- The 2016 SRUK Emerging Talent Award, sponsored by Banco Santander Foundation is a first-time recognition prize given by the Society of Spanish Researchers in the UK (SRUK) to an outstanding young Spanish researcher working in the UK.
- Eva Hevia, Professor at the University of Strathclyde, has been awarded this year’s recognition.
- This initiative aims to support young talent and encourage commitment from institutions and companies to ultimately promote knowledge exchange between countries.
London, 13th of December 2016. The Society of Spanish Researchers in the UK (SRUK) and Banco Santander Foundation hosted the Reception Ceremony of the 2016 SRUK Emerging Talent Award at the Spanish Embassy in London. Prof Eva Hevia (Gijón, 1976), researcher professor at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow), received the award in recognition for her excellent academic career and her commitment to promote science, mentor new researchers and establish international collaborations between the UK and Spain.
The ceremony, opened by the Spanish Ambassador to the UK, Mr Federico Trillo-Figueroa, was followed by the award’s presentation to Prof Eva Hevia by the president of SRUK, Dr María Jiménez-Sánchez and the Chief Executive Officer of Santander Bank UK, Mr. Nathan Bostock. Prof Eva Hevia delivered a presentation on her research and professional career.
With the Emerging Talent Award, SRUK has reiterated the firm commitment to support and increase the visibility of the Spanish researchers in the UK, and to promote the links between the UK and Spain. Dr Jiménez-Sánchez remarked “for SRUK, to recognize a prestigious researcher as Prof Eva Hevia with this award is not only an honour but also highlights the research excellence of our members. Eva will use these funds to promote scientific exchange and the mobility of researchers between the United Kingdom and Spain, aspects that fit perfectly within the objectives of SRUK”.
According to Prof Morata, chair of the award’s scientific committee, “Eva Hevia is one of the strongest and most promising researcher in her field at an international level”. In addition, Morata added, “she has a breath-taking research career, unusual for her age.” Bostock, CEO of Santander Bank UK said “with this Award, Santander Bank UK shows its support to British and Spanish Science by promoting talent, transference of knowledge, and cooperation between both countries”. Moreover, according to Escámez, President of Banco Santander Foundation, this recognition award “contributes to make Prof Hevia a scientific and academic reference not only in the UK but also in Spain”, and hopefully, “this award will inspire the new generations of Spanish researchers working in Spain and abroad.” In Prof Hevia’s words, “SRUK offers continuous support and inspiration to the increasing number of Spanish scientists working in the UK, thus I feel genuinely honoured and privileged to be the recipient of this award in the inaugural edition. Although I have carried out most of my research activity in the UK, I have always strongly engaged with and indeed treasured my connections with the community of Spanish scientists. This award will allow me not only to significantly strengthen these links, by facilitating new collaborations and scientific exchanges with Spanish research groups, but also to greatly increase the visibility in Spain of my own research in the area of Organometallic Chemistry.”
Hevia obtained her degree and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Oviedo. She became Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde (Scotland) when she was only 38 years old. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles in the most important specialised journals in her field. In 2011, she obtained a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant to launch her research group. She also holds other major awards for young scientists in the field of chemistry, such as the Harrison Memorial Medal and Prize (2009) awarded by the British Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and the RSEQ-Sigma-Aldrich Prize to Young Researchers (2011) awarded by the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry (RSEQ).
Prof Hevia will allocate part of the prize to reinforce the relations with the Spanish scientific community and give visibility to the Organometallic Chemistry of representative elements, as “the scientific representation of Spain in this field is very limited and yet has great potential benefits for humanity”. A great number of elements from these compounds are essential in the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and perfume industry, so improvements to perform the required chemical transformations in a sustainable manner would have a strong impact on society and the environment. In addition, the other part of the award will be used to support two internships in her lab to outstanding Spanish graduate students.