Researchers from the Department of Physics held their second Eureka conference on 15 June 2022, aimed at celebrating recent scientific achievements in the areas of Photonics, Astrophysics, Nanoscience and Theory. The conference was organised by Dr Kristina Rusimova, on behalf of the Department of Physics Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee (DRKEC).

During the one-day event, the Heads of Research Groups summarized the latest academic successes, including an impressive number of publications in top peer-reviewed journals. Noted were also the awards of several prestigious fellowships, scientific prizes and research grants within the Department. The establishment of key collaborations with industrial partners and of spin outs was highlighted.

Associate Dean for Research Prof Tim Rogers said:

"Listening to the impressive research highlights from the Department of Physics with talks covering everything from quantum optics to gamma ray bursts was great fun and one of those occasions where I am struck by how fortunate I am to have the job that I do. This conference is an excellent initiative and something that could well work for other departments."

The Pro Vice Chancellor for Research Prof Sarah Hainsworth, who gave the opening talk at the conference said:

“I hope that the challenge that I gave at the front of the day will feed through to people’s work going forwards.”

The Vice Chancellor Prof Ian White, said:

“Congratulations on the day and best wishes for the future of the event.”

The programme of the conference consisted of two oral sessions, followed by a poster session. Prof Richard Penty from the University of Cambridge gave the opening scientific talk, followed by talks from Prof Stijn Wuyts, Dr Enrico Da Como, Prof Jonathan Knight and Dr Marcin Mucha-Kruczynski.

The afternoon session saw focussed research presentations by Dr Anita Zeidler, Bethan Easeman, Prof Alain Nogaret, Dr Euan Allen, Will Luckin and Dr Philippe Blondel, on topics as diverse as missing metals in star formation, (optical) neuromorphics, Lifshitz transition, ordering in silica glass and climate change.

At the end of the poster session, the Department awarded several prizes:

  • Three colleagues shared the Joint First Place in the Highlight series of Best Research Talks 2022: Dr Charlotte Avery, Dr Jack Binysh and Dr Julian Stirling. This prize was awarded by the DRKEC.
  • Three Best Poster Awards were also announced, for Ben Olohan (1st place), Duncan Neill (2nd place) and Tabija Wasawo (3rd place). The jury for the best poster awards consisted of Prof Ruth Oulton (University of Bristol), Prof Euan Hendy (University of Exeter), Prof Oliver A Williams (University of Cardiff) and Prof Tim Harries (University of Exeter).

The organisers are especially grateful to Charlotte Parry, Ben Olohan, Kunjalata Majhi and Dr Robin Jones for their help, which allowed the event to run smoothly.

The conference was sponsored by 10 industrial companies, including Toptica and Amplitude.