Inaugural Lecture: Professors Alison Voice and Samantha Pugh, School of Physics and Astronomy

Join us for a special double Inaugural Lecture on Wednesday 13 March highlighting the impactful work of two STEM education professors, Professor Alison Voice and Professor Samantha Pugh.

An inaugural lecture is a significant milestone in any academic's career, recognising their promotion to Professor. It also offers an opportunity for our new professorial colleagues to showcase their work and innovative research with a broad audience, including members of the public, family, friends, and colleagues.

This double lecture is the first of a new series across the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, celebrating those who have joined the University to offer ever greater teaching, research, and expertise across our eight Schools.

About this lecture

This double inaugural presentation showcases the work of two professors in STEM education. By exploring the variety and impact of their activities it will demonstrate how research and educational enhancement can benefit all students on their journey through university. This talk will be of interest to anyone who teaches or supports students in any STEM discipline, and indeed to students themselves. It will also be of wider interest to any staff on a T&S pathway.

Professor Alison Voice will describe how she has integrated her lab-based physics research and her knowledge of pedagogy to create a research group in Physics Education in the School of Physics and Astronomy. This group, one of the first PER groups in the UK, has had impact on the national and international stage. In this presentation Alison will provide insight into how students effectively learn and understand physics and will showcase a variety of ways in which all staff can enhance their teaching. 

Professor Samantha Pugh will take you on the ‘coast to coast’ of STEM Education research and scholarship. She will start the journey on the west coast of student outreach before moving into the land of induction. The journey will continue with developing the physics curriculum, meander into the chemistry education landscape, and detour into mathematics. She will also consider whether it is better to take the well-trodden (assessment) path, or to be more adventurous with pedagogy and technology, before reaching the headland. As we dip our toes in the North Sea, she will consider how students decide where to go on their next adventure. 

About our speakers

Alison Voice is a chartered physicist, with a PhD in Polymer Physics. She was appointed as the first female lecturer in the School of Physics and Astronomy at Leeds where she developed both her scientific and pedagogical research. She held the role of DSE for 15 years, before starting up the Physics Education Research Group. Alison is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a National Teaching Fellow. She was invited to be a member of the team to write the QAA Benchmark Statement for Physics from scratch in 2002 and has recently been appointed as deputy chair of the committee to refresh the statement in 2024. 

Samantha Pugh is a Professor in STEM Higher Education and a National Teaching Fellow. She is the Institutional Academic Lead for Digital Assessment and was the Director of Student Education in the School of Physics and Astronomy (2019-2023).  She leads the Pedagogic Research in Science, Mathematics and Engineering (PRiSME) Group at Leeds and is a member of PERG. She was awarded two University Student Education Fellowships in 2010 and 2012, and in 2014 Samantha was shortlisted for the National Enterprise Educator in HE Award. She has a PhD in Colour Chemistry (Leeds, 2001) and PG Cert in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (2008). Since 2008 she has specialised in curriculum development and discipline-based educational research (DBER) in STEM.

Book your place

NOTE: This inaugural lecture event is now fully booked. For future inaugural lectures, please check the events page. 

The lecture will take place at the University of Leeds in the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering with arrival and registration in the foyer from 3:45pm and the lecture commencing at 4pm in Rhodes Lecture Theatre (G.55). This will be followed by a drink’s reception in Sir William Henry Bragg Building Atrium from 5pm.

Booking is required to attend this event. 

If you have any questions, please contact the EPS CPD, Conference and Events team via