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Teagasc Walsh Scholar wins prestigious prize from the Royal Irish Academy

Teagasc Walsh Scholar wins prestigious prize from the Royal Irish Academy

Dr William McCarthy from Teagasc has been announced as the winner of the Kathleen Lonsdale RIA Chemistry Prize 2024. This prestigious prize is awarded for outstanding doctoral research in the chemical sciences carried out on the island of Ireland.

Dr McCarthy’s PhD thesis was titled: 'Understanding the Entry, Partition, and Fate of Chlorates in Dairy Processes'. His research was carried out at the Teagasc Food Chemistry and Technology Department in Moorepark, under the Walsh Scholarship Programme.

Chlorate is a contaminant that can find its way into dairy products through chlorinated water and products used during the cleaning of processing equipment. The presence of chlorate in dairy products is strictly regulated and understanding chlorate's entry, partition, and fate in dairy production is vital to ensuring the safety and quality of dairy products across a global industry.

Dr McCarthy's study involved developing an industrially feasible approach to chlorate removal from milk using membrane filtration and the results make a strong case for the potential of membrane filtration as a critical control step for chlorate management.

Dr McCarthy said: "Receiving the Kathleen Lonsdale RIA Chemistry Prize is an absolute dream come true. I am humbled and incredibly honoured to be selected as this year's recipient. Receiving this award is an incredible validation of my research accomplishments and a source of immense pride. The Royal Irish Academy is a renowned institution; its recognition is a humbling experience. I am deeply grateful for this opportunity and for the support of my mentors and colleagues. This award will undoubtedly serve as a driving force as I continue to pursue my research ambitions and my career in chemistry."

The award is named in honour of the famous Irish x-ray crystallographer, Kathleen Lonsdale, who was born on 28 January 1903 and is sponsored by Henkel. Dr McCarthy will be honoured at an awards ceremony in the Royal Irish Academy later in the year.

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