GCU student named CooperVision's UK Student of the Year

10 October 2014

Fiona presented her research findings to a panel of judges at CooperVisions headquarters in Hampshire

Fiona presented her research findings to a panel of judges at CooperVisions headquarters in Hampshire

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) undergraduate Fiona Buckmaster has been named UK Student of the Year at CooperVision’s National Student Summit.

The third-year BSc Optometry student entered the contact lens company’s annual Summer Research Scholarship earlier this year and received a £2000 bursary to complete a research project over the summer months.

Fiona’s work, supervised by GCU’s Dr Ian Pearce, investigated the influence of environmental humidity on Schirmer testing of tears. Her findings could have implications for the definition and diagnosis of dry eye.

Fiona presented her findings to a panel of judges at CooperVision’s headquarters in Hampshire on September 15 and 16, where she was announced UK Student of the Year.

Twenty-one year old Fiona said: “The National Student Summit was a wonderful experience and it was great to meet optometry students from across the UK and to hear about the projects they had been working on.

“I was so happy to even make it as far as the summit but I’m obviously delighted to have won.”

Senior Lecturer Dr Ian Pearce said: “I’d like to congratulate Fiona for carrying out an excellent piece of research and then presenting her findings with confidence and clarity.

“Fiona should be proud of her efforts; she is a great advertisement for the BSc Optometry programme here at GCU.”

Fiona is now looking forward to competing in CooperVision’s European FORCE in spring 2015, for the chance to win a full delegate package to attend the American Academy of Optometry Clinical Conference in New Orleans.

She continued: “I'm honoured and very excited to be able to represent the UK, and GCU, at the European Student Summit in April 2015.”

Organised annually by CooperVision, the National Student Summit was established in 2011 to encourage new contact lens-related research within universities. Fiona is the second GCU student to win the UK Student of the Year prize.