International Chemistry Olympiad Gold for Perse student

Kiran Diamond (Upper Sixth) demonstrated his scientific skills by claiming Gold at the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) in Switzerland.

He came 13th overall in a field of almost 350 young chemists from around the world, scoring 78.15% following five-hour practical and theory exams.

Kiran was the highest ranked member of the four-strong British team chosen to compete in the IChO in Zurich following an excellent display in round two of the UK Chemistry Olympiad.

The practical paper saw participants face three tasks – determining the ions in six solutions by their reactions with each other, working out the iron content in an ore, and an organic synthesis experiment making and purifying two products.

Meanwhile, the theory test included 10 tough problems on a range of topics from enzyme kinetics and electrochemistry in organic synthesis to radiochemistry in medicine and the production of methanol from biofuels.

Overall, it was an amazing, but very intense experience.

Kiran Diamond

Kiran was delighted to earn Gold as well as enjoying the whole experience of the IChO.

He said: “I was surprised to do well as I found both papers quite difficult and very time-pressured, but I’m very happy with the result.

“The non-exam days were packed with visits to see the sights of Switzerland. As well as tours of the ETH Zurich campuses and Zurich, we got the opportunity to explore Lucerne and Bern.

“We had a visit to the Paul Scherrer Institute and a tour of its electron synchrotron and we were able to ride a cog wheel train up Mount Rigi to experience the beautiful mountain landscape.

“Overall, it was an amazing, but very intense experience. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to meet so many people my age from all over the world passionate about science and I really enjoyed all the other aspects of it – even the training and exams.”

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