All posts by Veronica Benson


SEPnet Summer Placements 2019! Do you have a project/work experience for a physics undergraduate or PhD student?

SEPnet organises an annual placement scheme for physics students at the above universities and is seeking 8-week plus projects in industry or research in areas such as data analysis, mathematical 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 available for SMEs
• Read our short case studies here

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 and to register your placement project, or projects, online by Friday 15 February, click here.


SEPnet celebrates its 10th Students’ Expo!

SEPnet’s 10th Students’ Expo brought together over 140 students, employers and academics to celebrate the achievements of 74 physics students on placement this summer.

Students showcased their work in a diverse range of industry and research fields through presentations and posters.  The feedback from the day was very positive with people commenting on the variety of projects, good quality of the posters and valuable networking sessions.  Ricardo Mighty, a Royal Holloway physics graduate and former SEPnet placement student, spoke about his varied career from Systems Engineer at BAE Systems to Head of Development at London Block Exchange and a panel of employer representatives including 4Most, Ingenie, Oxford Space Systems and Ultra Electronics offered advice to students on career opportunities and industry skills needs.

We are now seeking placement projects for summer 2019!  Please submit your projects by Friday 15 February.  Click on the registration form here.  




SEPnet celebrates its 10th Annual Students’ Expo on Wednesday 28 November!

The annual Students’ Expo is a prestigious occasion where students showcase their achievements during their summer placements through presentations and posters to over 150 employers, academic tutors and peers. This year 74 students were successful in finding industry and research placements with organisations including BAE Systems, National Physical Laboratory, Oxford Space Systems, Royal Marsden, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Thales and large number of SMEs developing products in new fields and technologies.

The Expo also offers a great opportunity for employers, academics and students to meet each other to discuss project ideas and career opportunities.  Exhibitors this year include 4Most, Ingenie, Institute of Physics and Oxford Space Systems.

We are delighted that this year’s keynote address will be delivered by Dame Julia Slingo, British meteorologist and former Chief Scientist at the Met Office.

For more information about SEPnet summer placements 2019 email



Physicists Like Me – Celebrating Careers and Diversity in Physics!

A recent joint IOP SEPnet event gave students an opportunity to explore their career options and network with physics alumni from diverse backgrounds. Speakers from academia, the oil & gas industry, teaching and technical start-ups, talked openly about their varied experiences of building a successful career and provided tips and ideas to support students with their future plans.

As one Surrey student described it, ‘the event turned out to be very interesting session with opportunities to talk to academics turned entrepreneurs with exciting new ventures and explore career paths, learning from their experiences and mistakes.‘   As our undergraduate puts it, ‘from quantum computing to the next big social network, you never know what you might discover!


A Joint IOP & SEPnet Career Panel Session for Students from All Backgrounds: Physicists Like Me – Celebrating Diversity in Physics!

Wednesday 14 November, 16.00 – 20.30, London W1

This event has been specifically designed for undergraduates and postgraduates who would like to explore their career options and network with physics alumni from diverse backgrounds. Speakers will talk openly about their varied experiences of building a successful career and provide tips and ideas to support you with your future plans.

Register here . This event is free for members of the IOP. Non-members pay £15. SEPnet students will be reimbursed on proof of payment and proof of attendance and may be able to claim some travel expenses.

Contact for more information.


IOP/SEPnet Careers Panel Event for PGRs and Postdocs, Wednesday 31 October 2018 16.00 – 20.30, London W1

The Institute of Physics and SEPnet are organising a joint career networking event for postgraduate researchers. This event will give an insight into the broad range of career paths open to PhD graduates and physics graduates.

This event aims to help, inspire and motivate you to explore the careers options open to you in a welcoming and friendly environment. You will hear from a range of panellists, including PhD graduates in physics-related fields who have gone on to pursue interesting, successful careers in diverse areas – both in and outside academia.

Panellists include: Martin Arnold, Trainee Patent Attorney, WP Thompson (Intellectual Property); Tracey Berry, Senior Lecturer in Physics, Royal Holloway University of London; Alex Cote, Data Scientist, Rank Group; Elaine Hickmott, Talent Development Specialist, EH Enterprises; Caterina Minelli, Senior Research Scientist, National Physical Laboratory; Russell Richardson, Director, RBA Acoustics Ltd; Jason Rolles, founder and Managing director, BlueOptima; Rosh Sellahewa, Manager, Deloitte; Helen White, Senior Technical Lead, HMG Contractor.

What past attendees said about the last career networking event:
‘Fascinating evening: passionate physicists, open and willing to share, great breadth of experience! I got ideas about what I can do with my physics degree in different sectors.’
‘The variety of panellists was great. Seeing how their PhDs did/did not lead to their career was illuminating.’
‘Good, interesting and useful advice.’

Register here. This event is free for members of the IOP.  Non-members pay £15. SEPnet students will be reimbursed on proof of payment and proof of attendance and may be able to claim some travel expenses.


SEPnet and WRIPA share ways to enhance physics graduate employability

A joint report by SEPnet and WRIPA (White Rose Industrial Physics Academy) highlights the challenges for improving physics graduate employability in the current climate and offers some solutions.

Key recommendations:
• A physics degree programme should move from one that emphasises factual knowledge to one of application of knowledge;
• Industry partners should provide input into curriculum-based learning experiences;
• Universities need to align graduate skills and knowledge with regional innovation and opportunities.

Read the brief full report here


Developing Diversity in Physics – SEPnet Sharing Good Practice Workshop

Wednesday 5 December 2018 12.00 – 17.00
University of Portsmouth

University of Portsmouth Institute of Cosmology & Gravitation (ICG) is hosting a Diversity in Physics workshop on behalf of the South East Physics Network (SEPnet).

As recent events have highlighted, unconscious and cultural biases continue to present challenges in addressing issues related to diversity in physics. This crucial problem affects the whole physics community – not just under-represented groups – and we need to engage all staff and students to help tackle this problem.

The aim of this timely workshop is to share good practice on progression and career development for HE staff and students in physics. Presenters will provide an overview of progress to date highlighting the barriers and how to address them and will provide examples of successful initiatives.

This event is aimed at all physics staff and PGRs and those responsible for diversity and inclusion including Project Juno and diversity champions, HR managers and academics.

For details of the programme and to reserve space contact:


Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Experimental Physics (fixed term for two years, full time), University of Sussex

This position offers an exciting opportunity for a post-doctoral researcher to combine quantum sensing with electric vehicle battery technology. It is part of a collaboration between Queen Mary University of London, University of Sussex, and the companies INEX Microtechnology Ltd and CDO2 Ltd, and is funded by Innovate UK.

School/ department: School of Mathematical & Physical Sciences – Department of Physics and Astronomy
Hours: full time
Contract: fixed term
Salary range: starting at £33,199 and rising to £39,609

Entry level postdoc candidates will be considered.

For full details and how to apply see Sussex vacancies page here: