Laidlaw Scholars 2020

Five scholars from the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences have been appointed to the Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship programme.

The programme aims to create an international network of diverse, passionate and ethical leaders who will reinvest their skills, knowledge and experience to help others succeed.

A total of 26 scholars were appointed with five from the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences. This year, the interviews were conducted virtually and with a change to the usual schedule of starting the Summer period with a welcome event and leadership development training. Scholars and their supervisors will take part in virtual on-boarding and training, and the first period of the Summer research taking place remotely.

The scholars and their projects are:

What helps students make a successful transition to university?

David Bell, Theoretical Physics (Supervisor: Dr Alison Voice)

This research will analyse data from recent surveys of Physics at five universities across the UK for key factors influencing students’ sense of belonging and success at university.

The Upper Atmosphere of Mars

Caitlin Gough, Chemistry (Supervisor: Professor John Plane and Professor Dan Marsh)

This self-proposed project will use data from NASA’s MAVEN satellite to detect seasonal and geographical trends in the upper atmosphere of Mars. These observations will be compared with the outputs from the Mars global model generated by Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD) at the Sorbonne, Paris.

AI for RoboCup@Home

Thomas Groom, Mechatronics and Robotics (Supervisor: Dr Matteo Leonetti)

This project will focus on developing the skills of a service robot to participate in the highly competitive Robocup@Home competition. The development will focus on methods that allow humans and robots to cooperate naturally towards a joint task, and the robot’s physical manipulation skills.

Physics Careers App

Preksha Madhva, Mechatronics and Robotics (Supervisor: Dr Alison Voice)

This project will look in more detail into how physics students feel about the employment landscape, and what help and advice they would value, and when. Using this information, a prototype careers app will be developed.

Concrete for Automated Digital Fabrication

Rutendo Rusike, Civil and Structural Engineering (Supervisor: Sam Adu-Amankwah)

This project, which forms part of two ongoing projects in the School of Civil Engineering, will focus on generate concrete mixes which are viable for use in 3D printing structures. Baseline chemical and physical characteristics of prospective cement mixes will be determined, and then structures generated using these mixes will be analysed.

The full list of the 26 scholars and their research projects, can be found on this webpage.

Futher information:

The Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship programme invests in talented and motivated undergraduate students, giving them the knowledge, skills and experience to become active global citizens and future leaders. More information can be found on the Laidlaw Undergradaute Research and Leadership Scholarship website.