
More information about the Ashok Kumar Fellowship is online.