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Scientists Snap Up The Prizes in Photographic Competition

A fly’s eye, petrol mist from a fuel injector and a miniature cup on a five penny piece are just three of the winning images in the Scientific Snapshots Competition organised by the University of Warwick.

Scientists from the University of Warwick and the University of Birmingham submitted their best pictures as part of a combined competition designed to promote science to local schools.

The winning scientists will gather at Millennium Point on Tuesday 14 September for a prize-giving ceremony and to launch the exhibition of the winning images as part of the British Festival of Science.

Director of the Science City Research Alliance*, Professor Pam Thomas said: “We were overwhelmed by the response from scientists from both institutions and received some amazing images which made for a very difficult decision-making process for the judges.  We chose six that we felt showed a broad range of science and that we felt would inspire school children to get involved in the next phase of the competition.”

The pictures were judged by a panel which included David Gregory, Science Correspondent for BBC Midlands Today; Sarah Shalgosky Curator  at Warwick Arts Centre and Jo Lumani, Head of Communications at Birmingham Science City. 

The six winning images  will now be sent out to local schools and pupils will have the opportunity to send in their own creative work in response.  The winning six images will all win a digital microscope for their school and the overall winner will also win a trip to a show at Warwick Arts Centre. 

For more information on the Scientific Snapshots Competition and to view the winning entries go to



The six winning photographs were:

 A ‘guess what’ moment

Ceri Lyn-Adams

A high magnification of a fly’s eye taken with an electron microscope.


Rami Zakaria

The mist of petrol produced by a fuel injector captured by high speed photography.

‘(Reciprocal) Space’

Dr Dean Keeble

Analysis of the structure of a crystal by X-rays; regular arrangements of the atoms in a crystal create a pattern with a similar – reciprocal – pattern of dots.

 ‘The human gait in digital form’

Tung Fai Yu

Motion capture technology is used to generate a digital model of human’s in motion, with applications from helping people to walk again to helping athletes train for the Olympics.

 ‘Shining a light on mustard cress’

Dr Juliet Coates

The cell structure in mustard cress revealed by a high resolution laser-based microscope which can distinguish structural components (green) from those used by the cells as their energy source (red).

 ‘A quick cup of coffee’

Dr Simon Leigh and Chris Purssell

A miniature cup on a real 5p coin, the cup was made by a process being developed at Warwick University to rapidly make miniature components.


*This project is being run by members of the Science City Research Alliance(SCRA), a large scale, long-term research programme between the University of Birmingham and the University of Warwick.  SCRA, which is funded by HEFCE, is part of a larger investment by Advantage West Midlands and ERDF in the research infrastructure of the West Midlands region, through Birmingham Science City. 

 Birmingham Science City is a region-wide partnership of public sector, businesses and the research base, which is facilitating the use of science and technology to improve the quality of life and prosperity of the West Midlands.  Funded by Advantage West Midlands, Birmingham Science City’s aim is to create strategies to exploit centres of world-class scientific research, by developing relevant activities for sustainable economic and social