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Speakers

 

Dr Ronx

Dr Ronx is an emergency medicine doctor, and is most known for presenting CBBC’s ‘Operation Ouch!’. Dr Ronx graduated from King’s College Medical School in 2011. Her desire to train as an A&E doctor began after foundation training and she took a year out before speciality training to work as an Expedition Field Medic in India.

Dr Ronx lives and works in Hackney and is extremely community-focused. She describes herself as a queer, black, androgynous intersectional feminist. She comes from a difficult upbringing and uses her unique story to help motivate and inspire young people from similar backgrounds.

Dr Ronx’s motto is “ You cannot be, what you do not see”.

[Photo credit: Christa Holka]
Prof. Rachel K. O'Reilly

Talk Title: Redesigning the World of Plastics

Rachel’s love of practical science led her to study Chemistry at Cambridge and Imperial College, exploring new polymer materials. She became a Professor aged just 34, and is now Head of the School of Chemistry at the University of Birmingham and winner of many accolades; she was a Finalist in the 2019 UK Blavatnik Awards. Rachel creates polymers that mimic features of biological materials such as viruses and cells; these nanomaterials might have self-assembly properties, or enable controlled release or cascade reactions, offering useful applications in drug delivery.

Dr. Lewis Owen

Talk Title: The Periodic Playground – the Use of Elements in Materials Science

Dr Lewis Owen is a Research Fellow at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. As an undergraduate, Lewis studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, specialising in Chemistry, for which he received the Norrish Prize for distinction in Physical Chemistry. He went on to complete a PhD at the University of Cambridge, in conjunction with the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source. His research focuses on X-ray and Neutron Scattering techniques used to study materials. Specifically, he works on the use and application of the total scattering technique for the study of local effects in alloy systems. His work on the subject has been awarded prizes by the Cambridge Society for the Application of Research, and from the British Crystallographic Association (Malvern PANalytical Thesis Prize in Physical Crystallography). In his spare time he is also a keen musician, singer and conductor, and enjoys acting.

Vijay Shah

Talk Title: That Design Process:  How to design an aircraft (or any other vehicle)

As an engineer, Vijay Shah has helped design some of the world’s most advanced aircraft and spacecraft: He has worked on Airbus’s latest airliners, on designs for a novel air-breathing rocket engine for single stage to orbit space access and is now involved with Dyson’s first electric car.

He has also spent over 3 years on expedition across the world, solo climbed several high altitude mountains and opened up a new route in the arctic. This combination of skills gained him a place on the BBC 2’s ‘Astronauts’ which selected 12 applicants from thousands to undertake astronaut training.

 

Prof. Julia Gog

Talk Title: Maths vs Disease

Julia Gog is the Professor of Mathematical Biology at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge. She is also the David N. Moore Fellow and the Director of Studies in Mathematics at Queens’. Julia’s research interests are mainly in the dynamics and evolution of influenza. Recent projects have also included using data to understand the spatial patterns of influenza spread in the US and the UK.

Prof. Philipp Kukura

Talk Title: The fun of science: doing what everyone thinks is impossible

Philipp Kukura is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, leading an interdisciplinary research group supported by ERC Starting and Consolidator grants that focusses on the development and application of new optical methodologies to study biomolecular structure, dynamics and interactions. Recent awards include those by the RSC (Harrison-Meldola 2011 and Marlow 2015), the European Biophysical Society Association (Young Investigator Medal 2017), a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (2018), the Klung-Wilhemy Award (2018) and a UK Blavatnik Award Laureate (2019).

Reham Badawy

Reham is passionate about interdisciplinary research. Having graduated with a BSc in Smart Systems & Neuroscience, she is now undertaking her PhD in Applied Mathematics. More specifically, she is looking into using smartphones to detect Parkinson’s disease. Her goal is to combine the complexities of computational intelligence, statistical machine learning, and the science of neurological diseases, to improve the quality of life for those suffering with a neurological disease. Passionate about engaging with the non-scientific community, she is a STEM editor and UK ambassador for a blog that highlights research done by women and has presented her research at the House of Commons. Reham also runs CodeFirst:Girls courses at her university which teaches females with a non-tech background how to code.

Dr. Sam Giles

Talk Title: X-ray imaging meets palaeontology: assembling 400 million years of the fish tree of life

Sam Giles completed an MSci in Geology at the University of Bristol and D.Phil in Palaeobiology at the University of Oxford. She is currently a Royal Society Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham and a Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church, Oxford. Her research uses x-ray imaging to unlock the external and internal anatomy of living and fossil vertebrates. She focusses on the early history of bony fishes, which account for 99% of all living vertebrates. Her work provides insight into the origins and evolutionary success of different vertebrate groups.

Prof. David K. Menon

David Krishna Menon is Professor and Head of the Division of Anaesthesia, and Professorial Fellow in Medicine at Queens’ College, Cambridge.  He is Principal Investigator at the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre and at the John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair in Cambridge, and Co-Chairs the Acute Brain Injury Program at the University of Cambridge. He is Chair of the European Brain Injury Consortium. He currently acts as Vice-Coordinator of the CENTER-TBI project, a €30 million FP7 European multicentre study, traumatic brain injury, and as Joint Director of the Cambridge NIHR Global Health Research Group on Neurotrauma. He has over four hundred publications in peer reviewed journals, and is one of two lead authors on a Commissioned Issue of the Lancet Neurology on Traumatic Brain Injury which was released at the European Parliament on the 7th of November 2017.

 

Jacqueline Darkwa

Talk Title: What do you do when you don’t want to “do” science?

Jacqueline Darkwa started her higher education in science with Biomedical Science at the University of Brighton. After realising a future in scientific research wasn’t for her, she joined together her love of science & writing in science communication, pitching to online magazines on science & health interact with race, sex & gender. Now with an MSc in Science Communication from Imperial College, she is continuing to tackle underreported stories ignored in traditional media. With a thesis dedicated to underrepresentation in STEM education she is hoping to increase awareness & conversation.

Stuart Peck

Talk Title: Human Element of Cyber Security

From a background of threat intelligence, social engineering and incident response, Stuart Peck heads up Cyber Security Strategy for ZeroDayLab. Stuart regularly delivers threat briefings to Fortune 100/FTSE 100 executives and directors throughout the world.

Stuart is passionate about educating organisations on the latest threat actor techniques and how to combat them, including raising the cost of the attack through pragmatic risk based defence and response strategies. In addition, he has won awards for his education and training programmes, including Security Awareness Programmes delivered throughout Europe and USA.

 

Workshops

 

Kari Lawler

Talk Title: AI: Dispelling the hype

Kari Lawler was accepted onto the E4F incubator at just 14, where she became the youngest ever entrepreneur on the Innovation Birmingham campus. Now at 16 and with the mentorship from Barclays Eagle Lab she helps start-ups to large enterprises understand & deploy AI, through development & education.

Kari’s rapid rise within the tech world has been acknowledged with multiple awards, including winning the UK Space Agency SatelLife challenge. Plus, most recently Barclays Entrepreneur Awards Midlands Icon of the Year. Additionally, she has become an in-demand speaker and has spent the last year trialling her AI youth initiative, Youth4AI. Through which she has introduced over 1000 teens to the topic of AI.

Samantha Fox

Talk Title: Youth STEMM Award, an achievement award to support and inspire the next generation into STEMM

Samantha has been a research scientist at the John Innes Centre in Norwich since 2000, where she is also Youth Aspiration champion.  She is currently writing her PhD thesis on how plants create their amazing shapes.  Samantha has a passion for widening participation into higher education and founded the John Innes Centre tear 10 Science Camp and Women of the Future Conference, beacon educational events for young people in Norfolk.  In 2015 she co-founded the Youth STEMM Award to inspire and support the next generation into STEMM.  Samantha is on the advisory boards of both the Norwich Science Festival and the Food and Farming Discovery Trust.

 

Panel Members

Our panel have varied STEM backgrounds and will be answering your questions at the conference!

 

Amy Mercer

Prior to joining Pfizer, Amy studied for a BTec Level 3 in Forensic Science at K College, Tonbridge, and particularly enjoyed the chemistry aspects of the course.  Keen to continue with her studies in a way that enabled her to take a more hands-on approach, Amy applied for an apprenticeship at Pfizer.

Amy was one of the first apprentices across the country to complete the Advanced Laboratory Technician Trailblazer standards and has recently completed the Laboratory Scientist higher apprenticeship standards supported by her Level 5 qualification. In July 2019 Amy graduated with a BSc first class honours in Chemistry from the University of Greenwich and is now full time at Pfizer as a Senior Associate Research Scientist.

Amy works within the Drug Product Design department supporting the formulation group to characterise the performance of powders based on their material properties. Over the last five years Amy has spent time on early and later stage development of drug product through her work in active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) solid form screening, investigating the physical stability of the API in drug product and recently transitioning to the material characterisation team to provide support to solid formulation.

Vijay Shah

As an engineer, Vijay Shah has helped design some of the world’s most advanced aircraft and spacecraft: He has worked on Airbus’s latest airliners, on designs for a novel air-breathing rocket engine for single stage to orbit space access and is now involved with Dyson’s first electric car.

He has also spent over 3 years on expedition across the world, solo climbed several high altitude mountains and opened up a new route in the arctic. This combination of skills gained him a place on the BBC 2’s ‘Astronauts’ which selected 12 applicants from thousands to undertake astronaut training.

Tom Ireland

Tom Ireland is head of publications at the Royal Society of Biology (RSB) and a freelance science journalist. In his role at the RSB, Tom edits the bi-monthly magazine The Biologist and overseeing a range of other science publications. As a freelance science journalist he is a regular contributor to the high-street science magazine BBC Focus and has also written for The Guardian, The Observer, New Scientist, and BBC News.

 

Lakechia Jeanne

Lakechia Jeanne is a Biomedical and Public Health Scientist with a background in Film and Television, she grew up as a child-actress working with the BBC, ITV, CBBC and BBC Radio. During her studies, she started Girls In Science- an initiative that portrays science-based careers specifically for females; and uses her experience in media to convey the realities professionals in academia and industry. www.GirlsInScience.co.uk now has an international team of passionate scientists working towards the acceleration of girls entering and succeeding in STEM.