Monthly Archives: February 2016


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




GRADnet Winter School held 8th to 10th February

The GRADnet Winter School took place on the 8-10 February 2016 at the Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent for 24 SEPnet postgraduate researchers to build their leadership potential

Alan Beesley, Director of Sensors Engineering, Selex Electronic Systems opened the first day with a talk on leadership and management from a personal perspective. In the afternoon Dr Julie Reeves, University of Southampton, presented the Belbin Inventory where delegates looked into their preferred team roles and how they were perceived by others.

Laura Herbert and Ben Norton, HR, Thales Group, began the second day with an insight into leadership and team working in industry followed by an assessment centre style challenge which delegates found very useful. One delegate described this task as “awesome”!

Trevor Long, University of Reading gave a presentation on the nature of leadership and looked at the key attributes of effective leaders. This was followed by an activity looking at the real life multi-media case simulation, exploring a wide range of leadership and team issues during the Columbia Space Shuttle mission. Delegates were immersed in the actual events that unfolded in NASA during the ill-fated mission and experienced the complex interplay of individual, team and cultural dynamics.

DSC00190There was time to relax at the Penny Theatre in Canterbury with supper and a physics quiz on Monday evening!




The Marshmallow Challenge proved to be entertaining. This was a simple team-building exercise where delegates had to build the tallest free-standing structure with 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow in 18 minutes. The Marshmallow Challenge is a fun and instructive design exercise that encourages teams to experience simple but profound lessons in collaboration, innovation and creativity.


Kent at Canterbury

Partnerships in multidisciplinary studies of disordered materials and biomaterials

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.

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

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


Do you have a project/work experience for a physics undergraduate?

SEPnet Summer Placements 2016

The scheme                                                                                                          

SEPnet organises an annual placement scheme for physics students at SEPnet Partner universities and is seeking 8-week plus projects in industry or research in areas such as data analysis, mathematic modelling, product design and testing or science communication.

Who can apply?                                                                                                          

The scheme is aimed at any organisations interested in recruiting physics graduates, or who can offer valuable business experience, including large companies, SMEs, start-ups, research institutions, charities and NGOs.

 Benefits to employers

  • Early access to bright, numerate students with excellent problem-solving and IT skills
  • Enables you to carry out projects you would not normally have time for
  • Provides a fresh perspective on your business challenges
  • All advertising, administration and placement support is handled by SEPnet
  • Some funding is available for SMEs

What employers have said:

‘Very satisfied with the whole process, organised and straightforward, with good students.’

‘We took SEPnet students for the second year running and have been very impressed with the calibre, their capabilities and the general high standard. For your records we have just made a permanent job offer to one of the students…’.

For more information:                                                                                                

Click here for further information. Register your placement project, or projects as soon as possible, online here.  Email


Forthcoming GRADnet events in 2016

The forthcoming GRADnet events are scheduled in April to July 2016:

  • Strong Correlations Workshop: 17-19 April 2016 (Arrival Sunday 12:30) at Old Thorns Manor Hotel, Longmoor Rd, Griggs Green, Liphook, Hampshire GU30 7PE. Register here , deadline Friday, 26 March 2016

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 ectrons 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.

  • Opportunities, CV, Interview 27 May 2016: Friday, 27 May 2016, 0930-1700 at the Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BQ.

Register here. Registration deadline: 20 May 2016

There are a huge number of opportunities out there for those graduating with a Physics PhD; however, finding these opportunities and then applying for them can be daunting. This day is designed for final year doctorates in order to support you in finding and landing a fantastic job after you graduate.  In this workshop, we will explore different career choices available and discuss how you know what is ‘right’ for you.  We will help you learn to tailor your CV to specific jobs, increasing your chances of getting an interview.  In the afternoon, we will hold a CV clinic during which you will receive individual feedback and suggestions on your CV from people who are involved in evaluating CVs professionally. There will also be a panel discussion on interviews, providing you with insight into the interviewer’s point of view and giving you a chance to ask all of your burning questions.  This will be an interactive day in which you explore what you want out of your career and how to get there!

  • Connecting Industry and Researchers in Physics, Thursday, 9 June 2016, University of Surrey, Guildford 

Free regional networking event for PGRs and academics to meet regional small and medium-sized employers (SMEs). This is an opportunity to share your research and find out about future joint working; Develop employer contacts and business ideas;
Find out about work experience and mentoring opportunities; Develop your networking and communication skills.
Panel Members include: David Banks, Director, InSync Technology; Oly Dewhurst, physics graduate at QinetiQ; Iain Duncan, Founder, Mousetrap Innovation Ltd; Kathryn Graham, Missions and Systems Team Leader, SSTL and Peter Lancaster, Knowledge Exchange Manager, University of Surrey

You can register here:

  • 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.

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.

To register for the above events please log onto the VRE. If you do not have a VRE login then you will need to request one at These events can be found under the Training tab and the Events Catalogue and Registrations page.