31st July 20
Abbey College Cambridge student Agustin Lorusso Notaro Francesco has been celebrating after representing the UK team and achieving a gold award at this years’ International Chemistry Olympiad competition.
The international Chemistry Olympiad is an annual competition for the world’s most talented chemistry students at secondary school level. This year 235 students from 60 countries took part, solving challenging problems in a five-hour theory paper.
Agustin, who has just completed his A-Level studies at Abbey College Cambridge, was part of a UK team of four chosen from over 9,000 students who entered the UK Chemistry Olympiad back in January. The 30 top students from the first round completed in the second round from which the team of four students to compete in the International Olympiad was selected.
Agustin’s gold award places him in the top 25 chemistry students in the world this year, and also as the top chemistry student in his age group in the United Kingdom. A-Level student Agustin, who has also received an offer to read Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge in September spoke of his success; ‘The myriad of exciting reactions and theory I studied helped me decide on my career choice, as the excitement I feel whenever I do a question told me I had to study chemistry at university. Moreover, my desire to improve my chemistry encouraged me to develop my mathematics and these programming skills.’
This year’s Olympiad was unusual in that it was the first ever remote International Chemistry Olympiad due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sarah Robertson, the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Director of Education spoke of this year’s event and the UK team success headed by Agustin; ‘Many congratulations to Alex, Rtvik, Worawit and Agustin on these great results. It shows real character and commitment to engage and achieve this while studying from their homes during uncertain times. And credit is also due to their supporting teachers, mentors and invigilators for adapting so readily to online teaching and all the extra hours’ work this has required.’
Head Mentor of the UK team Dr Ben Pilgrim, from the University of Nottingham, said: “We are delighted with another outstanding performance by the UK Team. Gold medals are awarded to the top 10% of students competing and silver medals to the next 20%. With only 60 countries participating this year (compared to the usual 80) there were far fewer gold and silver medals available. So for the UK to win one gold and three silvers (one of its best ever results) is remarkable. Congratulations to Agustin, Boll, Alex and Rtvik.
Allan Smith, who is Agustin’s Chemistry tutor at Abbey College Cambridge, was justifiably proud of his achievement, saying: ‘Agustin is one of the most talented Chemistry students I’ve had the pleasure to teach. I’m happy that he got the chance to challenge himself against the best student chemists in the world, to achieve a gold award, placing him amongst the top 25 students in the world, is a truly amazing achievement.’
Abbey College Cambridge Principal Dr Julian Davies also commented: ‘Congratulations to Agustin, whose success in the International Chemistry Olympiad is thoroughly deserved and sits alongside his already impressive achievements in the Mathematics and Physics Olympiads, where his results were also amongst the best in the UK. Here at Abbey College Cambridge we have a proud track record or success in academic challenges, Olympiads and competitions, and we place great emphasis on students achieving academic success beyond the curriculum. Our teachers work incredibly hard to support them every day and I know they will all be incredibly proud of Agustin.’
Read more about Agustin’s success on the Royal Society of Chemistry website.