A series of videos have been developed to highlight the department's research culture.
Our department commits to a positive research culture and to highlight this Dr Sue Burrows and Dr Reza Kashtiban were granted funding from the University's Research Culture Forum with the idea of developing videos of some of our researchers.
After a successful week at the National Astronomy Meeting hosting over 800 astronomers and more than a thousand members of the public, we speak to some of our Local Organising Committee (LOC) who reflect on the past week.
Congratulations to Elizabeth Sharp who was awarded first prize for her presentation at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) PhD seminar in Manchester on Tuesday 29th March. Elizabeth's work focuses on using non-contact ultrasonic transducers to excite and then measure the resonant frequencies of metal containers that hold special nuclear materials, in order to measure changes internal pressure changes that can arise as a result of various chemical and nuclear reactions of the contents whilst the containers are in long term storage. There is a risk that in certain situations a build up of pressure in a container could cause the container to fail. Currently, the best approach that the industry have is to try and detect deformation of the cans by optical means, which can be difficult and is not particularly sensitive at early stages of pressurisation. Elizabeth has designed and manufactured sensors and developed instrumentation for performing measurements on these types of containers (filled with inert material to simulate the real content mass and density). She has performed a range of experiments and finite element simulations that confirm the characteristics of the detected resonant modes are she has shown how measuring changes in resonant mode behaviour can be used to obtain quantitative information on the internal pressure of the can. The NDA and Sellafield are interested in taking this technology further, with a view to deployment in nuclear material storage facilities in the longer term.
PhD student Catriona McDonald on BBC Radio Coventry & Warwickshire
Astrophysics PhD student, Catriona McDonald talks to BBC Radio Coventry & Warwickshire about her involvement with Nasa's DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission, which launched on 26 November, 2021. The mission will test that if an asteroid was heading for Earth, whether sending a spacecraft towards it would be able to redirect it away from Earth. In June 2021, Catriona attended a virtual meeting with all the scientists working on the mission to see how NASA makes a mission like this happen.
Many congratulations to Drs Elena Cukanovaite, James Gott and Samuele Ferracin, for their success in the 2021 PhD Thesis Prize competition. Elena won the Winton Prize for Astrophysics, James was awarded the Springer Thesis Prize, while Samuele is the recipient of the Faculty of Science and Department of Physics Thesis prize. Read on for more details about the prizes and their research.