Triple Physics win at Impact Awards

7 February 2018

The annual MPLS Impact Awards aim to foster and raise awareness of impact by rewarding it at a local level, and prepare the ground for the impact case studies that will be needed for REF 2021, and future similar exercises. This year’s awards were presented at the MPLS Winter Reception on the 6th February at Mansfield College, with the winners receiving a pay award of £1,000 (minus taxes).

Oxford Physicists won awards in three out of the four categories!

Category 1 - To recognise researchers at any career stage for research that has had significant commercial (economic) impact since 1 August 2013.

Prof Armin Reichold: Awarded for his contribution to the industrial application of fundamental physics instrumentation.
Prof Reichold developed a highly accurate measurement technique (Frequency Scanning Interferometry) initially for the ATLAS and ILC projects and went on to create a commercial application through Etalon AG, a German spin-out company. Absolute MultilineTM is now used in a wide variety of applications beyond physics experiments, such as micro-chip lithography, calibration of computer controlled industrial (CNC) machines, power production plants and material research laboratories.

Category 2 - To recognise researchers at any career stage for research that has had significant non-commercial impact since 1 August 2013.

Katherine Blundell: Awarded for the contribution to the engagement of schoolchildren, especially girls, with physics.
The creation of the Global Jet Watch observatories has led to real impact on communities spanning four continents, which work together to track Galactic black holes and exploding stars in the night sky. One of the goals in establishing these observatories was to benefit local schoolchildren in the developing world particularly in cultures that do not traditionally think of girls as scientists or engineers. As a result, four of the five observatories were located in residential schools, who use the telescopes with their students to inspire an interest in science, maths and engineering. Global Jet Watch is delivering the goal of involving children in science to enhance their education whilst broadening their horizons and raising their ambitions.

Category 3 - To recognise Early Career Researchers’ independent engagement with external organisations or end-users, as laying the foundations for future impactful research.

Jena Meinecke: Awarded for her contribution to the promotion of women in physics.
As a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Dr. Jena Meinecke is currently leading high-energy laser experiments on the National Ignition Facility, the largest laser in the world, to evince amplification of magnetic fields by turbulent dynamo. Dr Meinecke’s work was published in both Nature Physics and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. These results were named a Top Ten Breakthrough of 2014 by the Institute of Physics’ magazine Physics World and resulted in multiple invited talks including the European Physical Society Conference. Dr Meinecke’s work was featured on the cover of BBC’s Sky at Night magazine and television shows including the Discovery Channel’s series How the Universe Works. For both her commitment to research and promoting women in physics, through the creation of the Oxford Women in Physics Society, the IOP awarded Meinecke the Jocelyn Bell Burnell Medal and Prize.