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Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry

Chloe shaking hands with Vice Chancellor Freeling

Chloe receiving her award, courtesy Cambridge Hub

PhD student Chloe Balhatchet has been awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Social Impact Award in Sustainability.

Chloe, who is in the second year of her PhD, uses NMR to find and investigate new materials for supercapacitors, which will play a critical role in the transition to net zero.  

She was nominated jointly by the University Sustainability Team and Cambridge Zero for her “outstanding and numerous contributions to many engagement programmes within the University.”

Chloe is a Sustainability Officer in the Forse research group, which has taken many steps to improve waste practices and reduce the group’s wider environmental impact.

In the wider University, Chloe is a member of the Cambridge Zero Postgraduate Academy’s Steering Committee, which brings together postgrads from across all disciplines at the University who are working on or have a research interest in climate change and net-zero. She is also the coordinator of Plant-Based Cambridge, a climate campaign calling for the University of Cambridge to take action as an institution and transition to 100% plant-based catering in response to the climate and biodiversity crises.

At Selwyn College Chloe is an MCR Green Officer, and is part of the Selwyn Green Impact Group. As Green Officer, she is also the postgraduate representative on the Student Union’s Ethical Affairs campaign. Chloe is one of two Chemistry postgraduate scholars who are funded by the Walters-Kundert Trust at Selwyn.

Acting Vice-Chancellor Dr Anthony Freeling, who presented the awards, explained that they are given to honour students who have made an ‘impressive social impact through their exceptional work.”

The awards cover significant contributions students have made to their community through exceptional volunteering efforts, for innovation, global impact, impact in the local community and sustainability. Altogether 15 undergraduates and postgraduates were honoured, along with one special recognition award.

“The purpose of the awards is to recognise and celebrate the achievements of exceptional University of Cambridge students who work towards making the world a better place,” said Yingxin Zhang, the People and Activities Manager for Cambridge Hub, which organised the awards.

Cambridge Hub, which is part of the Student Hubs network, connects Cambridge students with social and environmental action opportunities to make a difference by providing programmes, activities, skilled placements, practical volunteering and events.

Dr Freeling expressed his gratitude to Cambridge Hub for providing opportunities for students to engage in social action.
He concluded the ceremony by saying: “The winners have demonstrated that innovation and perseverance can go a long way in making a positive impact on society. Their accomplishments serve as an inspiration to us all.”

If you would like to help improve sustainability in the department please contact Chloe, who is establishing a Sustainability Committee.