On Monday 7 March, Ilaria Rucco, a School of Engineering and Physical Sciences PhD student presented her engineering research to politicians and a panel of experts at UK Parliament as part of the prestigious STEM for BRITAIN poster competition.
The competition, which attracts hundreds of applicants each year, involves early career researchers from the fields of engineering, biological or biomedical sciences presenting their work to a panel of professional and academic experts, with a top prize of £1500 up for grabs.
Ilaria's poster, ‘Flowability measurements and rheological investigations of volcaniclastic debris flows on samples from Italy and Mexico', was displayed alongside dozens of others in the only national competition of its kind.
Ilaria said: “I was very surprised to discover I was among the finalists…and happy to make my family and supervisor proud!
“I didn't expect to meet all kinds of researcher from across the UK [at the event]. The projects on display were very interesting, and from very different fields. And, although I didn't win (unfortunately), I was one of 33 finalists out of over 300 so this is a victory for me.”
Chair of the Engineering judging panel, Professor Mary Ryan FREng, said: “It is always a thrill to see the sheer variety of high-quality engineering projects and to meet so many great young researchers who want their work to make its mark and who present their work with such skill and enthusiasm.
“It has never been more important for us, as engineers, to engage with policy makers and explain the ways in which our work can contribute to the UK's competitiveness and prosperity. The STEM for Britain competition provides a fantastic showcase for the rising stars of engineering in the heart of Westminster.”
Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and 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 STEM for BRITAIN is politicians' best opportunity to meet them and understand their work.”