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PhD Extraordinary Awards go to four ICMAB Graduates

Four ICMAB graduates have been awarded by the UAB with the PhD Extraordinary Award for their doctoral thesis, developed during the period 2016-2017: Bernhard Dörling in the field of Physics, Laura González and Magdalena Kierkowicz in the field of Materials Science, and Elena Oleshkevich in the field of Chemistry. Congratulations!

08 April 2020

The award, delivered by the School for Doctoral Studies together with the UAB Alumni Association of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, demonstrates the appreciation for the effort and dedication of young researchers and their contribution to the generation of knowledge and advance in the different areas of the UAB. The award consists of a competitive call among the researchers whose doctoral thesis received the qualification of excellence "Cum Laude" from the thesis committee. The main value of the UAB is its human capital and the new doctors are an essential element for the continuation of excellent lines of research. That excellence is based on the quality of the PhDs as a distinctive indicator.

We wanted to know more about our graduates so we asked them about their experience at ICMAB and what do they expect from the future:

bernhard 238x300Bernhard Dörling

“I would really like to thank Mariano and Miquel, my two supervisors, who pushed me in the right direction whenever I got lost. […] My time at the ICMAB was really nice. I had a lot of fun and everyone made me feel at home.” - Bernhard Dörling

Bernhard’s PhD thesis, supervised by Mariano Campoy-Quiles and Miquel Garriga, is entitled "Conjugated Materials for Thermoelectrics and Photovoltaics”. After finishing his PhD, Bernhard stayed at the ICMAB as a project researcher, and he is currently trying to use the results of his thesis to move the research from the lab scale closer the its expected final applications in renewable energy.

Laura González

“After some years of having defended my PhD, I am very happy to receive such news, and to be able to share it with my supervisors, who worked as hard as me in my PhD project. In addition, the support of my family was essential during hard times, and their confidence in me also helped me to succeed in my PhD and to have received the award. To all of them, thank you very much!” - Laura González 

Laura’s PhD thesis, supervised by Anna Roig and Anna Laromaine, is entitled “Evaluating inorganic nanoparticles in the living organism Caenorhabditis elegans”. Laura points out what a growing experience it was to develop her thesis at ICMAB: “I had the opportunity to learn what research is, how to analyze results, how to think and advance in science. […]  I also learnt to work independently and to face new problems, which have always been very useful in my professional life since then.” Since finishing her thesis, Laura has continued her professional career as a Quality Assurance Expert and as a Production & Management Systems Head, her current position. However, she still is “very into research: not actively doing it, but trying to be updated with new discoveries in science.

Magdalena Kierkowicz

“I am deeply pleased to receive the PhD Extraordinary Award as it is a recognition of my hard work and the thesis’ impact.” - Magdalena Kierkowicz 

Magdalena’s PhD thesis, supervised by Gerard Tobias, is entitled “Development of Carbon Nanocapsules for Biomedical Applications”. Magdalena considers her PhD a valuable experience, specially being part of a research center like ICMAB: “I was fortunate to work in ICMAB which is a hub for stimulating international scientific environment.” After finishing her PhD, she wanted to stay in the research field but also break into the industry. She is currently a research scientist with expertise in physical chemistry at UCB in the United Kingdom: “I am proud that our work brings solutions to patients with severe diseases and is changing their lives”.

Elena Oleshkevich

“I would like to acknowledge everybody who made my PhD possible, my mother who gave me a lot of opportunities to study, Clara Viñas, who excepted me as her PhD student and who was taking care of me during all those years, and for her strong and active position in life, which was a great example for me. Thanks a lot to Francesc Teixidor for his creative ideas! And all the staff from ICMAB, ICN2 and UAB, who were doing so well their job dedicating all their attention, time and support.” - Elena Oleshkevich 

Elena’s PhD thesis, supervised by Clara Viñas, is entitled “Carboranylphosphinic acids: a new class of purely inorganic ligands to generate polynuclear compounds and multifunctional nanohybrid materials for biomedical applications”. Elena felt really supported during this process: “my PhD supervisor, Clara Viñas, and also Francesc Teixidor, were guiding me constantly and in the same time always supporting my ideas, so together we could find solutions and advance in our projects. Also, the ICMAB, as a part of a big research park at the UAB is a great place to start your scientific career.” Once she finished her thesis, Elena knew she wanted to keep working in industrial research. After a period of job hunting, she is now working as a R&D Chemist in Jotun Ibérica, a paint company.

About the awards

The School for Doctoral Studies, together with UAB Alumni, organises an event every semester for the award of PhD degrees and PhD Extraordinary Awards. With 66 PhD programmes, the UAB is one of the leading Catalan universities in the production of theses and generates approximately a third of the doctoral theses that are defended in the Catalan university system each year.With the PhD degree and PhD Extraordinary Award ceremonies, which are held twice during the academic year (around May and November), the UAB demonstrates its appreciation for the effort and dedication of young researchers and their contribution to the generation of knowledge.The main value of the UAB is its human capital and the new doctors are an essential element for the continuation of excellent lines of research. That excellence is based on the quality of the PhDs as a distinctive indicator.

The PhD Extraordinary Awards confer value to theses which have received the qualification of excellence "Cum Laude" and which, having been proposed by the Admissions Committee of each academic programme, stand out for their contribution and advance in the different areas of our University.The prizes are awarded per academic year, in accordance with PhD regulations and with the criteria specified in each PhD programme.

More information:

List of awardees in 2016-2017

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