Maths student presents research to MPs in STEM for Britain finals

Mathematical Sciences student Casper Oelen was among 2 other Loughborough students who took their research to Westminster last month to present to MPs as part of the STEM for Britain finals.

Under the supervision of Professor Sara Lombardo and Dr Vincent Knibberler in the School of Science, Casper presented a poster on symmetry in infinite dimensions and automorphic Lie algebras.

He said: “It was a great opportunity to explain how the principle of symmetry can be exploited in the natural sciences to gain an understanding of various physical phenomena. I was also able to discuss the fascinating mathematics employed in the area of my research. Being selected to participate was a great honour and I am proud to represent mathematics within this context.”

STEM for Britain gives early-career researchers a chance to exhibit research posters in five key areas – biological and biomedical sciences, chemistry, engineering, mathematical sciences and physics. Out of 500 applicants, a third are selected to present their work to Members of Parliament and Peers. The event is sponsored by the Chair of Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, Stephen Metcalfe MP.

Another of the three Loughborough students presenting their research was Praveenkumar Kaveri under the supervision of Dr Sourav Ghosh and Dr Guido Bolognesi, who developed a Rapid Early Affordable Diagnostic test for infection and Resistance (READ-R). The project focuses on the development of fluorescence probe-based tests that detect bacteria and antibiotic sensitivity in urine.

The test is the fastest reported ‘definitive’ point-of-care diagnostic test in urine as it can identify bacterial infection and determine the appropriate antibiotic and dosage within one hour. This is significant as it allows optimal treatment to start early and decreases the misuse of antibiotics, therefore slowing the rate of antibiotic resistance.

Edward Humphrey presented his research in the Engineering category. Working under the supervision of Dr Nicholas Morris and Dr Ramin Rahmani he investigated the frictional performance of a Diamond-Like-Carbon (DLC) surface coating in comparison to uncoated steel surface when lubricated with a transmission oil.

On his work, he commented: “I have greatly enjoyed my PhD project and the opportunity to work with a fantastic group of like-minded, driven and talented individuals at Loughborough University. It was an honour to present my work at STEM for Britain. The event was an immense opportunity to meet other early career researchers from multiple facets of research and industry, and it was very exciting to see the range and quality of interesting research currently being undertaken within the country.”