STEM for Britain 2021 – Awards Ceremony

16 December 2021 | Bryony Parker

The 2021 STEM for Britain Awards Ceremony held at Portcullis House on 6 December saw the Westminster Medal, which is sponsored by SCI, awarded to Ben Fernando from the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford.

Photography credit to: John Deehan Photography and the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee’

The Parliamentary & Scientific Committee’s STEM for BRITAIN, sponsored by Stephen Metcalfe MP, follows on from the online poster sessions and announcement of winners event in March 2021. The event was well attended by the society sponsors, council members and winners of the Bronze, Silver and Gold medals.

Ben’s poster: Seismology at the Extremes: From the Oceans to Mars outlined a code described as ‘The first open source method capable of simulating seismic wave propagation in the oceans and atmosphere on a global scale in 3D.’ This methodology is also said to be more efficient than conventional methods, resulting in lower energy and environmental costs for simulations.

Introduced by Stephen Metcalfe MP, Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, a member of SCI’s Board of Trustees and Chair for Scotland Food and Drink, represented SCI at the event alongside members Susan Grayeff and Andrew Parton as members of SCI’s London regional group.

Five categories are represented at the STEM for Britain event; these being: Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Engineering, Mathematical Sciences, Physics and Chemistry. Each category sees gold, silver and bronze medals awarded. The winner of the Westminster Medal is decided from the five gold medal winners for the poster which communicates its science the best.

Prior to Ben receiving the Westminster Medal, Lucinda said: ‘Being able to communicate your work to others is a critical skill, as it enables you to engage in a potential development of the science or technology and helps explain its importance to others’. Lucinda also acknowledged Dr Eric Wharton and Sue Wharton - Dr Eric Wharton was an SCI London Group Chair and founder of SET for Britain, which is now STEM for Britain.

The Gold Medal winners from each category:

Biological and Biomedical Sciences:
Nikita Patel - Queen Mary University, London: Tackling trauma one organ at a time using a reverse translational approach.

Bernard Cooper - University of Glasgow: Bringing quantum detectors in from the cold: Miniaturised cooling to -272oC.

Mathematical Sciences:
Scott Harper - University of Bristol: Classifying isolate symmetries, a decades old problem solved.

Ben Fernando - University of Oxford: Seismology at the Extremes: From the Oceans to Mars.

Ben Lewis - Imperial College London: G-Quadruplexes: Unravelling the next knot in the DNA story.

SCI would like to congratulate all those who took part and were involved in making STEM for Britain 2021 such a success.

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