Dimitris Boufidis is a #1 ranked, scholarship-awarded Bioengineering student at the University of Sheffield and is an innovator, researcher, and passionate advocate for STEM. As an International Engineering Ambassador representing over 1500 students as well as an active Science and Engineering Champion, he debunks STEM stereotypes, mentors younger students, and inspires the next generation of young scientists and engineers, improving diversity and inclusion and the well-being of students and staff. Dimitris was also unanimously elected Chair of the SU Council, the highest democratic decision-making body of the Sheffield Students' Union.
His academic excellence has been recognized internationally being named a top 100 “Leader of Tomorrow” in the biotech industry and was also recognized as the UK’s “Student Employee of the Year”.
As co-founder of UK project ‘Anyone Can Engineer’, he leads efforts towards diversity and representation in STEM, helps underrepresented boys and girls discover new life trajectories as an award-winning robotics coach, and inspires children to become ‘heroes of their own life’ and overcome barriers that keep them away from their dreams through public speaking at talks such as TEDx.
Dimitris received a merit scholarship to participate in Harvard's Model Congress conference representing the UK at the United Nations Security Council. Moreover, Dimitris was a co-founder of 'Change Lab' - an award-winning initiative at Sheffield that aims to train students and give them all the necessary tools to effectively bring a positive change in their communities. Dimitris has also served as the creative media and communications director of two engineering teams: team Avalon which is building an underwater robot, and team Sunride that sent a rocket to the space and currently holds the UK National Open Altitude Record at 36,274ft.
In Greece, he led the digital acceleration of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for Scouts of Greece and designed a fully functional mobile app designed to highlight the Greek Scouts' SDG initiatives, promote sustainability and good practices, and raise public awareness about the 17 UN SDGs. The app won the gold medal at the national Mobile Excellence Awards 2021.
As a researcher he is currently undertaking a year-long project aiming to bioprint soft and flexible bioelectronic implants to treat chronic brain conditions such as focal epilepsy. His research has already contributed to a research paper he is co-authoring and is actively seeking additional publishing opportunities for the neural implant, as well as work on bipolar electrochemistry of hydrogels and printed stretchable batteries.
If he wins the Global Student Prize, Dimitris will invest in the creation of a state-of-the-art open-access maker space in his home city of Thessaloniki. He has already been in touch with an educational NGO in Greece and will seek collaboration and partnerships with the municipality, local schools, organisations and the ministry of education to make his dream of a technology-driven STEM lab come true.