All posts by SEPnet Master


Physics World publishes SEPnet/WRIPA findings.

Physics World recently published an article on the “Future of Physics Degrees”. This joint SEPnet/WRIPA paper discusses the findings gathered through webinars across the Higher Education sector identifying five key questions that need to be answered when building a physics degree for the future.

Veronica Benson, Andrew Mizumori Hirst and William Wakeham explain why physics degrees need to be revamped so that physicists can better tackle these vital issues. Read the full article here.


Neurodiversity Training Workshop

December 6th University of Surrey.

Employability Advisors and academics from across the SEPnet consortium meet to discuss and  identify barriers and enablers in accessing the SEPnet summer placement scheme for all students, irrespective of background and neurological personalities. This training was facilitated by AbiltyNet and will provide the basis for further employer, student and advisor training. 


SEPnet Expo 2022 celebrates its summer placement students!


89 students showcased their summer placement projects through an exciting and energised face to face Expo event to employers, academic tutors and peers at SEPnet’s 14th Expo on the 23rd November  in London.

Students described a range of varied and exciting projects with large and small employers across different industries and research areas including data science, engineering, energy, IT, satellite communication, defence and scientific research.

The event was chaired by Professor Sir William Wakeham and an inspiring keynote address “Why Fusion” was delivered by Dr Chantal Nobs. Chantal studied Physics as an undergraduate at the University of Surrey (MPhys) and went on to study a PhD in experimental nuclear physics at the University of Brighton. Chantal joined UKAEA (Atomic Energy Authority) in 2018 in the Nuclear Technology Group. Her work looks at R&D for novel radiation detectors that can be deployed to challenging environments, the measurement of radioactive materials and the activation of materials for research purposes.

A “Physicists like me”  employer panel including representatives from Aquark Technologies, University of Surrey, Framestore, Thales and NPL  shared tips and advice with students on career opportunities and skills needed within their fields. They were also brutally honest around tips they would have given to themselves as they embarked on their careers.

The IOP generously provided prizes for the 6 best posters. The winners included:

  • Ollie Kemp, University of Portsmouth and his project “Machine Learning Applications for Satellite Earth Observation” with eOsphere
  • Emma Piazze, University of Southampton and her project “Working our way to high-precision space situational awareness” with Lumi Space
  • Mitchell Broad Queen Mary University London and Project “Numerical simulation of multiplex holograms with rigorous coupled wave theory” with Trulife Optics
  • Roberta Vieliute University of Southampton and Dhairya Kataria University of Herts and their project “Assembling the Pristine Relics of our Universe’s Infancy” with the University of Surrey
  • Ethan Cooper, University of Herts and project “Cognitive Bias, the Psychology of Recruitment” with MeVitae
  • Mark Ludlow, University of Surrey and his project “Interpreting XRF data to read Herculaneum” with STFC RAL

4th Joint SEPnet and WRIPA Workshop


The Future of Physics Teaching

New ways of teaching, assessing and embedding employabilty and equality

Thursday 30 June 2022, Institute of Physics, London.

Recent challenges, including the pandemic and changes within HE, have had a dramatic impact on undergraduate teaching, future skills needs and the world of work.
The IOP’s recent new research on the critical role of physics skills reveals that while they underpin productive industries in every part of the UK, there is still significant unmet demand for these skills which is impacting employers’ ability to grow and innovate.
In this context SEPnet and WRIPA are hosting a one-day workshop to explore how physics teaching and assessment can change to equip students from all backgrounds with skills and knowledge for future labour markets.
We will hear how the IOP will support academics to make changes to their teaching and assessment to encourage innovation and meet new accreditation requirements, We will also share best practice examples, in physics and other disciplines, on how to effectively ebbed curricular employabilty skills and implement equality, diversity and inclusion to ensure under-represented student realise their career potential.

Organised by:

Claire Hepwood, Employer Liaison Director, South East Physics Network (SEPnet)

Dr Andrew Hirst, WRIPA Manager, Department of Physics, University of York

Beth Medley, Employability and Placement Officer, White Rose Industrial Physics Academy (WRIPA), Department of Physics, University of York


Chaired by Professor Sir William Wakeham
The new IOP accreditation process – more flexibility in curriculum design
How do we get the balance right between employability, skills and academic rigor and encourage innovation while also ensuring compliance with accreditation? Are they two different things?
Robyn Henriegel, Accreditation and Professional Standards Manager, Institute of Physics

More information on the IOP Degree Accreditation Framework

Effective blended and hybrid learning in HE
How do we support staff in adopting inclusive and engaging teaching practices that promote success for all students?
Dr Catherine (Kay) Hack, Principal Adviser (Learning and Teaching) Advance-HE
Learning from Engineering
Can we equip physics students with problem-solving, resilience and teamworking skills through real-world group projects?
How do we avoid siloed learning? Is programme-level teaching or portfolio assessment the answer?
Professor Danielle George, Associate VP and Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering, University of Manchester
How we deliver effective online learning
Can technology be used to replace experimental work in the first two years of a physics degree?
How does online learning design in modular physics teaching enhance the student experience, employability outcomes and close disability gaps?
What impact does tuition and assessment strategy have on outcomes in level 1 / 2 physics modules?
Dr Helen Jane Fraser, Director of Research and Senior Lecturer in Astronomy, School of Physical Sciences, The Open University
 How do we assess now?
How have departments modified assessments following the loss of invigilated tests and examinations?
What interventions and new ideas will transform assessment?
Dr Nicolas Labrosse, Senior Lecturer (Physics and Astronomy), University of Glasgow
How to implement a physics-related micro placement module into a physics degree
Focusing on the benefits for both students and employers
Dr Samantha Pugh, Associate Professor in STEM Education, University of Leeds
How can we diversify our physics intake?
Can data become a barrier to progress?
• Tackling the gender and attainment gap.
Professor Brad Gibson, Head of Department of Physics and Mathematics, University of Hull
Working with businesses to improve the employability of under-represented students in STEM
How are universities supporting disabled students to find jobs?
• How do we prepare under-represented students for the labour market?
• Engaging students and breaking down barriers
Emily Huns, Head of Careers and Entrepreneurship, University of Sussex