Monthly Archives: July 2023


QMUL PGR comes back for more at GRADnet Summer School!

Kymani Armstrong Williams, postgraduate researcher at Queen Mary University of London enjoyed last year’s GRADnet/NPL Summer School so much he came back again this year when the event was held 10-11 July 2023 at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington.

Here he is proudly standing by to launch his water rocket in the grounds of Bushy House at NPL.

L-R His fellow team mates: Dr Sudha Ahuja, Royal Holloway University of London; Dr Tamsin Nooney, BBC R&D; Alexia Beale, postgraduate researcher at University of Surrey and Kymani. Delighted to see a familiar face!

I think Kymani used his expert knowledge from last year to get closest to the target!


Kymani said after the event: The SEPnet Summer School empowers and informs students to take the first tentative steps in finding careers beyond the end of their PhD.  It develops students’ networking skills; in particular, it builds on their confidence in being able to approach and have meaningful conversations with professionals.  The program also broadens the students’ view of job prospects by curating a large selection of former SEPnet physics graduates to give talks on their experiences outside academia. I have enjoyed and benefitted from the program so much, that I have attended two years in a row! 

The group receiving instructions on how to construct the water rockets to achieve the best aerodynamics! 



GRADnet/NPL Summer School 10-11 July 2023

The GRADnet/NPL Summer School took place on 10-11 July 2023 at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, Middlesex.  This was a great opportunity for postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers to participate in interactive workshops and to network with each other and employers. 

Thank you to all our contributors for providing an amazing programme over the 2-day event:

NPL Welcome:  Richard Brown, Head of Metrology, National Physical Laboratory; Networking Skills and Translating your Research/PhD skills to Industry sessions:  Jennifer Rao-Williams, Skillfluence Ltd and Foresighting Workshop:  Dr James Claverly, NPL Head of Gov Relations National Physical Laboratory.

Careers Panellists:  Steve Chick, Analyst Team Lead, UK Civil Service (Ex Surrey); Katie Ley, Customer Relations Manager, Sopra Steria (Ex Surrey); Sonali Mohapatra, Quantum Innovation Sector Lead, National Quantum Computing Centre (Ex Sussex); Tamsin Nooney, R&D engineer, BBC R&D (Ex QMUL); Mitchell Peaks, AMO Physicist, Quantum Engineer, Riverlane (Ex Sussex); Laurence Stant, Senior Beam Diagnostics Engineer, Diamond Light Source (Ex Surrey) and Alexander Waterworth, Project Engineer, Cryogenic Limited (Ex RHUL)

Water Rockets and Laboratory Tours:  Andrew Hansen MBE, Outreach Manager; Rahim Bhatti, Talent Specialist and Luciana De Luca, National Physical Laboratory. 

Employer-led Workshops:  Knowledge Graphs, Language Models, and the Semantic Web: Dr Adam Bozson, Head of Data Science (Ex RHUL) and Alexandra Shatova, Machine Learning Scientist at Dyad AI; Measuring Metrology:  Dr Emma Bendall, Research Scientist; Dr Ben Russell, Principal Research Scientist and Science Area Leader for the Nuclear Metrology Group and Alexandre Tribolet, Higher Research Scientist in Radiochemistry, National Physical Laboratory and Intellectual Property Rights:  Dr Julian Potter and Ian Wilson, WP Thompson. 

“Thank you for organising the SEPnet event at NPL. I really enjoyed it! The SEPnet events are a fantastic opportunity to meet other PhD students and learn new skills.”  

“I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in the GRADnet/National Physical Laboratory (NPL) Summer School 2023: Opportunities beyond your PhD, organised by SEPnet. This remarkable summer school not only broadened my understanding of the diverse pathways available after completing a STEM PhD, particularly in industry, but also equipped me with invaluable skills essential for success as a PhD student in the professional realm.”  See full LinkedIn post here.



SEPnet/ WRIPA Joint workshop

Creating an inclusive physics curriculum – Thursday 6 July 2023 University of Nottingham

SEPnet and WRIPA hosted a successful meeting to explore how university physics departments can embed EDI across the curriculum and departmental culture to support an inclusive student learning experience and equitable graduate outcomes. Prof Helen Gleeson OBE, opened the workshop outlining personal professional initiatives and the IOP’s projects. Professor Philip Moriarty closed the workshop with a dynamic thought proving update on the benefits and challenges of ChatGPT. The event was attended by over 55 representatives from over 30 UK institutions. 

For more information about the talks follow this link


Recordings to the talks can be found below


Chair’s Introduction with Prof Sir William Wakeham and a 2022 event update with Prof Jacob Dunningham

Part 2

Encouraging diversity and facilitating inclusion in physics – a personal and professional perspective, Prof Helen Gleeson OBE, Cavendish Professor of Physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leeds

How to aim towards an inclusive curriculum, Piers Wilkinson, Policy and Campaigns Lead, Inclusive Education Team, Diversity and Ability

Part 3

SEPNet neurodiverse summer placement programme – lessons learnt and impact, Claire Hepwood, Director of Employer Liaison South East Physics Network

How scared should we be about ChatGPT, Prof Philip Moriarty, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham