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12 Mar 2014

Loughborough three take research to Parliament

Three Loughborough University researchers will present their research at the Houses of Parliament as part of the SET for Britain event next Monday (17 March).

Dr Annie Ockelford (Department of Geography), Vaibhav Phadnis and Mitul Tailor (both School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering) have been shortlisted from hundreds of young researchers across the UK to showcase the best of their work directly to MPs and industry experts.

SET for Britain is an annual poster competition held in the Houses of Parliament which brings together MPs with some of the country’s most promising early-stage researchers in engineering, science and maths.

The Loughborough trio will go head to head for one of three prizes in the engineering session worth up to £3,000.

Dr Annie Ockelford is flying the flag for geography – a discipline not typically associated with engineering research. Her research centres on understanding and trying to predict the volume of sediment released into river channels after different river flow events such as floods. She said:

“The SET for Britain competition provides an excellent opportunity for me to communicate just how important this work is, especially given the recent flooding events, showing that top class engineering research does not just come from within engineering departments.”

Vaibhav Phadnis will outline his research on ultrasonically assisted  machining  (UAM) - a  hybrid  machining  technique suitable for difficult-to-cut  materials such as high-strength alloys and composite materials, which reduces damage and improves surface finish and integrity of a material. UAM’s energy-friendly nature, its ease of setup, usage and cost-friendliness make it an important stepping stone in today’s green-manufacturing era.

He said: “I applied for SET for Britain because I saw it as an excellent opportunity to communicate my research to a wider audience which includes members of Parliament who are able to guide scientific research in the UK. Having just gained my PhD, this is a brilliant launchpad.”

Research associate Mitul Tailor is presenting on an algorithm he has developed to support inspection in quality control for manufacturing industries. His automated system assesses critical components in 3D, identifying suspicious features more accurately than previous human-led subjective methods.

He said: “As someone who is passionate about communicating the importance of research and how exciting it is studying engineering, this is a fantastic opportunity to convey those feelings to those in government. I really cannot wait to get started.”

For information on the event visit www.setforbritain.org.uk

Notes for editors

Article reference number: PR 14/47

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 title in 2008-09 and has been named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and has been voted England's Best Student Experience for six years running in the Times Higher Education league. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In 2015 the University will open an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University in London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will offer postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

Contact for all media enquiries

Amanda Overend
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Loughborough University
T: 01509 223491
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk