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Queen Mary researchers take science to Parliament

Queen Mary, University of London engineers Iffat Patel and Dr Julien Gautrot are attending Parliament on Monday 12 March to present their research to politicians and a panel of expert judges.

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Iffat Patel and Dr Julien Gautrot
Iffat Patel and Dr Julien Gautrot

The east London researchers, from Queen Mary’s School of Engineering and Materials Science, were shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to appear in Parliament as part of SET for Britain- a poster competition for early-career researchers.

Their research will be judged against dozens of other scientists and engineers’ research in the only national competition of its kind.

PhD student Iffat’s research focuses on mimicking nature’s own nanoscale designs to produce new materials for packaging, defence armour and thin film technology. Queen Mary Lecturer Dr Gautrot will present his research into the design of biomaterials for biomedical applications.

On presenting her work in Parliament, Iffat Patel commented: “This is a fantastic way to promote science and engineering to a wider audience. Not only will it encourage awareness of forthcoming technology but is a great opportunity to think about the bigger picture, and Parliament is the perfect place for it.”

Dr Gautrot added: “This competition is an exciting opportunity to present our research and explain to our MPs why it is important to continue supporting our effort and how it will benefit our society.”

Andrew Miller MP, Chairman of 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.”

Both Queen Mary researchers have had their work entered into the Engineering session of the competition, which will end in a gold, silver and bronze prize-giving ceremony.

Judged by leading academics, the gold medalist receives £3,000, while silver and bronze receive £2,000 and £1,000 respectively.

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee run the event in collaboration with The Royal Academy of Engineering, The Institute of Physics, the Society of Biology, The Royal Society of Chemistry, the Physiological Society, the Wellcome Trust and the Society of Chemical Industry, with financial support from BP, Airbus/EADS, The Institution of Engineering and Technology, AgChem Access, Oxford Instruments, IBMS and GE Hitachi. 

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