University's research stars present findings in Parliament

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  • Four PhD students shortlisted from hundreds to exhibit their work in the House of Commons.
  • National competition showcases the work of early career engineers, mathematicians and scientists.

Rising academic stars from the University of Sheffield will today (Monday 17 March 2014) present their research in Parliament.

PhD students Chris Nelson, Daniel Toolan, Hannah Mumby and Helen Southern were shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to take part in SET for Britain – a poster competition for early career engineers, mathematicians and scientists held in the House of Commons.

Chris’ poster on research about how small-scale explosive events in the solar atmosphere influence the hot outer reaches of the sun and Daniel’s dynamical studies of spin-coated polymer films will be judged against dozens of other scientists’ research in the Physics category of the only national competition of its kind.Parliament

In each category, the gold medalist wins £3,000, while silver and bronze receive £2,000 and £1,000 respectively.

Chris, from the University’s School of Mathematics and Statistics, said: “It’s exciting to be able to present my work to MPs from across the country.

“This opportunity is really unique and I’m really looking forward to it. It should be a great day.”

Hannah’s research about survival and reproduction in Asian elephants and Helen’s poster about how sperm structure influences whether or not fertilisation is successful will be judged in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences session.

Hannah, from the University’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, added: “I applied to take part in SET for Britain because communicating my research is a passion of mine.

Given that I work with endangered elephants, I owe it to the elephants to spread the word about how great science can improve their survival prospects.

Helen, also from the University’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, added: “I’m sure I’ll meet some very interesting people and I hope to get them excited about research into biological science.”

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee runs the event in collaboration with the Council for the Mathematical Sciences, the Institute of Physics, The Physiological Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Society of Biology and the Society of Chemical industry.

Additional information

The University of Sheffield

With almost 25,000 of the brightest students from around 120 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the University are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

In 2011 it was named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards and in the last decade has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline and Siemens, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

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