All posts by Veronica Benson

26Jul/19

WRIPA & SEPnet Joint Workshop – Physics-Industry Collaboration: Aligning Student Skills with Local Economic Needs – 25 July, IOP London

50 academics, employers and career professionals came together to share good practice on embedding employability skills in physics courses at WRIPA & SEPnet’s 2nd annual workshop chaired by Professor Sir William Wakeham.

Brooke Storer-Church of Office for Students highlighted the mis-match between the supply and demand for skills in the UK. IOP’s new degree accreditation criteria will focus less on core content and more on skills development. This offers physics departments greater flexibility in the design of physics courses and can help to bridge the skills gap.

Students need to develop self-management and independent thinking to ‘flex’ into different careers. Placements offer opportunities to build skills but many students fear failing so may not have the confidence to apply. As an alternative, embedded bite-sized work experience can build confidence and resilience while assessed real-world industrial projects can engage students and develop entrepreneurship.

Mobility can be an issue with 45% of graduates choosing to stay in the region after graduation. More therefore needs to be done to build links with local employers to develop graduate opportunities. Industry advisory boards which include local employers can provide physics departments with input into courses as well as opportunities to address regional skills needs.

You can view the presentations from the workshop here: Dr Brooke Storer-Church, Officer for Students      Robyn Henriegel and Amy Pearce, IOP         Dr Alastair  Buckley, University of Sheffield         Professor Manus Hayne, Lancaster University       Amy Hearst, vivaMOS Ltd           Danny Atkins, University of Portsmouth       Trevor Farren, University of Nottingham Part 1          Trevor Farren, University of Nottingham Part 2

12Jul/19

Physics-Industry Collaboration: Aligning Student Skills with Local Economic Needs, Thursday 25 July 2019, Institute of Physics, London N1

Chaired by Professor Sir William Wakeham

The Office for Students (OfS) focuses on higher education participation, experience, outcomes and value of money. At the same time, the UK Industrial Strategy identifies ‘Places’ as a key “foundation of productivity” to address performance, regional differences and disparities in R&D funding.

To address the twin challenges of graduate outcomes and regional economic prosperity, university physics departments need to consider ‘place-based’ decision-making in student graduate career choices and how to engage with regional employers.

This workshop is for those interested in embedding work-based learning into curriculum design, forming partnerships with regional employers and embedding entrepreneurialism into student skill training. It will build a wider network of employability-focused academic and professional staff and include presentations and case studies from the OfS, IOP and physics departments.

The event is for heads of physics departments, academics responsible for employability, programme managers, heads of teaching and learning, industry representatives and anyone with responsibility for developing physics graduates employability skills.

To see the agenda, travel info and to register for this FREE workshop, click here: https://sepnet-wripa-workshop2.eventbrite.co.uk

01Jul/19

Meet a new generation of leaders in data science, Tuesday 23rd July, 18:00 at The Grand Brighton

You are invited to a networking event to meet DISCUS* and DISCnet** data intensive science students; senior academics, researchers and leaders from industry and public sector regarding opportunities to collaborate with the next generation of leaders in data science and the training programme they’re undertaking.

A closed session from 6pm – 7pm will focus on collaboration initiatives and how your organisation can benefit. These initiatives include PhD industry placements and the DISCnet-Knowledge Exchange network.

From 7pm to 9pm we are hosting a networking event where you will meet with 100 PhD students from across 8 UK Centres for Doctoral Training in Data Science. These students undertake 6 months of industry placements during their PhD studies.

This event will allow you to discover how we are solving big data questions for growing organisations and provide you with the opportunity to meet our talented students.

Sign-up at https://lnkd.in/gqw_9u2

*DISCUS: Data Intensive Science Centre, University of Sussex
**DISCnet: (Data Intensive Science Centre in SEPnet)

21Jun/19

SEPnet PhD student participates in world’s first demonstration of a new method for contactless temperature measurements of solar panels!

The NPL work entitled ‘In situ contactless thermal characterisation and imaging of encapsulated photovoltaic devices using phosphor thermometry’, was recently published in one of the most prestigious solar energy peer-reviewed journals, Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications.  James Kneller, a physics PhD student at Queen Mary University, secured a SEPnet placement with NPL last year and was one of its contributors.

Through collaboration between the Electronic and Magnetic Materials (EMM) Group and the Temperature and Humidity Group, NPL has demonstrated for the first time accurate, contactless temperature measurements of a photovoltaic (PV) device within its glass/polymer/glass encapsulation, with uncertainty of less than 1 ºC.  Authors included Yameng Cao, George Koutsourakis, Gavin Sutton, James Kneller, Sebastian Wood, James Blakesley and Fernando Castro. You can read more about the research here and find out more about James’s placement with NPL here.

 

14Jun/19

Ninth NExT PhD Workshop, 8-11 July, Cosener’s House, Abingdon

The annual NeXT workshop is attended by 20-30 PhDs and early career researchers in particle physics. This year’s programme will be devoted to strategies for searching and decoding new physics from collider and non-collider experiments.

The aim of the employer panel session on 11 July is to raise awareness of career opportunities outside academia for physics doctorates. Representatives from NPL, AWE, UKAEA, Adaptix, Deloitte and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory will outline their roles and what their organisations look for in physics PhD graduates.

For more information visit: https://indico.cern.ch/event/738002/overview

16May/19

2nd annual SEPnet WRIPA workshop on embedding employability

Physics-Industry Collaboration: Aligning Student Skills with Local Economic Needs
Thursday 25 July 2019, Institute of Physics, London N1
Chaired by Professor Sir William Wakeham

The Office for Students (OfS) focuses on higher education participation, experience, outcomes and value of money. At the same time, the UK Industrial Strategy identifies ‘Places’ as a key “foundation of productivity” to address performance, regional differences and disparities in R&D funding.

To address the twin challenges of graduate outcomes and regional economic prosperity, university physics departments need to consider ‘place-based’ decision-making in student graduate career choices and how to engage with regional employers.

This workshop is for those interested in embedding work-based learning into curriculum design, forming partnerships with regional employers and embedding entrepreneurialism into student skill training. It will build a wider network of employability-focused academic and professional staff and include presentations and case studies from the OfS, IOP and physics departments.

The event is for heads of physics departments, academics responsible for employability, programme managers, heads of teaching and learning, industry representatives and anyone with responsibility for developing physics graduates employability skills.

To see the agenda, travel info and to register for this FREE workshop, click here: https://sepnet-wripa-workshop2.eventbrite.co.uk

17Apr/19

SEPnet Student Conference – 4-5 April in Southampton

SEPnet’s recent student-led conference at Southampton in April saw over 55 PhD students from particle physics and cosmology come together to give talks and present posters over two days.

Student-led conferences are a great way for students to share ideas, develop their organisation and presentation skills and meet each other.

Events included cosmologists playing human bingo during their networking session and prizes were awarded for the best posters. Winners of the poster prizes included Connor McIsaac (Portsmouth, Alex Mitchell (Southampton) and Meirin Evans (Sussex).

01Feb/19

SEPnet Summer Placements 2019 – 2 weeks to submit a project for a physics 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.

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 email summerplacements@sepnet.ac.uk and to register your placement project, or projects, online by Friday 15 February, click here

 

03Jan/19

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.

30Nov/18

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.