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News 2023

UCC Microbiology student wins Mary Mulvihill Award 2023

1 Jun 2023
Prof Hannah Daly, School of Engineering and Architecture, UCC (awards judge) with Ayomide Ajani - winner of the Mary Mulvihill Award. Photo: Nick Bradshaw

Congratulations to fourth year Microbiology student Ayomide Ajani who is this year's winner of The Mary Mulvihill Award, a science media competition for third-level students that commemorates the legacy of science journalist and author Mary Mulvihill (1959–2015). Ayomide won the top prize for a digital essay exploring the future of energy using science fiction literature. She is the first UCC student to win the award.

Ayomide Ajani is from Midleton, Co. Cork, and is a graduate of St. Mary’s High School in the town. In addition to her love of science, Ayomide is also interested in film, fiction, art, and graphic design—and in how they can be harnessed in science communication.

Now in its seventh year, this year’s competition invited entries on the theme of ‘Energy’, that property to do work that is essential to sustain life on this planet. Students were encouraged to address the topic in scientific, environmental, or imaginative terms, and in any format.

Speaking about Ayomide's winning essay, Hannah Daly, Professor in Sustainable Energy & Energy Systems Modelling, UCC, and member of the judging panel commented:

“We’re so fixed on our current context that it’s hard to imagine a radically different energy future. This was a very compelling essay, with a strong visual element that made the argument for sci-fi as a means to imagining a radically more sustainable future” .

The Mary Mulvihill Award was established by the family and friends of the late Mary Mulvihill (1959–2015) to honour her memory and her work in science journalism, science communication and heritage and to promote her legacy.

The award is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students attending any third-level institution on the island of Ireland. In keeping with Mary’s wide-ranging experience in print, broadcast and digital media, the award programme has from the outset invited entries produced in any media format. This year's prize-giving ceremony was held in the Dublin Instituate for Advanced Studies and carries a top prize of €2,000.

College of Science, Engineering and Food Science

Coláiste na hEolaíochta, na hInnealtóireachta agus na hEolaíochta Bia

Block E, Level 3, Food Science Building, UCC, Cork, T12 YN60.