All posts by Veronica Benson

11Dec/20

SEPnet Summer Placements 2021 – Do you have a project/work experience for a physics or maths undergraduate or PhD student?

SEPnet organises over 70 summer placements a year for all 2nd and 3rd year physics, and now maths, students 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 or maths 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 the SEPnet team
• Some funding available for SMEs
• Read our short placement case studies here: Placement Case studies – SEPnet.

Register your placement project, or projects, online here: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/SEPnet_Employer_Registration_2021/ by Friday 12 February. Early projects will be prioritised.

10Dec/20

A fantastic group of panellists and ambassadors joined our recent joint IOP SEPnet Career Panel for Women in Physics

Over 100 students signed up to hear inspiring stories from a diverse range of women who described their varied career journeys and the challenges and triumphs along the way.

These wonderful role models from NPL, Met Office, Nordson, University of Surrey, Micron, Semiconductor, Equiniti, NHS, Venner Shipley, University of Sussex and Reaction Engines shared their tips and advice for how to pursue your career ambitions despite the setbacks and highlighted the importance of supporting each other and building strong networks to sustain you along the way.

Join our SEPnet Careers Forum for Women in Physics to connect with inspiring women in business and research: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12096544/

03Dec/20

SEPnet Diversity Webinar Nurturing community & belonging – particularly during Covid-19

Academics, EDI champions and PGRs joined SEPnet’s recent annual diversity workshop, hosted by University of Kent, to discuss issues including the effect of online/remote learning on widening participating students; links between attainment differentials and student engagement; early career researcher mental health.

Amy Low and Adam Tweed of AbilityNet described how online learning has offered benefits for many disadvantaged students but has highlighted challenges for others. Researchers Diego Bunge and Dan Hartley showed evidence of how early engagement and attendance are key to improving outcomes for BME students and Zoe Ayres stressed the importance of the need for institutions to take more responsibility for improving the culture in academia to support PGRs’ mental health.

Request to join the discussion at (3) SEPnet Equality & Diversity Champions Network | Groups | LinkedIn

03Dec/20

SEPnet Career Development Webinar – Business awareness for physics and maths students – a crash course, Tuesday 15 December 13.00 – 14.00

Now is a great time to focus on identifying your employability skills and developing your knowledge of how businesses work. This session will help you understand more about working in a business environment and how companies operate.

This webinar for physics and maths undergraduate and postgraduate students will cover:
• the bigger picture – a company’s mission and vision – having sight of the end product
• understanding the customer’s needs
• why perfection can be the enemy of good
• what skills companies are really looking for
• the importance of networking.

Presented by Riham Satti, CEO of MeVitae. Riham is a keynote international speaker, business leader and entrepreneur. She co-founded MeVitae in 2014 – a deep tech company aimed at solving the biggest recruitment challenges – removing algorithmic and unconscious biases from the hiring process. Riham has expertise in the business-technology ecosystem, including natural language processing and artificial intelligence. She is a business mentor including the London Business School entrepreneurship course and holds a Master of Research in Clinical Neuroscience from the University of Oxford and a First-Class Honours Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering from Imperial College London.

Places are limited. If you would like to join this Zoom webinar, please register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sepnet-webinar-business-awareness-for-physics-maths-students-tickets-128995407737 as soon as possible and we will send you further details and instructions for how to join the meeting.


20Nov/20

SEPnet Expo Celebrates Students’ Placement Success

62 students showcased their summer placement projects through online presentations and posters to employers, academic tutors and peers at SEPnet’s 12th Expo and the first online.

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 the keynote address was delivered by Dr Bajram Zeqiri, NPL Fellow in Ultrasound at National Physical Laboratory.

The IOP generously provided prizes for the 6 best posters. The winners included:
Katarzyna Nowak of University of Hertfordshire for ‘A bump in the outskirts of the Milky Way’s most massive satellite’ at University of Surrey;

Reiss Pickett, Open University & Megan Stevens, University of Southampton for ‘Classifying Conversations Using Voice To Text Technology’ at Trackback;

Sofia Kalamantianou, Queen Mary University and Dragos Buculei & Billy Vale, University of Surrey for ‘Live Satellite Tracking and Orbit Pass Prediction’ at Lumi Space;

Abigail Hemming, Royal Holloway University for ‘Control and Automation of a Compact Fusion Reactor’ at Crossfield Fusion Ltd;

Tomoyuki Jinno, Royal Holloway University for ‘Named Entity Recognition for Resumes’ at MeVitae and

Sai Pandian, University of Southampton for ‘Machine Learning for Long Term Event Classification’ at AP Sensing.

You can view the gallery of posters here: https://sway.office.com/tvy2DpRlk7DMyeMc

For more information about next year’s summer placement scheme email summerplacements@sepnet.ac.uk

09Nov/20

SEPnet STUDENTS’ EXPO WEBINAR – WEDNESDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2020, 09.30 – 13.00

The annual Students’ Expo provides an opportunity for summer placement students to showcase their work through presentations and posters to over 120 employers, academic tutors and peers. This will be the 12th Expo and the first online.

This year 62 undergraduate placements took place (compared with 74 last year). This is a tremendous achievement given the unprecedented situation. We are very grateful to all the organisations and supervisors for their flexibility and support and congratulate the students for their resilience and ability to cope with such uncertainty and adapt so quickly to a different way of working. They have demonstrated exactly the sort of skills and attitudes that employers value!  

As always students have had a range of interesting placements, many of them home-based, with a variety of large and small employers across different industries and research areas including data science, engineering, energy, IT, satellite communication, defence and scientific research.

The half-day webinar will include presentations from students about their projects and an online poster gallery where attendees can view students’ posters before, during and after the event. You can view the gallery here: https://sway.office.com/tvy2DpRlk7DMyeMc

The event is chaired by Professor Sir William Wakeham and we are delighted that this year’s keynote address will be delivered by Dr Bajram Zeqiri, NPL Fellow in Ultrasound at National Physical Laboratory.

For more information email summerplacements@sepnet.ac.uk

04Nov/20

Improving our research culture – Research Culture Week, 16-20 November, University of Surrey

Although academic research is an exciting endeavour we are witnessing a growing discontent with the culture within academia, with recent findings (e.g.https://wellcome.org/reports/what-researchers-think-about-research-culture) showing high levels of stress, mental health problems, discrimination, bullying, work pressure and harassment among researchers.

University of Surrey is organising a series of talks from 16-20 November during the Research Culture Week with experts who will address some of the above issues to help improve our research culture in a holistic fashion. There will be two talks per day with outstanding speakers including Angela Saini, Gelong Thubten and Jim Al-Khalili. Find out more on our webpage:
https://surreyreach.github.io/

Registration is free of charge via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/surrey-reach-research-culture-week-tickets-124385021949

28Oct/20

Taking control of your career as a woman in physics – Wednesday, 9 December 2020, 10.00–13.00

A IOP and SEPnet Joint Webinar

The Institute of Physics and SEPnet are holding an online careers webinar for women and non-binary physics students (i.e. undergraduate, postgraduate and postgraduate research), as well as recent physics graduates working in a range of employment sectors.

Our half-day panel and networking event will give you a chance to find out the variety of career options available to physicists. You will hear from a diverse range of women in physics-related careers who will talk about their roles and how they got to where they are. They will provide practical advice and information about the skills and experience you need to progress in your career.

This event is open to IOP members and non-members. To register for a place, please click here: http://iop.msgfocus.com/q/119Ae11xyIfK/wv

07Oct/20

SEPnet Diversity Webinar: Nurturing community & belonging – particularly during Covid-19

Wednesday 2 December 2020, 10.00 – 13.00   Hosted by University of Kent

Building an inclusive community within universities where students and staff feel heard and supported is more important than ever in the current climate. Universities need to consider the impact of remote working and studying as well as dealing with future uncertainty for different groups including, for example, 1st generation students, those from different BAME backgrounds and those with physical and mental health issues. Early career researchers can be forgotten and feel a lack of empowerment and anxiety about their future. Understanding how different groups engage with their working and learning environment is key to helping them feel a sense of belonging and enabling them to achieve their potential.

This annual workshop will explore how we can engage students and support early career researchers through specific interventions aimed at addressing these challenges. This event is aimed at all STEM staff, PGRs and student representatives and those responsible for diversity and inclusion including Project Juno and diversity champions, Athena SWAN representatives, HR managers and academics.

The webinar is FREE to attend. Places are limited. Please register for a place here on a first come, first served basis.

PROGRAMME
10.00 Chair’s Introduction – Professor, Nigel Mason, Head of School and E&D Committee

10.15 The effect of online/remote learning on widening participating students,
Amy Low, Service Delivery Director, AbilityNet

10.40 Understanding attainment differentials at a London-based university: student engagement through a mixed-method lens,
Dr Diego Bunge, Independent Researcher and Dr Daniel Hartley, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

11.05 Early Career Researcher Mental Health in Academia,
Dr Zoë Ayres, Research Scientist and Mental Health Advocate

11.30 Panel discussion
11.50 Break
12.05 Breakout group discussions
12.35 Summary and questions
13.00 Close of proceedings

02Oct/20

SEPnet launches new careers resource for schools!

We have developed a set of careers postcards showcasing a range of careers which use physics qualifications or skills. These highlight employers in the SEPnet region which offer relevant roles and give information on the levels of qualifications needed.

The new Gatsby Careers Benchmarks, especially benchmark 4, highlight the expectation on teachers to embed careers into their classroom teaching. These cards are an easy way to introduce STEM careers into classrooms, and all are mapped to the KS3 curriculum.

We owe a huge thanks to NUSTEM as these were developed based on NUSTEM resources, and they have been fantastically generous and supportive throughout the process. We have utilised the 15 STEM attributes laid out by NUSTEM, based on previous work of the WISE Campaign and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

We are also very grateful for the support of all the organisations who have contributed including: AWE, Brady Mallalieu Architects, CGG, Fat Fish Games, Forest Learning Alliance, Framestore, Jacobs, The Met Office, Millais Alliance, NPL, RSSL, Surrey Satellite Technology, Thames Water and University of Surrey.

The cards are available to download and print for free here. If you would like any more information about the cards, or advice on how to use them, please email outreach@sepnet.ac.uk.