Brennan Hacket of the University of Surrey

SEPnet’s Sir William Wakeham’s review on STEM employment is published

Professor Sir William Wakeham, SEPnet’s Independent Chair, has produced an independent review of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) degree provision and graduate employability.

This independent review looks at the employment situation among STEM graduates and the role of accreditation of courses.

The review focuses on the skills requirements of employers, how STEM graduates’ skills and knowledge relate to labour market demand, and how existing accreditation systems support this.

The report is available here.



Connecting Industry and Researchers in Physics – A South East Physics Network (SEPnet) Event – Thursday 9 June 2016 – 17.00-20.00, University of Surrey, Guildford

SEPnet’s Graduate Network (GRADnet) is organising its 5th networking evening to facilitate greater collaboration and links between industry and physics postgraduate research students (PGRs) and researchers.

Who should attend

  • SEPnet PGR students who want to meet businesses and employers from physics-related industries to find out about career opportunities, make contacts and explore research and business ideas.
  • SEPnet partner researchers who want to build links with industry to explore how their research can create impact.
  • Businesses and employers in physics-related industries interested in recruiting physics graduates.

During the evening

  • Hear from panellists David Banks, InSync Technology; Oliver Dewhurst, QinetiQ; Iain Duncan, Mousetrap Innovation; Kathryn Graham, Surrey Satellite Technology, Peter Lancaster, University of Surrey and Jason Lepley, Finmeccanica talk about the benefits of knowledge exchange and what physics postgraduates and postdocs can offer industry
  • Participate in a speed networking session
  • Build ongoing relationships between industry and researchers through placements, mentoring or research collaboration
  • Refreshments will be provided.

How to register    This event is FREE to attend.  Places are limited so please book early by clicking on the following link: http://bit.ly/1R9GsmA. (PGR students are requested to attend a networking workshop at 16.00).

Banners    If you would like to bring a banner for display let us know and we will reserve you a space.

For enquiries, contact gradnetadmin@sepnet.ac.uk



“Next Steps for Hydrogen” Reception at The Open University

The Energy Team at The Open University are delighted to announce an evening reception to launch a new report prepared for the Institute of Physics on the Next Steps for Hydrogen and to present the latest news from The OU Energy team.

The event will be at the Transport Systems Catapult “Imovation” Centre on 170 Midsummer Blvd, Milton Keynes, MK9 1BP from 17.30 TO 19.00 on 26th May 2016. There will be an informal reception with drinks and light refreshments.

If you are  intereested in attending, please register with energyresearch@open.ac.uk
and please note any special dietary requirements

The event should be of interest to both an academic and non-academic audiences alike.

26 May OU_IOP Event

Herstmonceux Castle

GRADnet Summer School: Where might my physics take me? 4-7 July 2016

This year’s GRADnet Summer School will focus on where your physics might take you.

Date:  4-7 July 2016,  09:30-17:00

Venue and Accommodation: Herstmonceux Castle, Herstmonceux, Wartling Road Entrance, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 1RN.  For directions see here.

Register here.  (logon to the VRE first) Registration deadline Friday, 3 June.  All accommodation, meals and reasonable travel expenses are covered by SEPnet.

The summer school will provide you with an exciting opportunity to interact with employers from leading companies through interactive workshops, presentations and poster sessions.   By the end of this summer school you will have expanded your skills and have the ability to apply them more broadly.  You will also develop your analytical, problem-solving skills, and your ability to present persuasively to a diverse audience.  These are skills that will help you succeed in your doctoral research and your viva, as well as in interviews and future employment.

Participating companies include:

  • Airbus Defence and Space
  • Amec Foster Wheeler
  • Centre for Applied Science and Technology, Home Office
  • InSync Technology
  • Knowledge Transfer Network
  • Met Office
  • MR Solutions
  • NPL
  • Observatory Science Centre
  • WP Thompson.

The GRADnet Summer School is open to all Physics postgraduate research students across the nine partner institutions of SEPnet.  Approximately 5 places per institution are available but priority will be given to final year students in the event it is over subscribed.

This workshop contributes 8 hours towards physics skills training and 4 hours towards professional skills training.

Photo 03-02-2015 16 11 04

One of the employer led workshops at the 2015 Winter School

SEPnet Square logo

SEPnet Outreach is looking for an Evaluator for Shattering Stereotypes

SEPnet is looking for an evaluator for Shattering Stereotypes, their pilot project tacking the gender stereotyping problem found in schools, specifically the choice of GCSE subjects. The pilot is running through the 2016 / 17 academic year, but we would like the evaluator to join the team as early as possible.

Details for the project, including the project plan, can be found here.

The evaluation brief can be found here.

SEPnet Outreach will accept proposals up to £7,000 which should include any travel expenses and VAT if applicable. Any proposed budgets above this amount should be justified within the proposal. Deadline for proposals is Wednesday 13 April 2016.

Please contact Dominic Galliano on 0207 882 5063 /  07702 363 731 or d.galliano@qmul.ac.uk if you would like any further information.


Partnerships in multidisciplinary studies of disordered materials and biomaterials – April 15

logo-kent-uniThe University of Kent is holding a one day meeting in Canterbury on 15 April which is titled “Partnerships in multidisciplinary studies of disordered materials and biomaterials”.  It will include several keynote talks by physicists on materials.  The meeting is also in honour of the retirement of our Kent colleague Prof. R.J. Newport.

Please note the booking deadlines of 10 April for the dinner and 13 April for the day of talks).  Booking is via the following  website: http://store.kent.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&deptid=29&catid=156&prodvarid=195&searchresults=1

The programme is as follows:

“Partnerships in multidisciplinary studies of disordered materials and biomaterials”

A one day meeting celebrating the scientific career of Prof. R.J. Newport
Organised by the School of Physical Sciences, University of Kent

Date: Friday 15 April 2016

Venue: Cathedral Lodge, The Precincts, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2EH

Website: will be via News on http://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-sciences/
9:30-9:45 Welcome coffee
9:45-10:00 Prof. Mark Burchell, Dean of Sciences (University of Kent) Introductory remarks
10:00-10:30 Dr. Silvia Ramos, Head of Functional Materials Group (University of Kent) “X-ray studies of disordered materials”
10:30-11:00 Prof. Robert McGreevy, Director (ISIS Pulsed Neutron Source) “Neutron studies of disordered materials”
11:00-11:30 Morning coffee
11:30-12:10 Prof. Mark Smith, Vice Chancellor (Lancaster University) “Multi-technique studies of sol-gels”
12:10-12:50 Prof. Julian Jones, Prof. of Biomaterials (Imperial College London) “Sol-gel biomaterials”
12:50-1:30 Prof. Jonathan Knowles, Prof. of Biomaterials Science (University College London) “Phosphate glass biomaterials”
1:30-2:30 Lunch
2:30-3:00 Dr. Neil Pratt, Head of Light Sources & Neutrons Division
(Science and Technology Facilities Council) “Steering central facilities”
3:00-3:30 Prof. Alan Chadwick, Prof. of Physical Chemistry (University of Kent) “Heritage science”
3:30-4:00 Dr. Vicky Mason, Director of Outreach (University of Kent) “Reaching the next generation”
4:00-4:30 Afternoon coffee
4:30-5:00 Dr. Jacqui Cole, Head of Molecular Engineering
(University of Cambridge and ISIS Pulsed Neutron Source) “Multi-technique studies of phosphate glasses”
5:00-5:30 Dr. Gavin Mountjoy, Reader in Condensed Matter Physics (Kent) “Modelling of silicate and phosphate glasses”
5:30-5:45 Prof. Bob Newport, Professor of Materials Physics (Kent) Concluding remarks
To be followed by an evening dinner in the Cathedral Lodge.

Amanda Brummitt WISE photo

SEPnet and WISE celebrate International Women’s Day with inspiring careers case studies of women in physics

SEPnet and WISE are running a joint project to encourage more girls to consider careers with physics.

Research conducted by WISE in the Not for people like me report found that talking about scientists and engineers, and what they do, often doesn’t attract girls. Instead, allowing girls to look at the sort of person they are and how their attributes correspond to roles in these sectors does.

Click here to read about a range of women in physics who completed a survey of professional types to find out more about their careers and how they got to where they are now.

Visit https://www.wisecampaign.org.uk/about-us/wise-projects/people-like-me to find out more about this project and how you can get involved.



GRADnet Strong Correlations Workshop 17-19 April 2016

Date:  17-19 April 2016 (arrival at 12:00 on Sunday afternoon)

Venue and Accommodation:  Old Thorns Manor Hotel, Longmoor Rd, Griggs Green, Liphook, Hampshire GU30 7PE. For directions see here. All accommodation and meals are prepaid and covered by SEPnet.  Reasonable travel expenses will be covered by SEPnet and can be claimed through your GRADnet Administrator at your institution.

To register: here , deadline Friday, 26 March 2016 (Logon to the VRE first)

No two researchers would ever completely agree on the definition of a strongly correlated system; however they may very roughly be described as materials where the correlations between electrons induced by interactions make the behaviour of the material `interesting’.

This interactive two-and-a-half day residential workshop is designed for PhD students who would benefit from learning more about this subject. The course will consist of three short lecture courses of three lectures each, covering both the theoretical concepts necessary to understand strongly correlated systems, as well as how one would probe them experimentally. The course will be self-contained, assuming only a knowledge of quantum mechanics and undergraduate level solid state physics. It should therefore be beneficial to students working on both theoretical and/or experimental projects.

In addition to the lectures, the workshop will have tutorials with question sheets relating to the lectures, which is also an opportunity to ask many questions and continue further discussions with all of the lecturers. There will also be a poster session, some evening seminars, and a skills session focussing on scientific communication.

For any more information, please contact Sam Carr (s.t.carr@kent.ac.uk).

Lecture Courses:

1. The unstable Fermi Gas — Jorge Quintanilla (Kent)
This course will introduce the concepts and formalism central to many body physics, covering topics such as second quantisation, the Fermi liquid, mean field theories, and correlations.

2. Non-Fermi liquids — Anna Posazhennikova (RHUL)
This course will continue on from the first, and demonstrate some of the fascinating states that may occur when Fermi-liquid theory breaks down but without forming an ordered state; examples include the Kondo-effect, quantum criticality, and heavy Fermion materials.

3. Probes of Condensed Matter — Silvia Ramos (Kent)
This course will cover a few of the common techniques used to experimentally probe condensed matter systems; and show how these techniques reveal the correlations and other theoretical aspects discussed in the other two courses.

This workshop contributes 10 hours towards physics skills training.

The full agenda is here: 2016 GRADnet Strongly Correlated Workshop Timetable


Supersymmetry – theory and phenomenology Lectures at the University of Sussex, on April 12, 2016 – Register Now!

Sent on behalf of Iacopo Vivarelli, University of Sussex

We are thankful to SEPnet for sponsoring an afternoon of lectures about Supersymmetry (theory and experiment), at the University of Sussex, on April 12, 2016. This training event takes place the day before the three-day ATLAS SUSY workshop. While the ATLAS workshop is restricted to members of the ATLAS Collaborations only, the lectures are open also to non-ATLAS participants. Attendance by SEPnet students is encouraged particularly.

We foresee two lectures, one by Sebastian Jäger (University of Sussex), and one by Tommaso Lari (INFN and University Milano). Sebastian is a well-known theorist with a strong track record in heavy-flavour and BSM physics, while Tommaso is an experimentalist and one of the ATLAS SUSY Working Group conveners.

The event will start at 13:30 and is expected to last about four hours, including breaks. The level of the lectures will suit early PhD or advanced Master’s students. There is no registration fee for this event. Travel expenses will be covered for students with a SEPnet affiliation.

The indico entry for the event is https://indico.cern.ch/event/496750/