Use your data skills at Generation Rent Hackathon

On March 22 Shelter Scotland, Product Forge and Safe Deposit Scotland will be hosting their “Generation Rent Hackathon”; a space where technical and entrepreneurial minds will collaborate with the third sector to develop new ideas that improve the renting experience.

The Hackathon focuses on tackling the Scottish renting crisis by having teams of designers, developers, students and sector experts work together to develop innovative products, services or tools that will solve challenges in the private renting sector

Participants will be given access to data sets from Shelter Scotland, Helpline and National Records of Scotland and will use this information to develop analytical tools that will help log, track and resolve issues between tenants, landlords, letting agents and local authorities.

The event will include 10 free meals, mentoring, networking opportunities and post event support for entrepreneurs interested in expanding their ideas through a start up.

If you are interested in data analytics, hoping to network with politicians and entrepreneurs or just want to solve a problem that impacts real people every day, make sure to sign up for this years Generation Rent Hackathon.

Sign up here

*student concessions available


Astrophysics & success with the Hyperloop Team HYPED

Elisha Jhoti, 4th Year Astrophysics student, describes how studying physics helped her technical work with The University of Edinburgh Hyperloop Team.

Hot on the heels of Elon Musk sending one of his Tesla cars into space, the (rather successful) UoE student Hyperloop team are running an event next week around designing a hyperloop track.  More here

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

Nanotechnology: research & possibilities

Lewis Lappin from the Edinburgh University Physics and Astronomy Society invites you to this student-led event.

Join PhysSoc, ChemSoc and ChemEngSoc with the University of Cambridge’s Nanotechnology department for a talk on Nanotechnology and its applications! 

This event will feature a talk from Tommaso Busolo and Taylor Uekert, both PhD students at the University of Cambridge, who will discuss their research experience in nanotechnology and what the future could hold for someone working in this multidisciplinary field.

They will describe the properties and cutting-edge applications of materials specific to the nanoscale, their PhD projects, and what it’s like studying at the Nanoscience & Nanotechnology Doctoral Training Centre at Cambridge.

The breadth and depth of science that may be explored in the field of nanotechnology is limitless, so this is a chance for you to get a feel for the state of the art and see where your interests fit in, as well as to find out more about opportunities for PhD study in this area

When: 16:00-1700, Friday 27th October

Where: Lecture Theatre B, JCMB

More info:

Careers in data science event

P & G

Procter & Gamble will hold a presentation & information session on careers in data science at Kings Buildings.

Representatives will talk about how Analytics & Insights drives P & G’s business decisions. The session also gives you the opportunity for questions and valuable insights into career options in this area

Monday 9th October, 1 – 2pm Details and signup on MyCareerHub


IBM Universities Business Challenge (IBM UBC)

I mentioned this at inductions and we are now taking names for teams this year. This is a business simulation challenge that our team of physicists did brilliantly in last year, winning 3rd place out of 300 UK teams (many of them from Business Schools).

Fidel Elie,  Ziyi Zhang,  Adamos Spanashis,  Brandon Christman,  Imran MarwatIBM UBC final all 5

If you want to know  more you can check out the overview , the student participant guide. and timetable

If you’d like to be part of one of the two teams we want to submit, please contact Judy Hardy or Rosie Edwards in the School asap.  They will submit names to me and I have to register them on the UBC site before 24 October.  I also need each team to nominate a team leader.  Each team can have up to five team members.  It’s a great experience to be part of and brilliant for your CV.

Here’s how team member Ziyi Zhang reflected on the Challenge:

 “Thank you for being at the competition and supporting us throughout this experience. I realized studying physics not only made us “book smart” but also taught us critical and logical thinking which can be applied beyond academics”

Get in touch with Imran and his team – they’d be happy to tell you about their experience.

CERN @ KB: grad roles & work experience offers

CERN will be on campus on 4th October – full details and signup will be on MyCareerHub

CERN offers tremendous opportunities for the right students to develop their skills and understanding through some of the most exciting and cutting edge projects in engineering, computing and physics.

Research STFC

Come along to this event to get an insight into engineering at CERN, with a talk from a senior CERN engineer on the experiments, facilities & what their work involves. This will be followed by a Q&A for which he will be joined by a representative of the CERN HR Talent Acquisition team who will introduce all opportunities at CERN.

CERN’s Summer Student Scheme and Technical Studentships are being advertised now on the Science & Technology Facilities Council site. Find out more on the STFC website.

Glasgow Science Festival: Physics Phrenzy

Physics frenzy

This is run as part of SUPA Graduate School “Hanging your research out in public” course and promises to be entertaining.

In this fast-paced ‘speed science’ social, Scotland’s up-and-coming physicists will compete to enthral and inspire you with their fascinating research stories. Prizes and pride are at stake in this informal and friendly event! Hosted by the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance.

  • Venue: DRAM!, Woodlands Rd
  • Date: Thurs 8 June
  •  Time: 18:30-20:00
  •  Cost: Free
  •  Details and booking: Online

This is just one of a plethora of events to celebrate Glasgow Science Festival 2017. From 8-18 June, venues across the city will be a-buzz with a huge range of activities.

All is revealed at

You can join the mailing list for the latest news and updates.

PhD Horizons Career Conference

The Careers Service hosts an annual one-day PhD Horizons Career Conference dedicated to showcasing the breadth of career opportunities open to PhD graduates of the University of Edinburgh.

The Conference offers the following opportunities for PhD students, post-docs, and early career researchers:

  • Thirty inspiring speakers from a wide range of occupations
  • Advice for making the most of your doctorate in today’s challenging recruitment market
  • One-to-one drop-in sessions with Careers Consultants

Tuesday 6 June 2017: University of Edinburgh – David Hume Tower

Sessions will cover careers in:

  • Third sector
  • Business and technology
  • Creative industries
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Non-academic science
  • Science communication
  • Policy and non-academic research
  • Professional roles in higher education
  • Academia

More details and sign-up here

Big win for the School of Physics – 3rd place out of 300 UK university teams

IBM UBC final all 5The IBM Universities Business Challenge (UBC) Worldwide is the world’s longest established undergraduate simulation-based competition designed to develop employability and enterprise skills and starts with 300 teams across the UK.

Facilitated by Susan Bird (Careers Consultant, School of Physics & Astronomy), the School submitted two teams, one team making the semi-final in Edinburgh. After a keynote introduction from Shelagh Green, (Director, Careers Service), the teams did a series of intensive, timed business simulations culminating in a 60 second innovation pitch.

The Physics undergraduate team – students Imran Marwat (team leader), Fidel Elie, Ziyi Zhang, Adamos Spanashis and Brandon Christman – not only won 2nd place at the semi-final – but also won Best Business Idea on the day, beating 19 teams from other UK universities.

The School funded the team’s travel & accommodation expenses to the London final, the team was mentored by Mike Ross from Standard Life Investments & supported by the Careers Service – a good example of how we work with Schools & industry partners to support the employability and professional development of our science students.

The UoE team of physicists went on to win third place in the final gaining a prize of £250 and beating a number of business teams from universities across the UK.  A real coup for the School of Physics & the University of Edinburgh.

Here’s how team member Ziyi Zhang reflected on the Challenge:

“Thank you for being at the competition and supporting us throughout this experience. I realized studying physics not only made us “book smart” but also taught us critical and logical thinking which can be applied beyond academics.

Combined with creativity and hard work, physicists can be successful in any field of our interest. We should all branch out to areas outside of our textbook, and explore our hidden potential.”