Speakers and workshops

Talks are place in the main Hall, workshops tbc

Philip Britton, MBE, Headmaster of Bolton School Boys' Division
Philip will open the conference with a welcome speech.
Sam Gregson - The Search for the Higgs
Sam is known as the Bad Boy of Science.  His scientific journey really took off as a particle physicist, science communicator and all round resident anarchist at the University of Cambridge and the Large Hadron Collider Beauty (LHCb) experiment at CERN, Switzerland (thesis analysis).

Now he looks to bring the joys of science to everyone: young and old, rich and poor, scientific veteran or beginner…


Laura Waters - University of Huddersfield - Can we replace animal testing when creating new medicines?

Laura joined the University of Huddersfield in 2003 as a lecturer in pharmaceutical science and is currently a Principal Enterprise Fellow in the School of Applied Sciences. Laura is heavily involved in the RSC, current treasurer of the local section, a Benevolent Volunteer Visitor, a former member of Council and a current member of the JPAG committee. Laura is also part of an APS focus group, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a National Public Engagement Ambassador (NCCPE) and a STEM ambassador.


Laura has an active research group investigating phenomena at the interface of chemistry and pharmaceutics, developing analytical techniques, characterising chemical interactions and enhancing formulations, all funded through external sources. Her work in the area of public engagement includes public lectures and media presentations and she has appeared on BBC1, BBC2, BBC3, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

Panel discussion on STEM careers and HE
Each panellist will briefly talk about applying for and studying STEM subjects at university, followed by questions from the audience.


Becky Parker - Institute for Research In Schools - How Can We Help You Do Research To Change The World?
After a physics degree and research at the University of Chicago, Becky taught in a variety of schools and was Senior Lecturer in physics at the University of Kent. She still teaches in school. Becky was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2008 and received Honorary Fellowship of the Institute of Physics in 2014. She is Visiting Professor, School of Physics and Astronomy, Queen Mary University of London. In the summer of 2016 she was awarded the Kavli Education Medal from the Royal Society.
She is frequently seen at the side of reservoirs supporting her daughter who sails. She loves music and plays the bassoon


You can sign up to attend a workshop on arrival (max 30 participants)

Sam Illingworth - Manchester Metropolitan University - The Poetry of Science

Sam is a Senior Lecturer in Science Communication at Manchester Metropolitan University, and Programme Leader for the MSc in Science Communication. His current research involves looking at ways in which science can be used to empower society and one of the ways in which he does this is through the use of poetry, using this as a creative tool to help engender dialogue between experts and non-experts.


He is also interested in the different ways in which science is perceived in popular culture, and alongside Dr Paul Wake he is the co-director of the Games Research Network.

You can find out more about him, and read some of his poetry, on his website: www.samillingworth.com

Stephen Ashworth - UEA - Kitchen Chemistry

Dr Ashworth was awarded both his BA in Chemistry and his DPhil from Oxford University. Later postdoctoral work was with Professor D.J. Nesbitt at JILA and later with Dr K.M. Evenson at NIST, both of which are in Boulder, Colorado. He was then awarded a Royal Society European Exchange Fellowship and an Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung Fellowship to study femtosecond dynamics at the newly established Max-Born Institute in Berlin.


The award of an EPSRC Advanced Fellowship in 1996 allowed him to return to England. The first part of the Fellowship was held in the School of Chemistry at Bristol University. Dr Ashworth was appointed to a post at the UEA in 1999 but chose to transfer the remainder of his Advanced Fellowship and became a Lecturer in 2001. He received the UEA Excellence in Teaching award in 2002.

Although his research career has concentrated on high resolution spectroscopy, and spectroscopy applied to atmospheric chemistry, using a number of laser techniques, he is now much more involved with the communication of science. Over the years has won a number of grants for his communication activities. In 2009 he was awarded a CUE East Individual Award for Engagement. He has recently finished a term serving on the Advisory Committee of Scifest Africa.


Michael Daniels and Kirsty McIntyre - Manchester University - From Amateur to Attenborough – SciComm Basics in 30 minutes

Mike is currently in the final year of his PhD studying immunology and neuroscience. Specifically, he is interested in how our immune systems can be detrimentally involved in disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Stroke. Mike is passionate about science communication is many forms: writing blogs, making videos and  delivering short talks. In 2017, Mike was the winner of the Northwest regional final of FameLab and runner-up in the University of Manchester’s three-minute thesis competition.

Kirsty is also a final-year PhD researcher at the University of Manchester. She works in Maternal Fetal Health at St Mary’s Hospital and studies how a poorly functioning placenta can lead to small and unwell babies. Kirsty has been involved in public engagement for many years now. She won the University of Manchester three-minute thesis 2016, co-organised numerous large-scale public engagement events and has engaged with schools through the Widening Participation, School-University Partnership Initiative and The Brilliant Club programmes. She was recently awarded Outstanding Contribution to Society by the UoM Doctoral Academy.

In this session, Mike and Kirsty will cover all you need to know about SciComm in 30 mins. They’ll talk about what SciComm is, why it’s important, how you can do it and, importantly, they’ll get everyone to give it a try. This will be a fun, interactive, engaging workshop designed to be the perfect intro to Science Communication.
Further info on Mike and Kirsty at www.mikejddaniels.com and www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/kirsty.mcintyre-postgrad.html

Alison Christoffer - All About STEM - Getting involved with CREST Awards, Big Bang Fairs and other enrichment opportunities

Alison is Operations Manager at All About STEM, an organisation which works on lots of different projects to bring exciting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to schools across Merseyside, Cheshire and Warrington, linking them with business and industry expert volunteers inspiring the next generation of STEM specialists. Alison will be talking to us about getting involved with CREST Awards, Big Bang Fairs and other enrichment opportunities.

Adam Brownsell - Editor of Chemistry World Magazine

Adam’s journey to the Royal Society of Chemistry has taken him through medical, educational and professional publishing and he has been delighted that my first steps into scientific publishing were taken with Chemistry World.


He does not share the scientific background (or PhDs) of the rest of the team, having studied in arts and humanities at university. As such, Adam can provide us with a unique perspective on the world of science communication and publishing.

Nnamdi Nwaokocha - GHD Engineering - 30 Minutes as a Chemical Engineer
Nnamdi is a Process Engineer at GHD Livigunn, one of the world’s leading professional services companies operating in the global markets of water, energy and resources, environment, property and buildings, and transportation. Nnamdi will be focusing his workshop on the Chemical Engineering side of the business.
Fraser Scott - University of Huddersfield
Fraser obtained an MSci(Hons) in Chemistry from the University of Strathclyde in 2009, which was followed by a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Colin J. Suckling OBE, at the same institution awarded in 2012. His doctoral studies spanned computational and synthetic medicinal chemistry, and microbiology, focussed on developing Minor Groove Binders as novel anti-infective agents. During this time, Fraser also obtained a BA(Hons) in Mathematics and Statistics, and a BSc(Hons) in Computing with Mathematical Sciences, with the Open University.

Following the completion of his doctorate in 2012, Fraser obtained a PGDE in Chemistry and an MEd in Education studies whilst embarking on a short career in Secondary School education in Scotland. In 2014 he returned to the research group of Prof. Suckling at Strathclyde to take up a Post-Doctoral position that included project managing the, now commercial, Minor Grove Binder drug discovery project, alongside medicinal chemistry, chemical biology and microbiology investigations. During this time, Fraser also completed an MSc in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and was employed as an associate lecturer in Mathematics by the Open University.

In 2016, Fraser took up a position as a Senior Lecturer in Organic Chemistry at the University of Lincoln, before moving to his current position as Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology at the University of Huddersfield.

Anna Murphy - University of Huddersfield

Anna graduated with a BSc. (Hons) in Pharmacology with Industrial Experience at the University of Manchester in 2005. She then undertook a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Bill Deakin investigating the effects of a novel antipsychotic drug in humans using functional magnetic resonance imaging. During this time, her research interests focused upon the actions of dopamine, not only for its role in psychosis but also substance dependence.

Upon completion of her PhD, she undertook post-doctoral work investigating the cognitive mechanisms of craving and cognition in opioid dependence using a novel neuroimaging technique under the supervision of Prof. Rebecca Elliott. She has been involved in a number of collaborations, investigating new drug treatments for relapse prevention in substance dependence and psychosis research. She joined the University of Huddersfield as a Senior Lecturer in July 2017.