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Winner of the second PANalytical Award: Ana Cuesta

PANalytical

The PANalytical Award of 2013 has been won by Ms. Ana Cuesta, affiliated to the Department of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Málaga, Spain. The prize was based on a research article published in Chemistry of Materials (2013, 25, 1680-1687), entitled: "Structure, Atomistic Simulations, and Phase Transition of Stoichiometric Yeelimite". As entrant and first author on the publication Ms. Cuesta is to receive the PANalytical Award trophy, a certificate and € 5,000.

Researchers that have never held a professorship and who use laboratory-scale X-ray equipment as their primary analytical technique were eligible to apply for the award. Entries for the award could be submitted during the course of 2013 and had to have been published in the period between 1 January 2012 and 30 November 2013. The winning article was chosen by a committee composed primarily of independent researchers, unaffiliated to PANalytical and was selected from a strong field of entries submitted from across the globe.

Yeelimite (calcium sulfoaluminate) is the most important phase in calcium sulfoaluminate cements. The objective of Ms. Cuesta’s paper was to establish the crystal structure of this phase with the aim of obtaining the best quantitative phase analysis of cements and hydrated pastes. The researchers have been able to understand the mechanisms of hydration of this yeelemite (and that of another polymorph of a doped-yeelimite). Currently the project is continued with work at a revised crystal structure of another polymorph of a doped-yeelimite (pseudo-cubic) by using the techniques described in the awarded article.

The judges found the work a splendid investigation that, although challenging, was thoroughly carried out. The work appealed to each of the judges for its classical crystallographic approach.

Ana Cuesta is currently finalizing her thesis and is delighted by PANalytical’s recognition of her research.

“The money will be very helpful in furthering my education as I would like to attend a number of additional specific courses before applying for a subsequent academic position in my current or a related research field.”

Ms. Ana María Cuesta García studied Chemistry at the University of Málaga, Spain graduating with a Master degree in 2011. Owning a four-year pre-doctoral studentship, funded by the Spanish Government, she is now continuing her studies at the Inorganic Chemistry Department of the University of Málaga. The prizewinning work will form part of Ana's thesis.


The winner was chosen by a Selection Committee of five established researchers, consisting of:

1. Prof. Guru Row (Professor at the Solid State and Structural Chemistry unit of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India)
2. Prof. Hamid Garmestani (Professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA)
3. Prof. Dr. Christian Lehmann (Head of department Chemical Crystallography and Electron Microscopy at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Mülheim, Germany). Prof Lehmann is our returning member of the committee, having served last year as well. In this way there is some continuity in the manner that the research prize is awarded.
4. Prof. Paul Fewster (Lead Scientist at the PANalytical Research Centre on the University of Sussex campus, Brighton, UK)
5. Dr. Thomas Dortmann (PANalytical Product Specialist X-ray Diffraction)

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