Converging talent wins prize for St Andrews

Alexander Ward, part of St Andrews University company Razorbill that won third prize in the Converge Challenge 2014. ( Picture by Iain Stewart Photography)

Alexander Ward, part of St Andrews University company Razorbill that won third prize in the Converge Challenge 2014. ( Picture by Iain Stewart Photography)

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Three St Andrews University academics have won a prize in a major Scottish enterprise competition.

The Converge Challenge, which encourages innovation and entrepreneurship amongst academics, this year awarded its third prize to Razorbill Instruments, the brainchild of PhD research students Alexander Ward and Jack Barraclough, and postdoctoral researcher Dr Clifford Hicks.

They have developed a nanopositioner – a device which can move with minute detail, especially useful in the manufacturing of microchips, and in physics and biomedical research.

Alexander Ward described their development as: “a nano-‘tractor’, a robust and versatile tool used in a wide range of nano-technologies, and can move a sample with precision smaller than a thousandth of the width of a human hair.”

The team won a cash sum, as well as a range of business support from leading legal, financial and branding companies, worth more than £13,000.

Razorbill was one of 111 entries in the Converge Challenge.