Jessica earns a place in journal

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CHEMISTS around the world can read about the work of a Bognor Regis A-level student.

Jessica Hall, 17, has achieved the probably unknown feat of having the results of her research published in Chemical Communications.

The journal is published by the Royal Society of Chemists, with an editorial board of some of the most important individuals working in the science.

Jessica’s research came during four weeks with the University of Brighton’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences.

This came about through a four-week Nuffield research placement.

Jessica, who attends The Regis School, said: “It was an absolutely amazing experience.

“I learnt so much from being with the scientists and was 
thrilled when I found out the results of our investigations were going to be published.”

Jessica is hoping to study chemistry at Oxford University from next autumn.

Her supervisor at the university, Dr Bhavik Patel, said: “To my recollection and of many other colleagues I know, this is one of the rare occurrences that an A-level student has published her work in a journal.

“But for her work to be placed in the leading journal is nothing short of an astronomical achievement.”

Jessica’s project was called Investigation of the Behaviour of Host-Guest Supramolecular Structures.

This played a pivotal role in gathering evidence on a new compound, called an esterified pillar 5ene.

It determined it could be used as a sensor for acids.

Jessica’s results and photograph were so good they did not need to be repeated by the university. She is one of the authors cited in the research paper. It also earned her a gold award from the British Science Association for creativity in science and technology.

Nuffield Research Placements are administered in Sussex by STEM Sussex, the outreach department of the Faculty of Science and Engineering of the University of Brighton.

Bronagh Liddicoat, STEM Sussex’s director and Nuffield regional co-ordinator, said: “Jessica’s was a fantastic achievement and one of a number of excellent projects completed by Sussex students during the summer.

“Nuffield Placements give students hands-on experience of a professional research environment and a valuable insight into the sort of careers that are available to them in science, technology, engineering and maths.”

They are available to post-16 students in those four subjects to enable them to work alongside scientists and engineers.