20Nov/17

Female physics students take control of their careers

On Wednesday 15 November the IOP held its annual event focusing on promoting career opportunities for female physicists. ‘Taking Control of your Career as a Female Physicist’, organised in partnership with SEPnet, set out to communicate the range of career opportunities for female physicists and provide a platform for attendees to discuss career-related issues in a supportive environment.

Panellists from industry and academia shared their experiences and provided tips and advice on their career journey and the resilience needed to carve out a successful career path. The attendees commented on what inspirational role models the panellists were and on how motivated and well informed they felt about their career options.

One student commented “(i)t is really hard to meet female physicists outside academia so this is why I attended this event and I feel inspired and supported. It’s also proven to be a great networking opportunity”. Panellist, Rikki Douglas of Ultra Electronics said “(i)t is refreshing to see so many committed career-minded female physicists in one place.”

10Nov/17

IOP/SEPnet Joint PhD Careers Event Makes PGRs Aware of Their Many Options

On 8 November the Institute of Physics and SEPnet co-hosted a careers and speed networking event for post graduate researchers chaired by Mark Telling, Senior Research Scientist at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and IOP Vice President (membership).

Students had the opportunity to interact with physicists in business and research institutions including representatives from Diamond Light Source; IBM; ICG Portsmouth; MP Capital; NPL; Rank Group; Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd to learn about different career pathways open to individuals with a PhD in physics.

Mark Telling described how ‘this event not only promotes possible academic career opportunities but also provides a much needed platform for those sectors which depend on physics, and skilled physicists, but for whom career openings may not be immediately visible.’

The event was a great success with one Surrey PGR student summing up the event by saying ‘it was great to have panellists from all different walks of life and who have taken totally different career paths – it really helped put into perspective the plurality of options that are available to us as physics students.”

Veronica Benson, SEPnet Employer Liaison Director added that ‘collaborating with the IOP on this event has certainly enabled us to offer a richer experience to our postgraduate researchers.’ The IOP and SEPnet look forward to collaborating on similar events in the future.

02Nov/17

Degree Apprenticeship Consultation for SEPnet Partners, Employers and Physics Academics

Degree Apprenticeship Consultation
University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
Wednesday 6 December 12.00 – 15.00

A half-day meeting has been organised between University of Hertfordshire and SEPnet to:
• explore the demand for physics-related apprenticeships by developing an understanding of the skills and workforce needs in industry
• identify the potential for university physics departments to support the development of new degree apprenticeships or implement existing standards.
• generate ideas for possible collaboration on degree apprenticeship development, involving the Institute for Physics and SEPnet member departments.

This event is for all employers of physics graduates, relevant professional bodies, sector skills councils, local enterprise partnerships, HE physics academics.

For further details email: employerengagement@sepnet.ac.uk

30Oct/17

GRADnet Moving Forward for 2nd Years event is a success!

GRADnet held their first “Moving forward for second years” event on Wednesday 18 October in London which was attended by over 65 postgraduate researchers.

There were workshops on: Creating impact, How to write a successful fellowship application, Research data management, Unconscious bias and  Writing better software for better research.

Thank you to all our speakers, Julia Shalet, Product Doctor, Professor Peter McDonald, University of Surrey and GRADnet Director, Juan Bicarregui, Science & Technology Facilities Council, Dr Alice Motes, University of Surrey, Professor Averil MacDonald OBE, SEPnet Diversity and Impact Lead and Dr Mike Jackson, Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre.

Feedback from delegates was very positive.  Comments received:

“Interactive, fun, insightful, inspiring – challenged the ideas we had, made us think about real world application”

“Fantastic as I think it dealt with some of the fundamental problems I have in communicating my research in a concise manner.”

“I learned that bias is far more ingrained in our minds than I previously imagined….Overall, it raised my awareness of the subject which I very much appreciate.”

“Best workshop I’ve ever done.”

SEPnet hopes to run a similar event in 2018.

 

30Oct/17

GRADnet holds another successful Induction Day for 120 PGRs!

The GRADnet Induction Day was held on Wednesday, 25 October in London and attended by 120 first year postgraduate students from across SEPnet.

Workshops on LaTeX, MATLAB, Python, IOP Getting your research published and Organising meetings and conferences were run in parallel during the morning and afternoon.

Thank you to our speakers Dr Dave Faux, University of Surrey, Dr Tim Kinnear, University of Kent, Professor Peter McDonald, University of Surrey and GRADnet Director, Simon Harris and Tom Sharpe, Institute of Physics – Publishing and Mrs Kay, Pearson, University of Surrey.

Feedback from delegates was very positive.  Comments included:

“It was very good to get someone working in the industry to share their knowledge”

LaTeX: “Worked well doing the exercises in chunks with supplied coding….”

“Very nice and interactive session. I enjoyed group work and the time allocated for the exercises as appropriate.  Very useful tips about organising a meeting/conference.”

Delegates were introduced to the forthcoming GRADnet events taking place during this academic year.

SEPnet hopes to run the same event for first year postgraduates in October 2018.

30Oct/17

Register Now: Numerical Modelling for Condensed Matter 14-16 Jan 2018

Numerical Modelling for Condensed Matter

Who: Physics postgraduate researchers seeking an introduction to different methods of numerical modelling in condensed matter physics.

What: A 3-day residential workshop led by senior researchers in the SEPnet region comprising lectures, tutorials, seminars and other activities.

When: 14-16 January 2018

Where: Old Thorns Manor Hotel, Liphook, Hampshire.

Numbers: Circa 20-25 delegates

This interactive residential school is designed for PhD students who would benefit from an introduction to different methods of numerical modelling in condensed matter physics: Monte Carlo, molecular dynamics, and first-principles quantum mechanical simulation.  These fundamental and widely-used simulation techniques could support theoretical, computational or experimental PhD projects. The sessions comprise lectures on principles followed by an opportunity for hands-on practice.

Molecular dynamics is used to model molecular configurations, molecular interactions and the dynamics of molecules at nano time and length scales. The school will introduce some of the key software packages available and offer students hands-on experience in one of them.

The key to success with molecular dynamics is to have good, validated interatomic potentials. These are obtained through density functional theory and quantum mechanical calculations. The workshop will include an introduction to these methods.

Molecular dynamics is too computationally expensive in both time and memory to model large ensembles of atoms and molecules over longer timescales. This is where Monte Carlo methods take over. The school will explore some of the varied applications of Monte Carlo simulations in Physics and to put some into practise.

Your travel expenses, meals and accommodation are covered by SEPnet.

Register here using your VRE login. Deadline to register is 8 December 2017.  If you do not have a VRE (Virtual Research Environment)login please contact your local GRADnet Administrator for assistance.

 

Regards

Cristobel

 

Cristobel Soares-Smith
SEPnet Graduate Network Administrator
mailto:gradnetadmin@sepnet.ac.uk
01483 682270
www.sepnet.ac.uk
26Oct/17

HE STEM Equality and Diversity – the Impact of the TEF and REF: What are the risks of not engaging?

A SEPnet Workshop – Monday 4 December 2017, 10.00 – 16.00, Queen Mary University of London

SEPnet is organising a one-day workshop to share good practice in addressing barriers to female progression in STEM and supporting under-represented groups with particular focus on the impact of the REF and TEF.

Successful REF and TEF submissions will increasingly depend on HEIs demonstrating evidence of robust diversity policies and practices. Presenters will provide an overview of progress to date highlighting examples of successful initiatives. Short case studies will be followed by group discussion to understand what key actions HE staff, responsible for diversity, can take to bring about real change.

Programme and speakers:
• Gender equality in an academic department – lessons learnt – Paul Walton, University of York

• Widening Participation, the TEF and REF – recruitment and marketing – Averil Macdonald, Diversity Lead, SEPnet

• Learning gain, attainment gaps and student diversity – Sally Jordan, Open University

• Contracts, work allocation and the long hours’ culture – Peter Main, Kings College London

• Athena SWAN and Project Juno Applications – top tips and pitfalls – Tracey Berry, Royal Holloway University of London

• TEF/REF – what are the risks of not engaging? – panel discussion

This event is aimed at HE STEM staff responsible for diversity and inclusion including Athena SWAN, Project Juno and diversity champions, HR managers and academics.

Refreshments will be provided. The workshop is FREE to attend, places are limited. Contact veronica.benson@sepnet.ac.uk to book your place.

24Oct/17

Job Vacancy: SEPnet Executive Director

Job Vacancy: SEPnet Executive Director

Location:  One of the SEPnet locations
Salary:   Competitive – Commensurate with qualifications and experience
Part Time, Fixed Term – 0.5 FTE, until 31/07/2021
Closing Date:   Monday 27 November 2017
Reference:  928317WF

SEPnet logo
The South East Physics Network (SEPnet) has been in existence since 2008 and has successfully transformed the sustainability of university Physics teaching and research in the South East of England. It now has nine Physics departments[1] in the region as members and they are committed to sustaining the network in the years ahead. SEPnet is seeking a new Executive Director to lead it as it evolves over the next few years. The role is part time (50% FTE) and could suit a secondment from a HEI or other STEM organisation.

The ED will formally lead and manage the professional staff of SEPnet employed to deliver outreach, employer engagement, and the Physics PGR Graduate Training Programme (GRADnet).This team will carry through the strategy agreed with the Board of Heads of Department that s/he will chair, who carry ultimate accountability and responsibility for activities to the group of Universities in the Network. A key element of this appointment will be the strategic positioning of SEPnet so that it plays a significant role in developing physics research and education across the South-East, and influencing policy at regional and national levels.

The Executive Director will provide exemplary leadership and direction for SEPnet, in collaboration with university stakeholders, physics academics and students across the network. S/he will be responsible for managing the SEPnet-employed staff, and managing the SEPnet budget and resources. S/he will also spearhead a network of engaged academics, from the member universities, in order to deliver the GRADnet programme; providing leadership and implementing the agreed strategic vision for this on-going graduate training programme. The professional team within the SEPnet organization is small with a far-reaching and diverse agenda. As is usual with such teams all members will be expected to operate at many levels and across the complete spectrum of activities. The successful candidate will be based at one of the SEPnet member institutions and will need to travel frequently around the network and to events in London. The employing University from the SEPnet members institutions will be determined at appointment.

Further information:

[1] The Universities of Hertfordshire, Kent, Portsmouth, Southampton, Surrey, Sussex; The Open University; Queen Mary University of London; Royal Holloway University of London

The base location of the successful candidate is negotiable within the South East Region. They have the option to be based at one of the nine SEPnet partners, in which case that location could agree to become the employing location. Home working in this role is also a possibility.

This role is part time at 0.5FTE, or the role may be suitable for a full time individual seconded to the role, in which 50% of their time is “bought out” by SEPnet. The role is funded up to July 2021.

Interviews for this role will be held on 19th January 2018. They will be held at Royal Holloway University of London, 11 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3RF.

Candidates wishing to discuss the position can contact the SEPnet Independent Chair, Professor Sir William Wakeham at chair@sepnet.ac.uk

Application Procedure:

You should submit your completed online application form at www.jobs.soton.ac.uk.

Please submit details for 3 referees and include your CV with your application.

The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Sarah Foster (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 5070. Please quote reference 928317WF on all correspondence.

19Oct/17
Student Expo

SEPnet STUDENTS’ 9th EXPO TAKES PLACE ON 29 NOVEMBER IN LONDON!

The annual Students’ Expo provides an opportunity for students to showcase their summer placement work through presentations and posters to over 150 employers, academic tutors and peers. This year 91 students were successful in finding industry and research placements and will present their posters at the Expo.

The event will include morning and afternoon presentations and poster sessions. Attendees get a chance to view students’ posters and hear about their diverse and challenging projects. Employers have the opportunity to network with academics for knowledge exchange and meet physics students to discuss their career options.

This year’s keynote address will be delivered by Paul Ettinger, physics graduate and Co-founder of Caffe Nero.

For more information email employerengagement@sepnet.ac.uk