Published: 26 March 2019

PhD student wins STEM for Britain Gold award

Katie Ley, who is in the third year of her Physics PhD at Surrey, presented her research to MPs and other leading figures at the House of Commons, and won a highly coveted Gold award in the physics category.

The STEM for Britain event, which was sponsored by Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chairman of the STEM for Britain organising group of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, took place on 14 March.

Katie impressed the panel of judges both with the high quality of research and her ability to communicate her work to a lay audience, and was awarded with the Gold (Cavendish) Medal in the Physics category, along with a cash prize. Her research focuses on an innovative method for measuring radiation doses in a large range of magnitude – from radiotherapy doses to doses for sterilisation and strengthening materials.

The annual STEM for Britain event, which attracts around 500 entrants, aims to encourage and promote Britain’s early career research scientists, engineers, technologies and mathematicians, and to provide a platform for them to engage with government.

Katie said: “The experience of presenting my work with fellow early career researchers to an audience of leading academics, MPs and important figures from sponsoring bodies was a unique experience, especially with the event coinciding with an important time in UK politics.

“I was up against some fantastic researchers, so when my name was announced I was quite overwhelmed. I was very proud to be chosen to present my work and to represent the Radiation and Medical Physics research group of Surrey’s Department of Physics.”

Senior Lecturer Dr Annika Lohstroh commented: “I’m so pleased that Katie has received this well-deserved recognition for her work in the important area of radiation dosimetry. She has shaped and driven her research from a very early stage. She is an efficient, insightful and very hard working part of our research team and an absolute privilege and joy to be working with.”


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