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Winners announced of EPSRC photo competition


Winners announced of EPSRC photo competition

An image of a Syrian refugee using virtual reality to help researchers design a shelter has been chosen as the winner of the 2019 national science photography competition organised by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The competition attracted 169 entries from researchers funded by EPSRC, part of UK Research and Innovation.

The photo, taken in October 2018 by Dr Dima Albadra from the University of Bath, was awarded first prize in the People and Skills category and the overall winner.

As part of a participatory design workshop, refugees in Azraq and Zaatari refugee camps in Jordan used virtual reality to offer feedback and adapt suggested shelter typologies. Participatory design is a two-way process allowing refugees to be part of the research team.

Competition judge, Dr Hayaatun Sillem, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “The striking photographs in this year's competition reflect the real breadth and ingenuity of engineering research supported by the EPSRC.

“Many of the projects captured in these images will go on to transform our world for the better, improve people's lives and the economy. It is fantastic to see such creativity, both in the images and the research projects, captured in the winners' work.”

The winners in the other categories were:

Innovation - Wonderland balls in small world by Dr Qin Hu, University of Nottingham. The photograph showed an 800 times magnified image of polymeric micro-sized balls fabricated by two-photon lithography-based 3D printing technology.

The diameter of each ball is roughly less than half of the diameter of a human hair.

Weird and Wonderful - Fatberg crystals by Natalia Jawiarczyk, Cranfield University. With 'fatbergs' making unwelcome news headlines, Natalia took an arresting image showing the effect of fat, oil and grease deposits separated using organic solvent.

Eureka and Discovery - The mysterious and colourful second crystal by Finlay Walton, University of Glasgow. A polarisation microscope was used to capture the moment a new crystal form was discovered, alongside a known crystal.

Equipment and Facilities - Citizen science abroad by Peter Pedersen, University of Cambridge. The Cambike Sensor was a device developed to measure the air pollution experienced by cyclists every day in Cambridge. The photograph showed the device being held by a team member in the Alps.

The first, second and third prize winning images with descriptions are all available to download from the EPSRC website.

The judges were:

  • Sarah Sharples - EPSRC Board member and Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Nottingham.
  • Hayaatun Sillem - CEO of the Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Kedar Pandya - Associate Director, Business Engagement at the EPSRC
  • Martin Keene - Group Picture Editor, Press Association

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