The Guardian: What happened next? “Martina was up against 13 other students - all carrying out projects on placements organised by Shell Technology Enterprise Programme (STEP).” (ShellNews.net)
Martina Reider pulled pints in between biochemistry lectures at Sussex University. But what does she do now?
Interview by Adeline Iziren
Saturday October 16, 2004
Martina Rieder won an "enterprising student" award, after designing two innovative products that could enhance the lives of thousands of people who have had operations on their intestine.
Martina designed the products as part of an eight- week summer placement at Welland Medical, which produces and supplies a range of ostomy appliances used to collect bodily discharges from people suffering from bowel diseases.
At first Martina tried five or six different adhesives during trials on friends, colleagues and patients she visited at a hospital in Sussex. In the end it was the silicone adhesive that got the thumbs up.
Now Martina's invention, which is worth £300, 000 a year to Welland, is set to be patented. Martina was "thrilled" when she heard this and "amazed" when she learned her product had won her an award, plus £1, 000 in prize money. "It was amazing to get so much appreciation for what I had done, as I just wanted to help some patients," says the German-born student.
Martina was up against 13 other students - all carrying out projects on placements organised by Shell Technology Enterprise Programme (STEP). She plans to use her prize money to visit South America.
Career wise, the final year student hopes to return to Germany to do a masters in biochemistry before launching a career in immunology.
Each year STEP gives second and final-year students a chance to gain project-based work experience with small and medium sized enterprises. In addition, STEP offers 9-12 month industrial placements and flexible term time projects.