Winner of the 2021 Being Edinburgh Award
2019 Chemistry graduate and start-up founder Elisabeth Feldstein is the winner of the 2021 Being Edinburgh alumni award with over 34% of the student, staff and alumni vote.
Elisabeth is currently working with speciality chemicals and sustainable technologies company Johnson Matthey, and while still a student founded the medical device start-up Augment Bionics that produces cost-effective 3D printed prosthetic limbs, making them much more accessible to a wide range of people who otherwise couldn't afford them.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Elisabeth’s team collectively re-purposed Augment Bionics in order to provide face shields to the NHS as well as abroad to countries in need. And with the support of the University's staff, students and alumni she was able to raise over £100,000 in charitable donations and 120,000 face shields, all for the NHS.
After hearing about her win, Elisabeth spoke to us about how it feels to be recognised by the University community during such a challenging time:
I feel incredibly honoured to have been nominated for the 2021 Being Edinburgh award let alone to have won. The University has played a fundamental role in my personal development and in launching my career. Since graduating, I’ve made a conscious effort to stay involved with the University, and to be recognised by it for my efforts feels like a great accomplishment.
There is no doubt that the past year has been challenging and stressful and when I think back to early 2020 and the start of the pandemic, I think of all the many lessons we have learned since then. From the simple routine of wearing masks, to the rapid and innovative deployment of COVID-19 vaccinations, the world around us has changed in ways we could have never predicted. The presence and support of the Edinburgh community has become even more important to me and others through this time. And so to be honoured for this award amidst all that is going on really enhances the gratitude that I feel.
As well as her current work, Elisabeth is also being recognised for being proactive in forming and developing the Edinburgh University Women in STEM group to inspire, motivate, and connect women studying STEM subjects who often feel outnumbered by their male counterparts. The society is still going strong today and has become an important extra-curricular resource for students.
Even as a student, Elisabeth was making a difference within the student community through her work as a woman in STEM. She has carried this through into her working life and developing her Augment Bionics company even further. For such a recent graduate Elisabeth has already proven that her Edinburgh education is being put to good use and that’s so inspiring to me. She’s a worthy winner of the Being Edinburgh award and I wish to extend my congratulations to her on behalf of the Students’ Association.
Since late 2020, Elisabeth has also decided to give back to both the University of Edinburgh and its students by running online careers and networking workshops organised by the School of Chemistry, displaying a desire to use her own enthusiasm to empower others.
She also founded the Edinburgh University Philadelphia Alumni Club, and in 2021 she was elected to the University's General Council Business Committee, the body that is the graduate voice in the running of the University of Edinburgh.
“The School of Chemistry is immensely proud of Elisabeth who has inspired many with her dedication to the community both during her studies and as a recent graduate. I am delighted that her achievements are being recognised and celebrated through the Being Edinburgh award.”
We want to thank everyone who voted and campaigned for Akhil, Eilidh, Elisabeth and Luis; four outstanding candidates, all of whom garnered enthusiastic support in the voting.
We created the Being Edinburgh Award to increase knowledge and appreciation of Edinburgh’s diverse community of former students and all of the nomination we received this year gave us a real insight into all the ways that members of our community are making a difference. We will be sharing some of these other stories that you have told us about soon and look forward to launching next year's awards.
Augment Bionics (external)