Brian Graves and Travis Sawyer 2017 winners.

Shell was one of the founding benefactors of Churchill College and thanks to the longstanding and fruitful relationship with the company we were pleased to be able to run the Shell Research Prize for the second year running.

Seventeen Applications were received for research in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects from Post-Doc, Graduate or Undergraduate students at Churchill College.  A panel of 3 College Fellows and 3 Shell representatives reviewed all the proposals.  The standard was incredibly high and as a result two prizes of equal value were awarded.  Brian Graves (G15, Engineering) was the winner of the Shell Research Prize (kindly sponsored by Shell) for his research in nanotubes. Travis Sawyer (G16, Physics) won the Shell Churchill Alumnus Research Prize, which was kindly sponsored by a Churchill engineering alumnus, for his research in a multi-dimensional imaging system for oesophageal tissue analysis.

The College is very grateful to Shell for funding this prize, and we look forward to future opportunities for entrants next year.


The winners with the judging panel; Professor Colm Caulfield (Churchill), Catherine Price (Shell), Brian Graves, Travis Sawyer, Malcolm Brinded (Shell and Churchill Alumnus, U71) and Professor Malcolm Bolton (Churchill).

“The Churchill Shell Prize competition was an excellent exercise in scientific communication. Learning to frame one’s work to be concise and broadly accessible is essential for careers in science, but very challenging. The competition provided a perfect opportunity to do so and being selected to receive the award is humbling, knowing the academic calibre of Churchill students.” – Travis Sawyer

“Competitions like this are a great way to bridge the gap between academia and industry. This is something that shouldn’t be undervalued because it helps guide academics toward the research topics that can best benefit society, while giving industry access to experts and equipment they may not otherwise have. Events like this can stimulate new ideas and generate impactful work” – Brian Graves.