Belfast physicist wins silver medal at House of Commons

13 March 2015

Elena Andra Muntean, a research fellow at Queen’s University Belfast, won the silver medal in the physics category of the SET for Britain 2015 competition at Westminster.

Belfast physicist wins silver medal at House of Commons
L to R Philip Diamond IOP, Elena Andra Muntean QUB, Andrew Miller MP, Stephen Benn Soc of Biology

Her presentation of her research on dust and ice, and the birthplace of new molecules in interstellar space as a result of low-energy ion irradiation, won her a prize of £2000. She said: “I am so pleased that the research we do at Queen’s University Belfast was highly appreciated at this competition in the House of Commons and really look forward to taking my success back to my research group.”

The SET for Britain competition is held to encourage early-career scientists and foster dialogue between scientists and politicians. Andrew Miller MP, who chairs 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.”

Frances Saunders, president of the Institute of Physics (IOP), said: “SET for Britain is a great opportunity for some of the country’s most impressive scientific talent to show off their research to politicians from across the UK. I hope every exhibitor feels incredibly proud to have had their research shortlisted, and excited to show it off."

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee runs the event in collaboration with the Council for Mathematical Sciences, the Institute of Physics, The Physiological Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Society of Biology and the Society of Chemical Industry, with financial support from BP, the Clay Mathematics Institute, Essar, INEOS, Warwick Manufacturing Group, Wiley, the Bank of England and the Institute of Biomedical Science.