Celebrating career project success

Students, staff, industry and supporters met to celebrate project achievements and award the presentation for the best report and poster.

The School of Physics and Astronomy runs a Career Development Scholarship programme, funding and supporting students to undertake research projects over the summer period.

This year 48 undergraduate students took part in the programme.  Students can undertake an academic project based in the School or a project based in industry.  Projects have a duration of around 8 weeks, and students are provided with a stipend of £1,500.

These projects enabled students to gain new skills, experience different workplaces and create a network of contacts.  In many cases, students also got the opportunity to work on problems with immediate real world applications.

Cara Lynch, who is currently in year 4 of the MPhys Theoretical Physics degree was presented with £1000 for the best project poster and report. Cara’s project was titled ‘First principles based predictions of transition metal oxides’ stability at increasing pressure’.  She was awarded the prize by Head of School, Prof Arthur Trew.

Cara commented: 

My summer project focussed on predicting stabilities of iron, manganese, nickel and cobalt hydroxides at increasing pressures using density functional theory, an extremely powerful computational tool. Applying the knowledge gained during my studies and learning about a new area of physics was an incredibly rewarding experience, and I gained invaluable skills which I use daily for my Senior Honours project. I’m delighted to win the prize for best poster and would like to thank Andreas for being a brilliant supervisor.

 Project supervisor, Dr Andreas Hermann reported:

Cara's project tackles how a certain class of water-carrying materials adapt to the pressures found inside Earth’s mantle, which addresses one of the most important questions in the field of geophysics: how much water can be stored inside a rocky planet’s interior, and how does it get there? The work she completed during her project was of a high standard, and I’m very pleased for her that she has been awarded the prize for best project poster.