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CUWiP at York

Published: 8 April 2020

Last month, the Department of Physics at York University hosted the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics UK (CUWiP). This is the sixth UK CuWiP conference and the first to be hosted away from Oxford University, as the organisers continue to expand access and geographical diversity.

The conference brought together around 100 physics undergraduates from around the UK and Ireland who identify as women. The goal of the conference was to encourage undergraduates to continue in physics by focusing on their development as scientists and showcasing options for their educational and professional futures.

“The conference was amazing! Really enhanced people’s lives. Really confidence raising, really made us feel valued.”

The conference included trips to the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Sheffield and the York Plasma Institute along with various workshops such as ‘Meet a Medical Physicist’, ‘Engaging with the Media’ and ‘Unconscious Bias’. The conference dinner was held at the National Railway Museum.

Delegates also had the opportunity to attend academic and industry panel discussions. The academic panel featured Professor Marialuisa Aliotta, Dr Kate Lancaster, Professor Petra Rudolf and Professor Sarah Thompson and was chaired by Dr Marina Petri. The industry panel included; Dr Heather Barton (EDF Energy), Sarah Dempsey (Peratech Holdco Limited), Leah Morgan (UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), Xanthe Jackson (BAE Systems) and Suzy Beanland (Darktrace) and was chaired by Beth Medley of the White Rose Industrial Academy.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the talks and presentations given by both academics and also from those in industry. For myself, as a mature student with a family, to hear not just from one academic or industry speaker, but all, that goals can still be reached, even with having a family to look after. This for me was the most inspiring theme.”

Keynote talks were given by; Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell (pictured below), Professor Daniela Bortoletto, Sue Nelson and Professor Petra Rudolf, as part of a stimulating programme designed to improve knowledge of physics. The event allows delegates to meet successful women in physics, encourages them to connect and share with other women physics students, and aims to increase confidence so delegates are more likely to consider applying for postgraduate studies or a career in physics.

This event could not take place without its valued sponsors; EPSRC, Institute of Physics, Ogden Trust, Quantum Communications Hub, The Royal Society, STFC and the University of York.

The University of York reported on the event in March. The photos are taken from the York website. Conference delegates at the University of York (photo credit: Paul Shields)

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