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Manipuri takes over UK Chemical Industries Association Young Persons Network Chair
London, 16 Mar 2004



Dr Gurumayum Shachi Dayal Sharma, a 25 year old research chemist at Lubrizol Ltd and winner of the 2003 NW England Young Person of the Year Award (YPYA), has been unanimously chosen by a peer group of other 2003 YPYA winners to take over the national YPYA responsibilities until September this year. Most important among these responsibilities is chairmanship of the CIA's Young Persons' Network.

Dr. Sharma is the son of Dr. Gurumayum Tonsana Sharma and Gurumayum Ongbi Hindangmayum Bidyakumari Devi of Leirik Yengbam Makha Leikai, Imphal, Manipur. He is an alumnus of Manipur Public School, Imphal, Sandur Residential School, Karnataka, and did his graduation in Chemistry (Hons) from St. Stephen's College, Delhi, one of India's best colleges. Following graduation, he joined the University of Bristol, England for an MSc and then a PhD in colloid, polymer and surface science.

Despite being a chemist, Dr. Sharma has always taken keen interests in areas outside of chemistry; he served as the Chancellor-of-the-Exchequer of the St. Stephen's College Students' Union and was also the Overseas Students' Officer of the University of Bristol Students' Union. Dr. Sharma's partner, Dr. Ingrid Leveque is also a chemist and they both enjoy travelling and discovering new places and cultures.

The vacancy arises from the departure from the chemical industry of national 2003 YPYA winner, Maranda Thomson, as a result of GlaxoSmithKline's Montrose site downsizing plan. Maranda will not be lost to the science of biochemistry, however, because following a period of globe-trotting, she is planning to undertake a PhD course back in the UK.

As the YPYA regional winner, Dr Sharma is already chairman of the Young Persons' Network in NW England, which has the heaviest concentration of chemical factories in the UK. Dr Sharma and his team in the northwest have been working hard to promote the industry in the Northwest. Some of their activities include visiting schools, giving talks, and interacting with local bodies and more information on these can be found on the region's own Young Persons' Network website (http://www.ypnetnw.org) which is maintained by Dr. Sharma.

One of Dr Sharma's new key tasks will be to work with the CIA and other young people, including the other regional winners, to raise awareness of the contribution that the chemical industry can bring to local communities, as well as the exciting career opportunities it has to offer young people.

Commenting on his new responsibilities, he said: "I am really delighted to be given this opportunity to chair and play such an active role in the CIA's Young Persons' Network. I would like to thank those who elected me and I hope that I can fulfil my duties diligently and make the YPN an even greater success.



(2) NEWS RELEASE CONTINUED

Editors' Notes: 1. The Chemical Industry Young Person of the Year Award (YPYA) is open to any person employed by a member company of the CIA or who works in the chemical manufacturing industry and is personally a member of the Society of Chemical Industry or the CIA's Young Persons' Network. For the 2003 YPYA candidates had to be 27 or under on 1 September 2003. The Chemical Industries Association (CIA) organises the Award each year, and for the first time, the 2003 competition was being held in conjunction with the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI).

2. The 2004 YPYA competition has now closed with a record number of entries  54 covering 7 regions. This year's competition is open to candidates who have to be 29 or under on 1 September 2004. In addition to the SCI, the competition is also being held in conjunction with the British Chemical Engineering Contractors' Association (BCECA), which has previously sponsored the annual YPYA national winner's educational trip to chemical industry sites around the world.

3. Maranda Thomson, the 2003 Scottish regional winner and national YPYA winner, was formerly an analytical development chemist at the Montrose, Scotland, site of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

4. Dr Shachi Sharma is a research chemist at Lubrizol Ltd in Hazelwood, Derbyshire, part of the Lubrizol Corporation, a fluid technology company, which is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. As NW England & North Wales 2003 Regional YPYA winner, Dr Sharma received a certificate and cheque for £250.

5. The chemical industry in the UK employs 230,000 highly skilled people nationwide, and accounts for 2% of Gross Domestic Product and 10% of manufacturing industry's gross value added. It invests over £2 billion annually, representing 14% of total manufacturing investment, with a further £3.5 billion being spent on R&D. It is the UK's top manufacturing export earner, with an annual trade surplus of nearly £5 billion on sales of £33 billion, of which £29 billion is accounted for by exports, with a large proportion going to other countries in the European Union. In 2001, the most recent year for which figures are available, the chemical sector spent more money on environmental protection than any other comparable British sector. An independent report for the UK Department of the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) estimated that the UK chemical industry spent £713m on environmental protection during 2001, or 18% of the £3.9 billion spent by the whole of UK industry.

6. Dr. Sharma may be contacted at shachi@sanaleibak.com.


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