News Releases

Students Make History by Representing T&T at International Chemistry Olympiad

For Release Upon Receipt - August 23, 2023

St. Augustine

 From Left to Right, Saiesh Rampersad (Form 5 Presentation College Chaguanas), Jaron Mohammed (Form 6 Couva East Secondary), Fazeel Ali (Form 6 Presentation College Chaguanas), Raymond Liu (Form 6 Presentation College Chaguanas)

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. 23 August 2023 -A delegation consisting of four local Chemistry prodigies and three Chemistry mentors from The University of the West Indies (The UWI) St. Augustine Campus’ Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) embarked on a journey to Switzerland on Friday, July 14, 2023 to represent Trinidad and Tobago at the 55th International Chemistry (IChO) Olympiad held in Zurich.

"This year marks a significant milestone in Trinidad and Tobago's educational journey as we participate in-person in the esteemed international competition," stated Dr. Terry Mohammed, Deputy Dean, Outreach, FST. "Our team's representation not only reflects their exceptional capabilities but also positions them as the first from a CARICOM country to participate."

The delegation, comprised Fazeel Ali, Raymond Liu, and Saiesh Rampersad, all hailing from Presentation College, Chaguanas, along with Jaron Mohammed from Couva East Secondary School. During the local phase of the competition, Fazeel Ali was bestowed with the title of Top Senior Chemist, while Kashveer Sookoor of Naparima College earned the recognition of Top Junior Chemist for the year 2023. The top five students from each level of the competition were subsequently invited to a rigorous two-week training camp at The UWI. Ultimately, the final team was formed by selecting the top four students based on their performance in the final examination from July 16 to 25, 2023.

Accompanying the students were representatives from the Faculty of Science and Technology, all of whom were members of the Trinidad and Tobago Chemistry Olympiad (TTChO). This mentorship team consisted of Dr. Nigel Jalsa, Senior Lecturer in Biological Chemistry who served as the Head Mentor and Coordinator of TTChO; Dr. Terry Mohammed, the Deputy Dean responsible for Outreach and Coordination of TTChO; and Ms. Laura Rambaran-Seepersad, Senior Administrative Assistant within the Dean’s Office, who also played a crucial role as Coordinator of TTChO.

The inception of the TTChO dates back to 2019 when the Faculty of Science and Technology at The UWI St. Augustine introduced the initiative. Throughout the years, the TTChO has remained a cornerstone project of the faculty's outreach efforts. Through a collaborative effort with the Ministry of Education, this local Chemistry Olympiad aimed not only to identify the most accomplished secondary school chemistry students but also to cultivate a deep-rooted interest in the subject and elevate the standards of chemistry education. Outstanding students who excelled in the local competition were offered the opportunity to progress to the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO), a prestigious global stage where they could engage and interact with fellow chemistry enthusiasts.

The Faculty of Science and Technology expressed heartfelt gratitude to their sponsors, including the Unit Trust Corporation (UTC), Phoenix Park Gas Processors Limited (PPGPL), The National Gas Company (NGC), Starbucks, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Kaizen Environmental Services (Trinidad) Limited and The Department of Chemistry at UWI for their unwavering support in enabling the participation of the Trinidad and Tobago team on this international platform. 


About The University of the West Indies 

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region for the past 75 years. 

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Global Campus, and global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world. 

The UWI has been consistently ranked among the top universities globally by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE). The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists since its debut in the rankings in 2018. In addition to its leading position in the Caribbean in the World University Rankings, it is also in the top 25 for Latin America and the Caribbean and the top 100 global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the leading universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action. 

2023 marks The UWI’s 75th anniversary. The Diamond jubilee milestone themed “UWI at 75. Rooted. Ready. Rising.” features initiatives purposely designed and aligned to reflect on the past, confront the present, and articulate plans for the future of the regional University. 

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