Whisky waste discovery fuels top award for green scientist

by Search Gate staff. Published Thu 28 May 2015 22:52
Scottish Renewables recognises whisky waste pioneer
Scottish Renewables recognises whisky waste pioneer

The scientist who produced the first of a new generation of fuels from whisky industry waste has been honoured at the inaugural Scottish Renewables Young Professionals Green Energy Awards.

Dr Eve Bird, of Edinburgh startup Celtic Renewables, was among 11 winners at a glittering ceremony in Glasgow tonight.

The founders of the burgeoning Women in Renewable Energy Scotland network, Gail Watt and Rajini Sokhi, won the Campaigner Award, while Sandya Abrar, a University of Edinburgh student who researched renewables’ potential in Africa, was named best Academic.

Jillian McKenna, Director of Marketing at Scottish Renewables, said: “We were overwhelmed by the number and quality of entries to the awards, which are in their first year.

“Our winners perfectly demonstrate the vital contribution young professionals are making to the success of renewable energy. People like Dr Eve Bird show how academia plays such a huge role in what is still a young industry, while talented lawyers and consultants like Stephanie Mill and Vijay Bhopal, who won the Professional and Entrepreneur Awards respectively, shows how crucial professional support is to ensuring the success of projects.”

The full list of winners is:

• Achiever Award: Dr Eve Bird, Celtic Renewables

• Academic Award: Sandya Abrar, University of Edinburgh

• Campaigner Award: Gail Watt and Rajini Sokhi, Women in Renewable Energy Scotland

• Entrepreneur Award: Vijay Bhopal, Scene Consulting

• Innovator Award: Joe Berrisford, ScottishPower Renewbales

• Leader Award: Úna Brosnan, Atkins Offshore Renewables

• Pioneer Award: Peter Marshall, Muirhall Energy

• Professional Award: Stephanie Mill, Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP

• Judges Award: Jackie Sayer, Highland Council

A Judges Award, for which nominations were not accepted, was given to Highland Council engineer Jackie Sayer. Jackie’s pioneering and far-sighted approach to the provision of biomass heating solutions to people in the Highlands has resulted in significant carbon reductions, as well as plaudits for her employer.

Scottish Renewables’ Jillian McKenna added: “The judges felt that Jackie’s role in bringing new skills, jobs and affordable warmth to the Highlands by providing practical renewable heating alternatives to people living there was particularly worthy of merit.

“Often the success of a project depends on the commitment of just one person, and the judges wanted to recognise Jackie for, as her managers said, her ‘persistence, encouragement, pioneering approach and significant leadership’.”

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