Computer Science News Archive

UCL research student strikes silver for engineering display in Parliament

Thomas Rogers, a PhD student at UCL, took the silver certificate at a competition in the House of Commons yesterday (7 March), for his engineering research on cargo inspection, which earned him a £2,000 prize.

Thomas presented a poster about his research into automating and streamlining cargo inspection to MPs, Peers and a panel of expert judges, as part of the annual SET for Britain competition. His work was judged against 59 other shortlisted engineering researchers’ work.

Thomas said: “Although it was very tough and highly intense, I've thoroughly enjoyed this competition. The organisers, MPs and other researchers were all extremely friendly people and it's been a pleasure to present my research at the House of Commons.

“During your PhD, you are focused on the small, intricate details, but this event helps you to zoom out and analyse the picture as a whole. I'm still shocked to have won silver! I'd like to thank everyone from the GriffinLab at UCL, UCL SECReT, and Rapiscan Systems for their help and support.”

SET for Britain aims to help parliamentarians understand more about the UK’s thriving science and engineering base and rewards some of the strongest scientific and engineering research being undertaken in the UK.

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman, WMG, sponsors of the silver award for engineering, commented: “WMG is delighted to sponsor the SET for Britain engineering awards for 2016.  Because Britain needs an economy built on technical innovation, improved productivity and long-term investment, it is crucial that we support innovative research which has the potential to change the way we live. The research being presented shows the great potential in the work of early career scientists in the UK.

“At WMG, we have focused on the practical applications of the highest quality scientific research for over 35 years, driving innovations in fields as diverse as battery technology and healthcare. In the future, the engineers presenting today can make a similar impact on our society. We are proud to support their efforts, and the work of SET for Britain, Stephen Metcalfe MP and the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee in bringing together scientists and parliamentarians to demonstrate how engineering research can improve lives, grow the economy and build a stronger society.”

Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said “I’m delighted that so many engineers attended Parliament as part of SET for Britain.

“Engineers make a difference in all our lives. They create solutions to the issues we face as individuals and as a society. SET for Britain provides a great opportunity for these innovators to connect with the decision makers in Parliament, to showcase the superb engineering research  being carried out in the UK, and the new technologies that can help improve our lives and drive new growth in our industries.

“From new materials that ensure safe drinking water to novel uses of 3D printing for efficient energy storage, the research exhibited at SET for Britain provides a glimpse of the talent at work in the UK today. We need many more young people to be inspired to take up an engineering career and follow in these footsteps. I hope the MPs and Peers who met the engineers are inspired by what they see, and I am sure they will join me in congratulating all the exhibitors on their excellent work.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chair of the Parliamentary & Scientific Committee said: “This annual competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak to a wide range of the country’s best young researchers.

“These early career engineers, mathematicians and scientists are the architects of our future and SET for Britain is politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work.”

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee runs the event in collaboration with the Council for Mathematical Sciences, the Institute of Physics, The Physiological Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Society of Biology, with financial support from Essar, the Clay Mathematics Institute, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), the Institute of Biomedical Science, the Bank of England and the Society of Chemical Industry.

For further information about the event, images, or interview opportunities, please contact Aaron Boardley at the Royal Academy of Engineering

T: 020 7766 0655.



SET for Britain is a poster competition in the House of Commons - involving approximately 210 early stage or early career researchers - judged by professional and academic experts.  All presenters are entered into either the engineering, the biological and biomedical sciences, the physical sciences (chemistry), the physical sciences (physics), or the mathematics session, depending on the researcher’s specialism.

Posted 09 Mar 16 11:11