September 16, 2016

Southampton, United Kingdom, 16th September 2016 — Global contact lens manufacturer CooperVision has announced that the 2016 CooperVision Student of the Year is Ambreen Saira Hussain, a final-year optometry student at Glasgow Caledonian University supervised by Dr Louise Madden.

The final of the competition took place during CooperVision’s National Student Summit, held at its European Headquarters in Segensworth, Hampshire on 13th and 14th September 2016. Finalists also toured the company’s manufacturing site in Hamble and its European Distribution Centre. 

Students from seven UK academic establishments – Anglia Ruskin University, Aston University, University of Bradford, University of Cardiff, Dublin Institute of Technology, Glasgow Caledonian University and University of Manchester – presented the results of their research projects. Each had received a Summer Research Scholarship from CooperVision to conduct a project on a contact lens topic of their choice. A panel of academics, chaired by Optician Clinical Editor Bill Harvey, and including the students’ project supervisors, judged the presentations for content, creativity and delivery style. 

Ambreen had investigated the effect of contact lens material on in-vitro wettability in adverse environmental conditions.  This was carried out using the controlled environmental chamber facility at Glasgow Caledonian University and, in particular, investigated silicone hydrogel vs hydrogel materials.  Ambreen related the results of her findings to a patient case study which she presented very confidently throughout.  The judging panel felt this topic was very relevant to everyday practice today as eye care practitioners often have to make a decision on which material to best prescribe their patients in order to deliver the best comfort in certain environments. 

Topics for other projects were: the effect of centre distance multifocal contact lenses on visual function in young adults; the comparison of tear ferning and dry eye signs and symptoms prior to and following soft contact lens wear soaked in various soft contact lens multi-purpose solutions; the Contemporary Management of MGD; contact lens compliance amongst undergraduate students; inter-observer reliability and the effects of scaling in soft contact lens fit assessments by undergraduate optometry students; and evaporative protection of the tear film.

Conducting a project allows students to gain basic research skills such as literature search, participant recruitment, data collection and data analyses, as well as developing their presentation skills and teamwork.

Ambreen receives a full delegate package to attend the 2017 BCLA Clinical Conference & Exhibition and will go on to represent the UK at CooperVision’s European FORCE – Future Ocular Research Creativity Event – to be held at its Centre of Innovation in Budapest, Hungary in spring 2017. FORCE brings together students from across Europe to compete for the title CooperVision FORCE Student of the Year. The prize for the overall FORCE winner is a full delegate package, including travel and accommodation, to attend a major international contact lens meeting.

Shail Patel, CooperVision’s Professional Services Consultant commented: “The CooperVision Student of the Year project has now been running for six years and, once again, we have been extremely impressed by the participating students’ dedication to their research and professional delivery of their presentations. As a company we are committed to helping develop the future of the industry and look forward to nurturing more young talent in the years to come.”