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Electromagnetic energy at the Festival of Postgraduate Research

Report of the 2009 festival

Issued on 11 August 2009

Click here to view a gallery of images from the event.

More than 300 visitors attended the annual display of cutting edge research by doctoral researchers at the University of Leicester. The Festival of Postgraduate Research showcased fifty of the University’s best postgraduate researchers on Thursday 25th June 2009. The top prize was taken by James Borderick with his poster Space Weather, which detailed how electromagnetic forces in space impact telecommunication systems on Earth.

In its fifth edition, the Festival of Postgraduate research showcased the variety and quality of research currently undertaken at the University of Leicester. The competitively chosen presenters displayed posters that explored a wide range of research subjects, such as the use of mathematics for creating tiling patterns, the financial doom of consumerism, the role of public service television, how virtual cliques are formed in office environments, crime in the 18th century, and the development of new cancer drugs amongst others.

The Festival brought together the University of Leicester and over forty external organisations, who got involved in the event by acting as judges or sponsors of the many prizes awarded.

“As a local business we benefit from the University. We wanted to give something back!” Adrain Redwood, Summers-Inman

“This event gives me access and work with a number of researchers. I also appreciate the profile that the event could offer our organisation” Olly Thorpe, Researchers in Residence

The Festival of Postgraduate Research offers students a chance to develop their communication skills and make new contacts within and outside the University:

“It was a challenge trying to explain my work to the neutral audience, such as those with little understanding in my field of research. This Festival has helped me to know how to pass across the message of my research in the simplest language without deviating from the main key points.”
  • Adam Tozer, winner of the Press Office Media Prize
“I love competition when it is on knowledge and performance. I recognise that participation in the Festival will improve my skills, something which I work hard on at the moment.”
  • Wafa Zhogbor, winner of a Highly Commended Prize

The event also brings together various areas of the University as a community, as attested by academic and administrative staff:

“Have done the job of being a judge before and always really enjoyed finding out what is going on - behind closed doors - at my own University”

“I have participated in it as a student in the 1st event I believe. I am extremely interested in the public presentation of science so generally interested in the event.”

The grand finale of the day featured popular science communicator Simon Singh. Simon, who is an MBE honoured Emmy nominee, BAFTA winner, best-seller author, journalist, TV producer and particle physics scientist, shared his experience of producing television documentaries at an interactive keynote address that engaged and inspired his audience.

The winners and runner ups of the Festival of Postgraduate Research had the chance to represent the University of Leicester at Vitae’s Regional Poster Competition at the University of Nottingham on the 7th July. The regional event featured 90 researchers from across 13 universities from the Midlands. Andrew Irvine was awarded one of the runner up prizes amongst enthusiastic cheers from his Leicester peers.

A full list of winners follows below. Further information about any of these projects or about the sponsoring companies is available on request.

Winners and finalists for Regional Competition

Greenbank Group Uk Master prize for best presentation

Jamie Borderick, 'Space Weather'

Grant Thornton Best presentation in Science and Engineering

Kate Moore, ‘Mapping the Tugen Trail’

Development and Alumni Office Best presentation in Arts, Law and Social Sciences

Anoop Bhogal, ‘"Why can't we?": The voices of young female consumers in contemporary India’

Adamson Jones Best presentation in Medical and Biological Sciences

Andrew Irvine, ‘Challenging the Stasis Quo: The role of Metastasis-associated protein S100A4 in cancer’

University of Leicester Press Office Media Prize

Adam Tozer, ‘The synapse: all good communication needs feedback.’

Student’s Union Peer Recommendation Prize

Anoop Bhogal, ‘"Why can't we?": The voices of young female consumers in contemporary India’

Enterprise and Business Development Highly Commended Prize

Shriparna Sarbajna, ‘Unravelling human genetic variation’

Kirkdale Customer Advocates Highly Commended Prize

Wafa Zoghbor, 'Pardon me ... I'm not killing buffalos: Mispronunciation problems in native/non-native speaker communication’

Researchers in Residence Highly Commended Prize

Jamie Borderick, ‘Space Weather’

Graduate School Highly Commended Prize

Anoop Bhogal, ‘"Why can't we?": The voices of young female consumers in contemporary India’

Runner-ups also participating at Vitae’s Regional Competition were:

Mohd Farid Muhamad Said, ‘Taming the Droplet’

James Roffee, ‘What criminal offence are you committing?’

Sajida Abdul Hussein, ‘Every child matters globally: Identifying risk factors for child mental health problems in Pakistan’

The University of Leicester's Festival of Postgraduate Research develops research postgraduates' ability to communicate research effectively to non-specialist audiences. The event engages employers and other external organisations, and helps to build the profile of PhDs.

Further information about the Festival can be found on the website at: or by contacting Monica Latham, Postgraduate Events Manager, on 0116 252 2721 or

Click here to view a gallery of images from the event.


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