Recognising alumni who have distinguished themselves through their career and achievements in the world of science and sustainability, and who can demonstrate the impact and scale of their achievements in their profession, and beyond.

Global Finalists

AMERICAS: Sherika Whitelocke-Bailingsingh (Jamaica)

University of Leeds; Chevening's scholar

Sherika’s important research into safety and the impact of pollutants in Jamaica, as well as on informal battery smelting and its crippling effects on children, has been recognised internationally - including by the United Nations, with whom she has created legislative frameworks for lead limits in paints. This has resulted in Jamaica’s first such legal limits, and Sherika’s work will protect over 2.9 million people and improve the quality of life for the country’s most vulnerable children.

EAST ASIA: Nattawan Utoomprurkporn (Thailand)

University College London

Nattawan was the first Thai citizen to qualify with a PhD in Neuroaudiology and Audiovestibular Medicine, and she now supports older adults in Thailand with hearing and balance problems. As part of this, she secured funding from the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering to create a digital platform which evaluates hearing and could help detect the early signs of dementia. Nattawan has won the prestigious Hallpike prize for her work, awarded by the British Association of Audiovestibular Physicians.

EUROPE: Mruga Gurjar (Sweden)

Loughborough University

Mruga is a Research Engineer at a public hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden. Her investigations into the technical side of healthcare led to her creation of a user-friendly digital service for radiologists, helping them to schedule patients’ treatment against resource and capacity. This significantly improved access to radiotherapy, streamlining the treatment process and cutting waiting times. Mruga’s work has been presented at the European Society of Radiation and Oncology Conference in Madrid.  

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA: Hesham Sallam (Egypt)

University of Oxford

Hesham established Egypt’s first Vertebrate Palaeontology programme at Mansoura University, which led to similar programmes being established at Cairo University, New Valley University and the American University in Cairo. All of this has put the discipline of palaeontology firmly on the map in Egypt and in recognition for his work, Hesham was selected as a member of the National Committee for Geological Sciences. He is also a member of Egypt’s prestigious Culture and Knowledge Council.

SOUTH ASIA: Yasar Yousafzai (Pakistan)

University of Glasgow

Based in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Yasar led his region’s laboratory response to the COViD-19 pandemic, potentially saving thousands of lives. His laboratory became one of the largest infectious diseases labs in the country. His team became central in guiding public health policy across the whole country and Yasar was honoured with the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz Medal of Honour, one of the highest civilian awards given to Pakistani citizens.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: Ajirioghene Amadi (Nigeria)

University of East Anglia

Ajirioghene is a partner at Nigeria’s SOFER Initiative which works to promote conservation and environmental protection in the country. Here, Ajirioghene leads on the Fishing Net Gains project, to tackle the issue of ‘ghost fishing,’ where fishing gear that has been lost, dumped or abandoned continues to trap and kill wildlife. In less than two years her work has supported many communities across Nigeria’s coast to develop new sustainable ways of fishing, recycling and protecting marine life.

WIDER EUROPE: Tural Gulu (Azerbaijan)

University of Sheffield

Tural is a health system expert. His work on health reforms contributed to the nationwide implementation of health insurance in Azerbaijan starting from April 2021. During the pandemic, Tural joined the Government's task force facilitating technical support and donations in kind for the COVID-19 response. Since October 2020, he has been working at WHO Azerbaijan and supporting the delivery of essential supplies, capacity building for healthcare workers and technical assistance for COVID-19.