Almac McKervey Award for Excellence in Chemistry 2022 Winner Announced

October 5, 2022

The Almac Group, has announced that Alex Olsen, from Portadown, is this year’s recipient of the ‘Almac McKervey Award for Excellence in Organic Chemistry.’ 

Alex, a MChem Chemistrystudent who has begun a year-long industrial placement in Almac Sciences’ Process Development Chemistry group, received his award and a £1,500 bursary towards his tuition fees from Dr Stephen Barr, Managing Director and President, Almac Sciences & Almac Discovery. 

Stephen said: “Pursuing a career in science provides graduate Chemists and Chemical Engineers the opportunity and potential to use their skills, knowledge and talent to make a real difference in advancing human health across the world.

“I am pleased to present the Almac McKervey Award to Alex in memory of our esteemed colleague and friend, Tony, whose commendable leadership and kind manner inspired many of us during his long service with Almac.

“Many congratulations to Alex who has demonstrated exemplary performance and commitment throughout his degree to date.  I hope, that in receiving this recognition today, he will progress to a long and rewarding career in chemistry.”

Alex said: “I am honoured to receive this year’s Almac McKervey Award dedicated to the inspiring Tony McKervey. My experience with Almac began with a work shadow placement in 2018 organised by Dr Frances Weldon for Sciences and Discovery business units.  I am thrilled to be here at Almac and am already enjoying the new chemistry I’m being shown by my co-workers. I know the experience I will receive over this year-long placement will be invaluable to my career in chemistry.”

Alex’s name was added to the perpetual commemorative wall plaque at the David Keir building at Queen’s – a replica of which is displayed at Almac’s global headquarter facility in Craigavon.

The Almac McKervey award was established in 2018 as a commemoration to the life and work of one of Ireland’s most distinguished scientists, Professor Tony McKervey, who passed away in June 2017. A former Professor of Organic Chemistry at both University College Cork and Queen’s University Belfast, Tony founded Almac’s Sciences business unit in 1992 and continued to support Almac as a member of the Sciences’ senior management team until his death at the age of 78.

Professor McKervey was an esteemed academic and an industry expert, having received the ASTRA Award of the Royal Dublin Society in 1986 and the Boyle-Higgins Gold Medal of the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland in 1993.  He also authored over 270 published research papers in world-renowned journals.

The ‘Almac McKervey Award’, which is open to students studying Chemistry or Medicinal Chemistry at the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Queen’s, is presented each year to the top applicant, selected on both their academic achievement and performance at an interview with Almac’s chemistry experts.


About Almac Group

A unique culture delivering exceptional solutions

The Almac Group is an established contract development and manufacturing organisation providing an extensive range of integrated services across the drug development lifecycle to the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors globally.

Its innovative services range from R&D, biomarker discovery development and commercialisation, API manufacture, analytical services, formulation development, clinical trial supply, IRT (IVRS/IWRS) through to commercial-scale manufacture.

The international company is a privately owned organisation which has grown organically over the past five decades now employing over 6,000 highly skilled personnel across 18 facilities including Europe, the US and Asia.

To keep up to date with latest news, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn or visit


Back to news