Each year, the Royal Society opens its doors to over 10,000 members of the public and 2,000 school students who visit the Summer Science Exhibition. Many more are reached through coverage on TV, in the media and online. In 2014, Heriot-Watt were represented by two teams showcasing their ground-breaking research.
The 'Creative Cameras' exhibit, which involved Dr Jonathan Leach, of the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences at Heriot-Watt's School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, included a camera that could eventually peer around corners to see objects that would otherwise be hidden from view, by filming at the speed of light and allowing the team to video pulses of light as they travel through air.
The exhibit answered questions such as 'How do you take photos which enable you to see light travelling through air' 'How do you take photos without using a camera' and 'How do you use the latest technology to look round corners and see objects hidden from view?'
Science of Speed
Professor Peter Woodward, Director of the Institute for Infrastructure Environment at Heriot-Watt, was joined by colleagues from Atkins, Laing O'Rourke and HS2 Ltd on 'The Science of Speed' stand, which provided interactive opportunities to look at the challenges and opportunities offered by high speed and ultra-high speed rail systems and specifically the HS2 route proposed for the UK.
A Rayleigh wave demonstration box looked at vibrations associated with high speed rail and at methods of dampening them; donning a virtual reality headset allowed visitors to explore a conceptual station and experience how this technology is revolutionising the design and delivery of infrastructure projects; and a train driving simulator allowed visitors to experience driving a high speed train in a range of conditions.
Both exhibits sparked the curiosity of school children and adults alike, with crowds gathering to learn more about the exciting research undertaken at Heriot-Watt.
The exhibition provides a unique opportunity to raise the profile of your research and institution with key influencers, including potential funders, government and the public. The call for proposals for 2017 has closed, so start planning for 2018!