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Leeds PhD student strikes Bronze for physics display in Parliament

16 March 2017

Ellen Kendrick, a PhD student here at the University of Leeds, struck Bronze at a competition in the House of Commons for the excellence of her physics research, walking away with a £1,000 prize.

Ellen presented her physics research to dozens of politicians and a panel of expert judges, as part of the poster competition STEM for BRITAIN, on Monday 13 March.

Her research, which focuses on using atomic force microscopy to pull apart protein molecules to investigate their strength and flexibility at a range of temperatures, was judged against 29 other shortlisted researchers' work and she came out as one of the three winners.

Ellen said, 'I am very happy and very surprised. I was not just seeing it as a nice day out but it has been fun and I have spoken to representatives of both my MPs [from her home city Edinburgh and her work in Leeds].'

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, sponsors of the physics awards said: 'The Parliamentary & Scientific Committee is delighted to sponsor the physics 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.

'These early career engineers, mathematicians and scientists are the architects of our future and STEM for BRITAIN is politicians' best opportunity to meet them and understand their work.'

Professor Roy Sambles, President of the Institute of Physics said:
'STEM for BRITAIN provides a great opportunity for some of our outstanding young scientists to present aspects of their research in parliament, allowing Members of Parliament to find out first-hand about some of the ground breaking research taking place here in the UK.'

'I wish the best of luck to all the exhibitors, who should feel very pleased with what they have achieved and I hope that they will value sharing the excitement of their research with key politicians and policy makers.'

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 Biology and the Royal Society of Chemistry; with financial support from Research Councils UK, Warwick Manufacturing Group, the Clay Mathematics Institute, the Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research, the Institute of Biomedical Science and the Society of Chemical Industry.

University of Leeds to receive multi-million pound share of funding for research into advanced materials.

3 March 2017

Part of a £235 million commitment by Government for the Henry Royce Institute, Leeds will receive £10 million to support its world-leading research.

It follows the decision by the University to invest £96 million to bring together research and teaching across Engineering and Physical Sciences, to inspire new ways of working across disciplines, help tackle industry challenges and support industry collaboration.


Innovation award for Leeds Spinout Company

25 January 2017

Creavo Medical Technologies, formerly known as Quantum Imaging Ltd, a spinout company formed in 2014 to develop diagnostic technology for acute medical settings, has won the ‘Best Innovation’ award and the ‘Best Start-Up’ award at the MedilinkWM Medical & Health Business Awards 2016.

Medilink is an industry group that works across all aspects of healthcare to promote industry and work with companies to aid technology adoption and growth. This is the first time in the history of the award that a company has won two awards in the same year.

Creavo Medical Technologies is a start-up focused on the utilisation of advanced quantum principles in the rapid detection of potentially life threatening medical conditions in acute medical settings. Research carried out by students and researchers in the Theory Group in the School of Physics and Astronomy, at the University of Leeds has led to the development of a portable and completely passive medical platform to detect and display the minute bio-magnetic signals associated with various tissues. These signals can be used in a variety of medical applications and for the detection of a range of medical conditions.

This award caps off a great year for the company which has seen its first product, Vitalscan, receive its CE mark (which enables sales), the start of a largescale multi-center clinical at four of the UK’s major A&E departments, namely Bristol, Sheffield, Leicester and Nottingham, followed by a second stage starting at three centres in the United States at Mayo Clinic Rochester, Cincinnati and Baylor Texas. This award follows two awards for Creavo’s CEO, Steve Parker, who has been named as one of the UK’s 100 most inspiring individuals by “The Manufacturer” magazine and CEO of the year by “Finance Monthly” magazine for bringing ground-breaking technology to market.

Early indications from clinical testing indicate that Vitalscan could meet an urgent clinical need for improving the current triage process for patients entering emergency departments with chest pain. The device uses advanced quantum principles to measure, display and store electromagnetic fluctuations caused by heart activity through a simple, non-invasive three to five-minute scan at a patient’s bedside. This scan accurately and quickly rules out significant ischaemic heart disease, such as heart attacks. The device will enable clinical practitioners, who operate in acute medical settings, to ‘rule out’ heart-related problems and prevent healthy patients from having to go through the current lengthy, and costly, chest pain triage process, which includes a variety of diagnostic tests including multiple ECGs and cardiac biomarker blood tests.

Announcing creation of the Physics Education Research Group (PERG)

13 December 2016

A new Research Group dedicated to Physics Pedagogy has been established in the School of Physics & Astronomy.

This 'Physics Education Research Group' (PERG) brings together staff who have interest and track record in developing students' learning and engagement in Physics, and will allow more in-depth research and development to be undertaken.

The group was founded in early 2016 but was formally launched on 23rd November 2016 with a seminar and lunch. The event was well attended by a variety of staff from across the university and allowed the group to showcase the range of projects already underway, and sow the seeds for future collaborations.

Alison Voice, who heads up the group, says: "It is exciting to be officially afforded the time to research and develop the learning experience of our students, with the aim of increasing their engagement and learning gain."

The Institute of Physics is very supportive of the development of Physics Education Research in the UK, and facilitates collaboration and dissemination within the Physics community.

The group has interest in all aspects of the student journey, from transition into HE and progression from one level to the next, through blended learning, to assessment and employability.

Samantha Pugh, one of the founding members, who has a track record of work in both progression and employability says: "With the advent of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) it is timely that we will be able to concentrate on delivering evidence-based research and high quality student education."

Further information about PERG, its members, current projects and activities can be found at: and more up to the minute information can be obtained via Twitter @PERGLeeds.

2016 Postgraduate Showcase Success

8 December 2016

Congratulations to Devesh Mistry and Adam Churchman, both PhD students in the School of Physics and Astronomy, on their success in the 2016 University of Leeds Postgraduate Showcase.

The Postgraduate Showcase provides an opportunity to celebrate excellence in postgraduate research and the contribution made by the postgraduate research community to the research carried out across the University. Postgraduates have the opportunity to present at a high level to an audience which includes senior academics and University staff, postdoctoral researchers, PhD students and external guests.

400 people attending this year's Showcase and there were 130 entries across four categories.

Vice-Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands presented the prizes.

Devesh, came second overall in the Postgraduate of the Year competition, with his presentation - 'Novel liquid crystal optical devices for the ageing eye' and Adam, came third in the Three-Minute-Thesis competition with his entry - 'Oil layer inside microbubbles: a novel production method, towards hydrophobic drug delivery'

Well done to both.

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