STEM For Britain prizes for Alex and Francis
PhDs scoop gold and silver national awards during British Science Week
Students from the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences won coveted awards at the Parliamentary & Scientific Committee’s STEM for BRITAIN 2023, which took place in the Houses of Parliament on earlier this month, during British Science Week.
The event gives early career researchers the chance to present their work and discuss ground-breaking and frontier UK research and R&D to members of both Houses of Parliament at Westminster.
There were two awards for Alex Gresty, from the School of Physics and Astronomy. She won the Gold medal in the Physics category for her work on food packaging from nature: cellulosic films for the 21st century and also came 2nd in the Dyson sustainability award.
Reflecting on the awards Alex said, “I am beyond honoured to have been recognised for my work amongst the outstanding research that was presented at the STEM for Britain awards 2023.
Alex Gresty, right, showing her award winning work to Hilary Benn MP, during the STEM For Britain Awards.
“Working with and understanding the properties of sustainable packaging is a vital step to the phasing out of synthetic plastics in the drive towards a more sustainable society, something I have always been extremely passionate about.
“This opportunity has allowed Physicists like me to showcase my work to an engaged audience that we would have never usually have the platform to reach. Being part of such a prestigious competition and winning has given me such confidence as an early career researcher as being recognised for my hard work is very rewarding”
This is the second year running that School of Physics and Astronomy PhD students have won a gold award, last year Adele Parry also received the top prize.
Francis Dent, (centre) pictured at the STEM For Britain Awards 2023.
Alex was joined by School of Mechanical Engineering PhD student, Francis Dent, who won a silver for his research poster on fabrication of biomimetic micro/nanopatterned surfaces using fluid-based self-assembly techniques.
Francis said, “The chance to present in Westminster was an invaluable opportunity to showcase and highlight all the work we do in our lab. I hope to advance our understanding of biomimetic surfaces and have an impact on the field through my research contributions.
“I was honoured to be selected for an award, especially considering the quality and breadth of the other work being presented.”
STEM for BRITAIN aims to help politicians understand more about the UK’s thriving science and engineering base and rewards some of the strongest scientific and engineering research being undertaken in the UK.
Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chair of the Parliamentary & Scientific Committee, said: “The Parliamentary & Scientific Committee is delighted to sponsor the engineering awards. 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.”