Our very own Prof Cait McPhee talks physics in ice-cream and chocolate
Female physicists responded in overwhelming numbers to a twitter campaign that the IOP ran to mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, with women from all over the world tweeting selfies along with brief descriptions of what they do.
IOP Media Officer Melissa Brobby sent out a tweet on 5 February asking women working as physicists to tweet a selfie using #Iamaphysicist and ran this for the rest of the week until the international day on 11 February. More than 200 women responded by sharing selfies, with participants ranging from PhD students to senior particle physicists.
Among them was IOP member Candice Basson, a first-year PhD student working in the University of Manchester Particle Physics Research Group and on the ATLAS experiment at CERN. The furthest afield came from New Zealand and there were tweets from scientists at Jodrell Bank, the Science and Technology Facilities Council, the European Space Agency, a staff scientist at NASA and IOP Fellow Mary Whitehouse, who is Chair-Elect of the Association from Science Education.
What is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)
The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme helps businesses in the UK to innovate and grow. It does this by linking them with an academic or research organisation and a graduate.
A KTP enables a business to bring in new skills and the latest academic thinking to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project through a knowledge-based partnership.
The academic or research organisation partner will help to recruit a suitable graduate, known as an Associate. They will act as the employer of the graduate, who then works at the company for the duration.
The scheme can last between 12 and 36 months, depending on what the project is and the needs of the business.
KTP is one of the UK’s largest graduate recruitment programmes. There are over 300 job opportunities each year . It supports career development and often leads to a permanent job. For more information and national vacancies, visit their website
You can find more about KTP Scotland opportunities here:
Be aware, even if they don’t specify a Physics degree, the criteria for many vacancies connect well to a Physics degree so it’s always worth discussing with them if you are interested.
The Careers Service Employ.ed on Campus programme offers paid internships in a wide range of university departments, working on defined projects with professional development support from the Careers Service.
There are some great flexible opportunities this year. The internships are open to undergrad students from 2nd year to penultimate year. Opportunities include: technology transfer, data analysis, wiki development, student communications, business analysis…lots more…
Find out more and how to apply here:
All internships are advertised on MyCareerHub. To search for opportunities, simply type ‘Employ.ed on Campus’ into the ‘search opportunities’ field on the homepage.
This year two teams (yes two!!) of undergraduate physics students from University of Edinburgh, mentored by Standard Life Investments and iHandover have reached the semi-final of the IBM University Business Competition on Friday 23 Feb.
It’s a hugely competitive, prestigious competition so big congratulations to team leaders Anna Oprandi and Freddie Ferguson and their teams (Dafydd Cian, Jon Maxey, Luke Stevens, Sophia Self, Keir Parker-Mian, Georgia Clark, Brinley Terrell and Aidan Marshall)
At the semi-final they will be running a completely different company and all teams start from the same position regardless of how they performed in Round One so they all have an equal chance of reaching the Grand Final. The biggest difference will be that they will have a lot less time in which to make decisions. They also have the opportunity to meet people who are responsible for the recruitment of graduates into their organisation so this is an opportunity to ask questions and to find out just what they are looking for in their recruitment processes.
Got everything crossed for the final in London on 16 March!
Interesting opportunity on MyCareerHub:
JGA Fire Engineering are actively looking for fire engineers – final years and recent graduates – and targeting physics students. You should have a minimum 2.1 BSc + MSc OR on be on track for a minimum 2.1 MPhys.
“Considerable advances in the understanding of fire and smoke movement, and the effects of fire on buildings, has led to a fire engineering approach to building fire safety that has allowed more efficient design of highly complex buildings. A successful fire engineering approach requires the application of scientific principles to engineering problems.
JGA are looking for graduates who can apply their education and knowledge to developing solutions to those problems. As a Design Engineer you would be responsible for the fire engineering analysis of buildings including shopping centres, airport terminals and large office buildings. This would include modelling of fire growth, smoke movement, structural fire resistance and occupant behaviour, using software packages including Computational Fluid Dynamics, and the production of technical reports.
JGA are a specialist fire consultancy with offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Dublin, Belfast and Galway. One of their current projects is the fire engineering for the St. James Centre redevelopment in Edinburgh, but they also undertake much smaller projects – so quite a range.
They encourage early responsibility in engineers and you will be given the opportunity to progress rapidly. Working with experienced engineers you would rapidly gain experience and knowledge. JGA actively encourage engineers to achieve chartered status and offer any help they can with the process.”
Dr Anne Pawsey is from the Institute for Condensed Matter and Complex Systems (research area Soft Matters Physics). She will be presenting with The Beer Society to show the science in your pint.
Interested? Sign up here
To tie in with this event next week, I thought you’d enjoy a few more stories about the physics of beer tapping, beer and physics, 5 physics facts you didn’t know about beer and the science behind the perfect pint. If your taste runs to champagne, see my earlier blog post
There are many opportunities for physicists in research & development in the food and drink industries.
Our very own Dr Tiffany Wood, Director of the Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership works with companies from a wide range of industries including the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food and drink and agrochemical sectors. Dr Wood is also on the Member’s Advisory Group of the Society of Chemical Industries (SCI) which brings together physicists, chemists, engineers, biologists and other disciplines working in a range of academic and industry contexts
The SCI has a number of Technical Interest Groups, providing opportunities to exchange ideas and gain new perspectives on markets, technologies, strategies and people. The Food group is one of the largest and it:
“actively encourages university-level students to take up careers in food related subjects through competitions and through our programme of topical, challenging and interesting meetings”.
The School of Physics & Astronomy is currently offering their Career Development Summer Scholarship. This is a Scholarship that provides a stipend of £1,500 to 48 undergraduate students so they can undertake industry or academic projects. It’s directed to students in a Physics and Astronomy programme who are currently in year 3 BSc (Hons), or years 3/4 if enrolled on an MPhys programme.
The Wiki page for the Scholarships is here.
They are still receiving applications, as the deadline to submit is 5 March 2018.
I am happy to give feedback on CVs/applications for these. Catch me at my Magnet Cafe drop-in Thursdays 12 -1.30 or book an appointment with me or my colleagues through MyCareerHub
I ran a couple of sessions last year with Ross Galloway to prepare students for the projects and answer questions they had. I also offered a session towards the end of the placements to help students reflect on what they had gained as a result of their projects and feel more confident presenting it (on applications, interviews, at conferences….)
I will be doing the same this year and we’ll let you know dates as soon as they School arranges them.
Elisha Jhoti, 4th Year Astrophysics student, describes how studying physics helped her technical work with The University of Edinburgh Hyperloop Team.
HYPED social media:
I am a 4th year Astrophysics student and I joined The University of Edinburgh Hyperloop Team, HYPED, this semester. Even though I have only been in the society for one semester, I am already consumed by all things Hyperloop.
As a physicist I was unsure how I could be of much help when I first joined HYPED. On the contrary, physics is the foundation of every engineering decision we have to make. How much force can this material take? What is the pressure force exerted on this vessel? How thin can this part be? All of these questions require basic physical principles to be answered.
My knowledge of physics has helped me provide a different angle to tackle problems from, in addition to conventional engineering methods. Rewind four years and if you told me I would be involved in an engineering focused society at university I would have never believed it. Before university I wasn’t really sure what engineering was. However, I knew that I wanted to learn everything I could about astrophysics.
From the age of 14 I was obsessed with all things space; and so I applied to study Astrophysics at Edinburgh. I chose Edinburgh because I knew they had a lot of flexibility in their degree program; allowing you to pick and choose from a wide range of courses, and I knew that studying at a prestigious, research-led university would give me opportunities that would not be available to me at other universities, for example, studying abroad. Last year I was studying abroad on the international exchange program.
When I came back I realised I wanted to get more involved in societies at my university which I had previously overlooked. I discovered HYPED at the Societies Fair at the beginning of my first semester of my fourth year. After attending the first meeting, I realised how passionate HYPED members were; it was unlike anything I had ever seen at any other university society; they actually cared
about what they were working on. I decided I wanted to be a part of the team.
After attending the first technical meeting, I decided to join the static team; their responsibility is to design the static components of the pod, including the structure and body. This seemed the most relevant team for my skill set at the time, and getting to design the structural components of the pod sounded like a welcome challenge. I joined the Pressure sub-team within Static; we design the pressure vessel that will house the dummy, and eventually passengers. I was very interested in this component, as the team had not tried to design a livable environment in the pod last year, so we were starting from scratch. The inside of the pressure vessel will be at atmospheric pressure; whilst outside the pod it will be close to a vacuum. I was interested in how our design ideas could be applied to other applications, such as space travel and
hyperbaric chambers; the possibilities could be endless.
Over the course of the semester I became more involved in HYPED; after presenting on behalf of the Pressure team at our first society-wide meeting I was given the opportunity to attend the InnovateUK 2017 conference to which HYPED had been invited. This was an invaluable experience and allowed me to gain insight into the overview of the whole project and what the future plans for HYPED were.
Whilst speaking to engineering experts and industry delegates at the conference I realised the effect the idea of Hyperloop had on other people outside of our society. Many were excited and impressed at the prospect of Hyperloop becoming a reality, some did not even believe we were only university students. The reaction from these delegates made me realise the importance of the society; if we could already make industry experts begin to question their ideas about the future of transport then we were already beginning to change the game.
Being a part of the technical team in HYPED has made me realise how physics can be applied to a wide range of problems, and how the problem solving skills perfected during the physics degree can be used in any number of situations; from modelling completely abstract concepts to designing parts in an engineering project, such as HYPED. This is the reason I love physics; it can be used as a tool to solve almost any problem, as long as you have the physical laws in place, you can predict and model behaviours of particles, materials and forces.
When I chose to study astrophysics I did consider that perhaps I was choosing a very specialised field, which I knew I would enjoy studying, but that it may limit me. However, I have found this is not the case; concepts and skills I have learnt during my degree I have realised are applicable anywhere and everywhere, from solving engineering problems, to carrying out astrobiology experiments. I am looking forward to what new projects HYPED will bring my way and I hope that reading this blog has shown you how studying physics can allow you to use it as an interdisciplinary tool, helping you solve a wide range of problems that can help make the world a better place
I am running an online session for you TODAY Wednesday 21 Feb at 2pm on “Using LinkedIn – the benefits, the basics and getting the most out of LinkedIn ”
This online session is to introduce you to:
- why LinkedIn is a good thing (and not cheesy, nosey or creepy)
- some key features to build your profile
- how you can use it flexibly to the extent you need or want to
It’s also to chance to ask questions. Connect to the session with this url
I also wanted to flag this up as its such an interesting opportunity to gain technical experience abroad.
Broaden your horizons! Exciting opportunity to travel to China on a 4-week programme in August 2018. Undergraduate STEM students can apply now for the Huawei ‘Seeds for the Future’ Programme 2018. Closing date 28 Feb.
Chance for UK undergraduates studying Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Computing the opportunity to travel to China on a 4-week programme in August 2018. Includes:
- Mandarin language training
- group tours to the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall of China and the 2008 Olympic Park
- trip to Guangdong Province to learn about Huawei’s international business culture, products and solutions
- .visits to Huawei’s F1 Exhibition Centre; Enterprise Exhibition Hall, Logistics Centre, R&D labs and one of Huawei’s state-of-the-art factory facilities.
- technical training from some of the finest professionals in the industry.
More information on MyCareerHub