Image illustrates PhD student Gustav Ferrand-Drake del Castillo
​PhD student Gustav Ferrand-Drake del Castillo to the finale of Researcher's Grand Prix

PhD student at Chalmers to Researcher’s Grand prix finale

​Gustav Ferrand-Drake del Castillo, PhD student at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, is qualified to the finale in the popular science presentation contest “Researcher’s Grand prix”. The finale is held November 27.
In his research he imitates nature by creating small spaces which mimic the cell-like environment for enzymes. In brief, the research is focused on  developing materials on which enzymes retain their function, while also controlling their activity and how to make different enzymes co-operate in chain reactions. The final goal is to use enzymes in a smarter way, which could lead to more environmentally friendly synthesis of chemicals or improved medical treatments in the future.

What have you learned from preparing for the competition?
"How to summarize my research, which I have worked on for many years now, in under four minutes. Being a detail-oriented person, it is a challenge for me to describe my work briefly and in terms of concepts.  This competition has taught me how important it is to have a clear message which reaches out to more than just my colleagues at work."

What made you participate in the Grand Prix competition?
"I was inspired by my supervisor Andreas Dahlin to participate. Andreas has also competed in popular science presentations, in fact he is European champion! "

How do you plan to win?
"I want to engage my audience and at the same time spread knowledge about how cool science is and what we can use it for. I will use items and products I found at home as props. All of the products contain or have been manufactured using enzymes, like for instance gluten-free beer, washing detergent and tablets for those who are lactose intolerant."

Text: Mats Tiborn


Published: Fri 16 Nov 2018. Modified: Mon 19 Nov 2018