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Welfare and Communication Group

Responsible for:

  • Discussing issues and taking action to promote good working practices and equal opportunities for all staff and students in Physics.
  • Ensuring appropriate representation on the committee and taking steps to address any imbalances.
  • Oversight and monitoring of the Juno/Athena SWAN action plan, production of an annual report to staff and submission of Juno/Athena SWAN renewal documentation.
  • Delegating representation for Physics on the University Athena SWAN network.

The membership of the Group is listed below. Please note, our Postgraduate representatives rotate annually.

Name Role within the Physics Department Email

Mark Newton

Chair of Welfare and Communication Committee and Head of Department

Katherine Branch

Senior Administrative Officer 

Susan Burrows

Athena/Juno representative 

Ravindra Desai

Academic Staff representative

Vanessa Emeka-Okafor

Postgraduate Student (Ethnic Minorities representative) 

Amena Faruqi

Postgraduate Student (Athena Swan representative)

Shared role with Emily Roberts and Freya Watson


Research Fellow representative  

Reza Kashtiban

Senior Research Fellow representative
Mairi O'Brien Postgraduate Student (Wellbeing representative)
Michael Pounds Director of Student Experience
Ayesha Rahman Office Manager/HR Administrator opens in a new window
Emily Roberts

Postgraduate Student (Athena Swan representative)

Shared role with Amena Faruqi and Freya Watson
Elizabeth Stanway Director of Graduate Studies, Member of Postgraduate SSLC
Freya Watson

Postgraduate Student (Athena Swan representative)

Shared role with Amena Faruqi and Emily Roberts
Ria Wilson

Project Officer and Secretary to Welfare and Communications Group 
Contacting the Committee

The committee meets every 3 months, and as required for award submissions. If there are any issues related to equality and fairness within the Physics Department that you would like to raise, please contact the Chair (Mark Newton) or the Senior Administrative Officer (Katherine Branch).

Minutes and meeting papers available here
This year's meeting dates:

14 September 2023

11 December 2023

19 March 2024

7 May 2024

16 September 2024