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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.