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Lancaster researchers reach SET for Britain finals

Story supplied by LU Press Office

Researchers Tom Hansard, Riccardo Mazzocco, Deepak Garg (all from Physics) Researchers Tom Hansard, Riccardo Mazzocco, Deepak Garg (all from Physics)

Early-career Lancaster University researchers who are making their mark in developments from the wonder material graphene to unsolved problems in classical physics are set to present their work in the House of Commons this month.

Researchers Riccardo Mazzocco, Deepak Garg, Tom Hansard (all from Physics) and Beth Colling (Engineering) have been selected to present their work to a panel of judges on March 12 as part of SET for Britain - an annual event showcasing the work of Britain's top early-stage research scientists, engineers and technologists.

The competition is open to early-stage and early-career research scientists, engineers and technologists. Prizes will be awarded for the scientific posters presented in each of three disciplines (Biological and Biomedical Science, Physical Sciences and Engineering) which best communicate high level science to a lay audience.

Physicist Riccardo Mazzocco, who is researching the not yet well explored behaviour of graphene in 'real-life' materials used in rechargeable batteries, supercapacitors and fuel cells, said: "I am deeply grateful to the Parliamentary and Scientific committee for this opportunity. I am thrilled by the idea of being able to show the state of the art of my project in such a distinguished and historic location to the Members of Parliament.

"It is vital that early stage researchers are given access to opportunities like SET for BRITAIN and that we can take our passion for science to a wide and diverse audience. We need these chances not only as a source of inspiration and motivation in our research but also as a means of helping to shape the future of UK science and technology."

Deepak Garg is carrying out research at ultra low temperatures which could help our understanding of turbulence, a well-known phenomenon seen in the form of hurricanes, in aviation and in the simplest case of water running out of tap, which still one of the unsolved problems of classical physics.

Tom Hansard is analysing brain recordings (i.e. EEG signals) from awake and anaesthetized patients and incorporating the observed differences into a novel computational model of the mind. This research has the potential to improve our understanding of how anaesthetic drugs induce unconsciousness which in turn may lead to improved safety in surgery.

Beth Colling's research focuses on fusion power and the capability of fuel breeding using a lithium based material, this includes considering whether the breeding material should be liquid or solid.

Tue 06 March 2012