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Biologist smells success in the air


A microbiologist from the University of Wolverhampton has been given a national award for a project using bacteria to eliminate bad smells.

Dr Wan Li Low has been working with Cannock-based company Odour Services Wan Li Low International Ltd (OSIL) to develop the use of bacteria for removing odours.

The project uses sulphur-oxidising bacteria to target smells given off from waste water and rubbish found in the recycling industry, as an alternative to existing chemical solutions.

Now, after starting work with OSIL in 2012, Dr Low has been chosen as winner of the 2013 Business Leaders of Tomorrow award from the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) group.

The KTP is a UK-wide group which pairs up businesses, organisations and education institutions to provide mutual benefits by sharing knowledge technology and skills with each other.

Dr Low was given the award for developing a strong scientific knowledge of OSIL’s products and capabilities; for using these skills to impress new business clients, leading to new contracts; and for helping to create and develop new microbiological technology with the company.

Dr Dave Hill, principle lecturer in Applied Biology at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “Wan Li’s success against national competition reflects her ability to combine academic scientific skills in microbiology with business acumen.

“This has led to substantial business success for the company (OSIL) but also for the University of Wolverhampton with some excellent case study examples and research projects being implemented into the MSc postgraduate programmes.

“It is exciting to see our own graduates achieving success in implementing the transfer of university knowledge and skills into local businesses whilst showcasing the importance of microorganisms in our everyday world.”

Dr Low completed the first year of her degree in Kuala Lumpur, before switching to the University of Wolverhampton to complete her studies, after hearing about the institute’s reputation in microbiology.

She achieved a first class degree in BSc Biological Sciences in 2007 and was awarded a university scholarship for a PhD in microbiology which she completed in 2012, when she started working on the KTP project.


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