I have been fortunate enough in life to have won three awards. I am incredibly proud of these achievements and I am especially thankful to the people who have supported me.
SET Award Winner
Best Young Physicist in Europe
In October 2013 I won ‘Best Physics Student’ at the annual Science Engineering and Technology (SET) Awards held in Kensington, London. This award was open to all final year undergraduates in Europe and I was up against 500 other students. Any scientific discipline was allowed to enter the awards in an appropriate category.
I was nominated for my undergraduate Master’s project ‘Blue Straggler Stars in the Globular Cluster M30: A Split in the Double Sequence’. My supervisor, Dr Andrea Dieball-along with other staff members in the Physics Department- thought my project was of sufficient quality to enter the award. I had to write an additional 2,000 word report which was judged by the Institute of Physics (IOP). I made the final 3 and was invited to give a presentation to academic members of the IOP. That evening a black tie dinner was held in Kensington and my name was read out as the winner. I was, of course, extremely proud and, unlike many of the other candidates, I did not have a speech prepared! Luckily I ad-libbed my acceptance speech in front of a packed ceremony hall, phew!
Surge Radio Award
I present a weekly radio show on Surge Radio with my amazing co-host Cait Percy. Every week Cait puts a lot of effort into writing ‘The Astro-forecast’ which explains what listeners can see in the night sky. Have a listen!
The awards were judged by the BBC Radio 2 Producer of the Chris Evans Breakfast Show, Graham Albans. Here are his comments on our show’s demo reel:
“Amazing written intro, I’m immediately gripped and need to hear your show as it’s SO niche – you’ve really identified a gap, and most importantly have explained EXCELLENTLY why it might be interesting and relevant to your student audience. Very well done for that. I love that you all seem to revel in your geekiness (if you don’t mind me saying!), and make being a geek a virtue! It’s a really strong idea, I’ve honestly never heard something like this before, and you deliver it really well – I’ve never been interested in this subject matter, but the fact that you speak so passionately about it makes me interested for the first time! Remember that – anything you talk about – talk about it passionately, passionate people make things interesting, there’s no such thing
as a boring topic, only boring people, and you do a great job of this, well done!”
Excellence in Volunteering Award (EVA)
Highly Commended in Innovation
On 9th May 2014 I was ‘Highly Commended in Innovation’ and awarded an EVA by the University of Southampton Student’s Union (SUSU). The award was in recognition of the approaches I had taken to the promotion of Science to local school children.
It would have been incredibly humbling if I had only been shortlisted. I was sat in a room full of amazing people who have selflessly given their time to help others. Many of the other volunteers work to rehabilitate wounded soldiers or to promote equality in the world. I did not feel worthy to sit next to such unsung heros in our community.
When my name was read out, I had to make an acceptance speech I was overcome with pride. Not only was it fantastic to be recognised in such a manner but it was also a motivating experience for me to work harder to help improve the lives of those around me.