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Prof. Mark Miodownik

Talk Title: Stuff Matters

Mark Miodownik is the UCL Professor of Materials & Society.  He received his Ph.D in turbine jet engine alloys from Oxford University, and has worked as a materials engineer in the USA, Ireland and the UK. For more than fifteen years he has championed materials science research that links to the arts and humanities, medicine, and society. This culminated in the establishment of the UCL Institute of Making, where he is a director and runs the research programme.  Mark is an award winning author and regularly presents BBC TV and radio programmes on materials science and engineering.  In 2014 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. In 2018 he was awarded an MBE for services to materials science, engineering and broadcasting.

Prof. Rachel 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.

Kayisha Payne

Kayisha Payne began her Higher Education journey at Aston University where she read Chemical Engineering. She continued her education at Imperial College London, where she received a Masters’ in Advanced Chemical Engineering with a heavy focus on Biochemical Engineering and Drug Development. During Kayisha’s time in industry, she has amassed experience in the Cosmetic Industry (COTY) as a Process Engineer, playing a key lead in bringing a very popular product to market. She also has Project Management experience working within the Pharmaceutical and Technology team at Mace. Currently, she holds a position as a Scientist at AstraZeneca. Realising the lack of representation of Black individuals in STEM from education right through to industry, as of January 2018, she founded a non-profit organisation named BBSTEM, Black British Professionals in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. The aims are to encourage, enable, and energise individuals in education and industry to widen the participation and contribution of Black individuals in STEM.

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.




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.



Panel Members

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