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Loughborough physicist takes his science to Parliament

Photo: iStock Photography

Loughborough University research student and technician, Phil Sutton is attending Parliament to present his science to a range of politicians and a panel of expert judges, as part of SET for Britain on Monday 18 March.

Phil’s poster, covering research about a new accelerated mechanism for Moonlet formation in Saturn’s rings and its implications to planet formation, will be judged against dozens of other scientists’ research in the only national competition of its kind.

Phil was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to appear in Parliament.

On presenting his science in Parliament, he said: “I applied to SET for Britain because it represents a unique opportunity to communicate my research to a broader audience, including an opportunity to network between different scientific disciplines with other scientists.

“Also the chance to connect with MP’s on some of the top research in the country is great.”

Andrew Miller MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, said, “This annual competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak to a wide range of the country’s best young researchers. 

“These early career scientists are the architects of our future and SET for Britain is politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work.”

Phil’s research has been entered into the Physics section of the competition, which will end in a gold, silver and bronze prize-giving ceremony.

Judged by leading academics, the gold medalist receives £3,000, while silver and bronze receive £2,000 and £1,000 respectively.

Tom Crotty, Director of INEOS Group AG, sponsors of the Gold Medal in the Physics Section, said, "It is crucial that there continues to be investment in skills to provide the next generation of engineers and scientists, particularly as the age profile of highly skilled engineers continues to increase.

“For manufacturing to thrive, the UK needs a large and growing reserve of people with the knowledge and skills to deliver world-class manufacturing and research & development.

“We’re delighted to support SET for Britain as an opportunity to celebrate the success of our early career scientists and we hope it will convince politicians to invest even greater effort to ensure the next generation of engineers and scientists come to the fore.”

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee run the event in collaboration with the Institute of Physics, The Physiological Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Society of Biology and the Society of Chemical Industry, with financial support from BP, Airbus/EADS, INEOS, AgChemAccess, Essar, the Institute of Biomedical Science, GAMBICA and WMG.

−ENDS−

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 13/40

1.  Contact
For further information about the event, images, or interview opportunities, please contact Joe Winters:
Tel: 020 7470 4815
Mob: 07946 321473
E-mail: joseph.winters@iop.org

2.  SET for Britain
SET for Britain is a poster competition in the House of Commons - involving approximately 180 early stage or early career researchers - judged by professional and academic experts.  All presenters are entered into either the engineering, the biological and biomedical sciences, the physical sciences (chemistry), or the physical sciences (physics) session, depending on their specialism. 

Each session will result in the reward of Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates.  Bronze winners will receive a £1,000 prize; Silver, £2,000; and Gold, £3,000.  There will also be an overall winner from the four sessions who will receive the Westminster Wharton Medal.

SET for Britain was established by Dr Eric Wharton in 1997.  Following his untimely death in 2007, the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, with support from The Royal Academy of Engineering, The Institute of Physics, the Society of Biology, The Royal Society of Chemistry, The Physiological Society and the Society of Chemical Industry are working together to further his legacy. 

The event is made possible this year by industry sponsors BP, Airbus/EADS, INEOS, AgChemAccess, Essar, the Institute of Biomedical Science, GAMBICA and WMG.

Early stage or early career researchers include university research students, postgraduates, research assistants, postdocs, research fellows, newly-appointed lecturers, part-time and mature students, returners, those people embarking on a second career, and their equivalent in national, public sector and industrial laboratories, and appropriate final year undergraduate and MSc students, all of whom are engaged in scientific, engineering, technological or medical research.

3.   Loughborough University
Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the Best Student Experience in England every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 11 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

Contacts

Judy Wing
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228697
E: J.L.Wing@lboro.ac.uk

PR team

Telephone: 01509 222224