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9 March 2012 | PR 12/47

Loughborough researcher takes his science to Parliament

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A Loughborough University academic will present his science to MPs next week as part of the SET for Britain competition.

Dr Daniel Elford, 25, a Research Associate at Loughborough University, is attending Parliament to present his science to a range of politicians and a panel of expert judges, on Monday, March 12.

Daniel’s poster on research about sonic crystals, a class of acoustic meta-materials that are designed to control, direct, and manipulate sound; will be judged against dozens of other scientists’ research in the only national competition of its kind.

Daniel is currently working with Loughborough University’s Enterprise team to commercialise the research – creating a revolutionary new type of noise reduction barrier made up of a series of cylinders, which allow light and air to flow through whilst scattering sound waves.

The technology enables a cost-efficient and less visually intrusive way of shielding noise around busy transport links and machinery.

The team is currently seeking commercialisation and licensing partners from the private sector to continue this work – ensuring that this pioneering research makes an impact on the wider world.

Daniel was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to appear in Parliament on Monday.

On presenting his science in Parliament, he said: “It is an honour to share my research at this prestigious event. The event provides an excellent opportunity to raise the profile of my research and to inform parliament of the new and exciting research currently happening in the UK.”

Andrew Miller MP, chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, said: “This annual competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak to a wide range of the country’s best young researchers. 

“These early career scientists are the architects of our future and SET for Britain is politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work.”

Daniel’s research has been entered into the Physics session of the competition, which will end in a gold, silver and bronze prize-giving ceremony.

Judged by leading academics, the gold medalist receives £3,000, while silver and bronze receive £2,000 and £1,000 respectively.

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee run the event in collaboration with The Royal Academy of Engineering, The Institute of Physics, the Society of Biology, The Royal Society of Chemistry, the Physiological Society, the Wellcome Trust and the Society of Chemical Industry, with financial support from BP, Airbus/EADS, The Institution of Engineering and Technology, AgChem Access, Oxford Instruments, IBMS and GE Hitachi. 

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Sarah Hall
Marketing and Communications Officer (Enterprise)
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228684
E: S.Hall@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

About SET for Britain
SET for Britain is a poster competition in the House of Commons - involving approximately 180 early stage or early career researchers - judged by professional and academic experts.  All presenters are entered into either the engineering, the biological and biomedical sciences, the physical sciences (chemistry), or the physical sciences (physics) session, depending on their specialism. 

Each session will result in the reward of Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates.  Bronze winners will receive a £1,000 prize; Silver, £2,000; and Gold, £3,000.  There will also be an overall winner from the four sessions who will receive the Westminster Wharton Medal.

SET for Britain was established by Dr Eric Wharton in 1997.  Following his untimely death in 2007, the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, with support from The Royal Academy of Engineering, The Institute of Physics, the Society of Biology, The Royal Society of Chemistry, the Physiological Society, the Wellcome Trust and the Society of Chemical Industry are working together to further his legacy. 

The event is made possible by industry sponsors BP, Airbus/EADS, The Institution of Engineering and Technology, AgChem Access, Oxford Instruments, IBMS and GE Hitachi.

Early stage or early career researchers include university research students, postgraduates, research assistants, postdocs, research fellows, newly-appointed lecturers, part-time and mature students, returners, those people embarking on a second career, and their equivalent in national, public sector and industrial laboratories, and appropriate final year undergraduate and MSc students, all of whom are engaged in scientific, engineering, technological or medical research.

About Loughborough University
Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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