Posted on 30/11/2017
The Physics Department is delighted to announce that the Centre for Particle Physics at Royal Holloway has won the SEPnet 2017 group award for a well embedded culture of public engagement based on their research. The third SEPnet (South East Physics network) Public Engagement Awards were held on Wednesday 29 November 2017. The ceremony was a fantastic opportunity to showcase amazing Public Engagement projects and practitioners from across the region.
The award received by the Particle Physics group recognises evidence for a clear strategy for Public Engagement, co-ordinated group-wide activities and the work of Public Engagement champions who support others to communicate their research. The group showcased its commitment to support a wide range of different publics to access its facilities and activities, and its systematic approach to develop and scale up existing practice.
Some highlights of the group’s good Public Engagement practices mentioned on the night include the enthusiastic participation at the Physics Evening Lectures that go on for the fourth year, large events supported by the group like the Dark Matter Day and BBC Stargazing Live and the popular Particle Physics Masterclass that is in place since 1999. It was also acknowledged that Outreach and Public Engagement is included in the core objectives of the 2013-2020 Royal Holloway Strategy.
Dr. Stephen Gibson delivered an inspiring presentation to support the group’s nomination and presented its achievements and milestones so far. He finished his talk with an exciting video with highlights from last year’s activities. Dr. Gibson said “We're all thrilled to receive this prestigious SEPnet Award that recognises the whole team’s exuberant dedication to inspiring the public with our research in Particle Physics, over many years, most recently aided by the amazing Anna Christodoulou, our enthusiastic SEPnet & Ogden Trust PE & Outreach Officer”
On top of this, the group was delighted to see Sophie Bashforth, PhD student in Accelerator Physics, get Highly Commented as a Newcomer in Public Engagement; an important distinction that recognises the wide range of high quality Public Engagement activities she has been involved in the past year. Sophie is currently at CERN working on her PhD where she also leads the way in communicating her research with the public, taking part in initiatives like School Lab and FameLab.
Earlier on the day, at the annual SEPnet placement scheme exhibition, current year 3 students presented their work. Royal Holloway students won for the second year the best poster award; this year it was Toyah Overton and Stephanie Bennett.
Claire Hepwood, Employability Engagement Officer commented “An amazing day, so very proud of students showcasing their talent. We had 20 placements this year and it was lovely seeing our students present their work”.
The Department of Physics is very honoured to receive this recognition for its work within SEPnet and is looking forward to the future with the continuation of the scheme.
*SEPnet Awards 2017 photos copyright: Paul Stead Photography