The University of Southampton

Southampton researcher takes Gold for Engineering display in Parliament

Published: 
15 March 2017
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Miguel Xavier, from Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton, took Gold at a competition in the House of Commons, for the excellence of his engineering research, walking away with a £3,000 prize.

Miguel, a PhD student in the Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology research group, presented his engineering research to dozens of politicians and a panel of expert judges, as part of the poster competition STEM for Britain, on Monday 13 March.

His research, which focuses on stem cell isolation from human bone marrow was judged against dozens of other engineers’ research and came out as the overall category winner.

Miguel said, ““For me this competition represents a fantastic opportunity for researchers to convey the importance of the work we do every day and which can have a direct impact on people’s lives. It was an honour to be invited to the House of Commons to present my work.”

The Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering – home to ECS, Physics & Astronomy and the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) – also saw the Silver prize in the physics category going to Dr Matthew Aldous, a postdoctoral research assistant from Physics & Astronomy. Twelve other researchers from across the University were also shortlisted to present their research, including Xiaoqing Shi from ECS, Christopher Desira from Physics & Astronomy and Dr Edward Rogers from the ORC.

Dean of the Faculty, Professor Bashir Al-Hashimi said “This double success at the STEM for Britain competition 2017 is testament to the excellent research activities in this Faculty and their impact, recognised through high-profile national events. STEM for Britain is prestigious and therefore extremely competitive, with candidates from highly-rated universities across the UK taking part. To win both a gold and silver medal on the same day is a fantastic achievement.”

STEM for Britain aims to help politicians understand more about the UK’s thriving science and engineering base and rewards some of the strongest scientific and engineering research being undertaken in the UK.

Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chair of the Parliamentary & Scientific Committee, said: “The Parliamentary & Scientific Committee is delighted to sponsor the physics awards. 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.”

Professor Dame Ann Dowling, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “I’m delighted to see all the superb engineering research on display at STEM for Britain this year. From medical technology to transport systems of the future, the showcase provides a glimpse of the world-leading research taking place in universities up and down the UK. The talented engineers bringing their work to Parliament demonstrates just how varied the world of engineering is and the many ways in which it impacts our society.”


Image caption: L to R: Dr Stephen Benn, Vice President, Parliamentary & Scientific Committee; Professor Steve McLaughlin (Chair, Engineering Judging Panel), Mr Miguel Xavier (Gold Award Winner); Dr David Clark, Principal Fellow, Warwick Manufacturing Group (Gold Sponsor); Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chair, Parliamentary & Scientific Committee.

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