All posts by Veronica Benson

24Mar/20

SEPnet Summer Placements 2020 – updated information

Our SEPnet Summer Placement Scheme is still accepting applications from students despite the current situation regarding the spread of the coronavirus.

Applying for placements is a valuable experience for students and enables them to make contact with potential future employers. Employers are invited to interview shortlisted students via Skype or phone. Placements may take place late summer (if offices are open) or may be deferred or carried out remotely.  Employers who have submitted projects will be contacted to at the end of March to discuss their options.

The deadline date for applications is 31 March.

Email summerplacements@sepnet.ac.uk for further information.

06Mar/20

WISE launch new tool to inspire girls to consider a STEM career!

In recognition of Women’s International Day on 8 March, SEPnet are keen to highlight initiatives to encourage more girls to choose STEM careers. Women are still hugely under-represented at senior levels in these sectors.

WISE have launched a new outreach tool – My Skills My Life – to inspire girls to consider a career in STEM. It is an interactive, online tool that allows girls to find out their personality types and shows them role models with similar personality types working in STEM.

WISE have over 600 role model case studies on the platform, which include information about pathways and brings the role models to life for the girls. The online platform also includes information about companies and the opportunities they have to offer. To try the resource, browse role models or create your own role model profile, please visit www.myskillsmylife.org.uk.

Visit this page to read inspiring case studies about women in a variety of physics-related STEM careers and learn about their challenges, tips and what makes their jobs rewarding.

24Jan/20

SEPnet Summer Placements 2020! Do you have a project/work experience for a physics or maths undergraduate or PhD student?

SEPnet organises over 80 summer placements a year for physics, and now maths, 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 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
If you offer 2 placements, SEPnet can fund the 2nd undergraduate

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:
Visit http://www.sepnet.ac.uk/students-employers/information-for-employers/. Register your placement project, or projects, online here here by Friday 7 February. Early projects will be prioritised.

20Dec/19

SEPnet Summer Placements 2020! Do you have a project/work experience for a physics or maths undergraduate or PhD student?

SEPnet (South East Physics Network) is a consortium of university physics departments – Hertfordshire, Kent, Portsmouth, Queen Mary, Royal Holloway, Southampton, Surrey, Sussex and the Open University.

The scheme
SEPnet organises over 80 summer placements a year for physics and, now maths, 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 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 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 visit this page.  Register your placement project, or projects, online here by Friday 7 February. Early projects will be prioritised.

12Dec/19

Building Inclusivity and Bridging the Attainment Gap

SEPnet’s 3rd annual diversity workshop, hosted by Surrey this week, focused on a  range of key issues facing universities today. Professor Averil Macdonald OBE led the day by describing the systemic barriers to attracting female and BAME students to do physics pre-16 and beyond and explained why equality of experience isn’t equality of opportunity. Peter Main, Head of Physics, King’s College London went on to challenge myths about the BAME attainment gap suggesting traditional explanations such as choice of curriculum and unconscious bias in assessment sit uncomfortably with recent data that show that attendance and attainment may be linked.

Alex Johl, Head of Operations for Student Experience and Wellbeing at Birmingham, reflected whether HE is making our students unwell and offered practical solutions for embedding wellbeing into the undergraduate, PGR and staff experience.  Empowering and supporting PhD students was the focus of discussion where ‘imposter syndrome’ can be a real barrier for some students. Noelia Noel in Astrophysics at Surrey suggested we need to change the medical practice approach of ‘I went through this so you should too’ and support students to share concerns about coping as well as giving them the option of leaving academia to pursue other careers without feeling they’ve failed.

Finally, Sally Jordan, Head of School and Josie Fraser, DVC at The Open University, gave practical advice for addressing lack of diversity at the top describing how choice of language in recruitment adverts can discourage women from applying for roles and setting an example to staff by adopting a healthy work life balance is crucial to changing a long hours culture.

05Dec/19

IOP/SEPnet careers panel event for physics students gets very positive feedback!

IOP hosted an inspiring networking event for physics undergraduates and PhD students yesterday. Panellists from Centronic, Deloitte, Equiniti, University of Surrey, Queen Mary University, Santander, NPL, Leonardo, Micron Semiconductor and Science & Technology Facility Council shared their career journeys and offered valuable tips and advice.

Students loved the round-table format as it made networking less ‘scary’ and enjoyed hearing about the diverse range of career options open to them. They learned that it’s possible to move from academia to industry and that developing and recognising your transferable skills is key to success.

#physics #sepnet #iop

29Nov/19

SEPnet STUDENTS’ EXPO 2019 – ANOTHER GREAT SUCCESS!

130 SEPnet students, employers, academics and guests came together this week to celebrate the achievements of 74 students who carried out a short industry and research placement this summer.

Students successfully presented to over 130 fellow students, employers, academics and guests as well as displaying posters of their projects.

In addition to current student presenters, Mahfuj Ali, Senior Associate at Deloitte, talked about his experience as a former SEPnet student and his career journey to date offering advice and tips to current students. Our keynote speaker, Dame Julia Slingo, also gave an inspiring talk about the important role physics plays in meteorology and her career as a meteorologist and former Chief Scientist at the Met Office.

Congratulations to the 6 poster prize winners:
• Stefan Todd of Surrey on placement at Earth-i
• Joe Stickland of Southampton at IS-Instruments
• Gurjeet Kohlon of Queen Mary at Lumi Space
• Emily Mitcheson-Smith of Southampton at NPL
• Marina Arnaudova of Royal Holloway at Hertfordshire
• Molly Burkmar of Portsmouth at Winchester Science Centre.

A call for summer projects for 2020 will go out from December.  Watch this space!

15Nov/19

IOP/SEPnet Career Panel Event, Wednesday 4 December 2019, 15.00 – 19.30, IOP London N1

The Institute of Physics and SEPnet are organising a joint career event for all physics students. This event will give an insight into the broad range of career paths open to physics graduates including PhD 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 graduates and PhD graduates in physics-related fields who have gone on to pursue interesting, successful careers in diverse areas – both in and outside academia.

You will have time to question our panellists in groups and to chat informally with them and other students over refreshments.

You will meet panellists from Deloitte, UK Atomic Energy Authority, Equiniti, University of Surrey, Queen Mary, Santander, NPL, Leonardo, Micron Semiconductor and Science & Technology Facility Council who will speak about their career journeys and offer tips.

This event is free to members of the IOP. Non-members pay a £30 registration fee. Membership of the IOP starts at £15 for undergraduates.

Register for the event here: https://lnkd.in/gw-9rXr

08Nov/19

Why we still need to talk about diversity in science, Wednesday 11 December, 6.30-7.30pm, University of Surrey

A special guest lecture by Dr Jess Wade, hosted by Professor Jim Al-Khalili followed by a Q&A session.

Dr Jess Wade is an enthusiastic scientist, Wikipedian, high profile campaigner and inspiring role model for young people. Jess has worked tirelessly to promote gender equality in STEM. Amongst many prizes and honours for her work on promoting diversity, she was recently awarded a British Empire medal.

‘One of Nature’s ’10 people who matter in Science’ 2018, she made the resolution to make a Wikipedia page every day of 2018 to highlight the often underacknowledged work of women, LGBT+ and scientists of colour’.

Date: Wednesday 11 December 2019
Festive Drinks Reception: 5.30-6.30pm
Lecture: 6.30-7.30pm
Venue: Austin Pearce Lecture Theatre 3&4, University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 7XH

Places are limited so please register for your FREE ticket here:

17Oct/19

Faculty Industry Research Engagement Day, Wednesday 6 November 2019 – 9:30 to 17:00, Queen Mary University of London

SEPnet partner, Queen Mary University, invites our business contacts to a FREE research event.

The event will:
• provide you with cutting-edge insight into leading R&D and new technologies
• give an overview of the UK funding landscape and funding opportunities available
• broaden your network and enable you to make meaningful connections
• highlight the resources, skills and facilities available at QMUL to support your business.

Speakers include:
• Professor Norman Fenton on “Risk assessment in the era of Big Data”
• Professor Rob Krams on “Data Science meets Computational Fluid Dynamics”
• Professor Richard Pickersgill on “Synthetic biology – scaffolds and compartments”
• Professor Viji Davriam on “High-speed Electrically Tunable Lens”
• Professor Andrea Cavallaro on “Intelligent Audio-Visual Sensing”

Exhibiting or sponsoring: If you would like to sponsor or exhibit at the event, please email Dr Charlie Ellis on c.d.ellis@qmul.ac.uk or call on 0207 882 6968.

To register: https://lnkd.in/g4DSEk7