Reynolds Cup Winners 2022

Steven and Helen

Steve and Helen bring it home!

Stephen Hillier and Helen Pendlowski have been crowned champions of the Reynolds Cup - an international Clay Mineral competition with the goal to stimulate analytical techniques in the industry as well as demonstrating individual talent.

The competition - held on a biennial basis - is facilitated by a committee set up by the Clay Mineral Society (CMS) and this year featured entrants from across the globe including the United States, Australia, China, the Middle East, Africa and all across Europe.

The contest was a round robin test for quantitative mineral analysis, where 3 samples of mixtures of pure minerals were provided. Teams were able to use any technique or combination of methods, with the winning lab determined by the lowest cumulative bias.

This victory marks the 3rd time that James Hutton have won the competition, with previous wins coming in 2008 and 2018.

Stephen Hillier, head of X-Ray Powder Diffraction at the James Hutton Institute commented: “It’s a brilliant achievement to win this competition, particularly against some of the most talented researchers in the world. To win it 3 times in a relatively short period of time is a solid indicator that we are accurate in our analysis and consistently deliver to a high level – an essential part in ensuring that our clients can trust the results we are delivering to them.”  

Helen Pendlowski, Mineralogist in the XRD team at the James Hutton Institute added: “It’s very humbling to win the competition. The Reynolds Cup continues to grow with more teams entering, making it a harder competition to win so to come out on top is very satisfying.  

X-ray Powder Diffraction (XRPD) is a versatile technique that can be used to identify any crystalline substances, such as most minerals. It can also be used to quantify the proportions of different minerals or indeed many other substances when they are present in a mixture.

The James Hutton Institute analytical laboratories operate to the standards required by UKAS accreditation and many of our methods are accredited to ISO17025. Steve Hillier is a world leader in Quantitative X-Ray Powder Diffraction with over 150 publications. Helen Pendlowski works with Steve in the same team. She has over 12 years’ experience working in mineralogy on both commercial and research projects.