ONE of Edinburgh’s leading research scientists is to present her findings on physics to politicians and a panel of experts as part of the STEM for Britain event next week.
Najwa Sidqi, 30, a PhD student and thin film scientist at Helia Photonics Ltd, will see her research on supermirrors for unhackable communication networks judged against dozens of other scientists’ research in the only national competition of its kind.
Najwa, who was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to appear in Parliament, said: “Presenting my research at the House of Commons is exceptional as it will bring the matter of digital data and communication security to MPs’ attention.
“I also hope my participation at this notable event will encourage young physicists to speak up about scientific and technical issues to politicians independently from their gender or cultural background.”
Stephen Metcalfe 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 engineers, mathematicians and scientists are the architects of our future and STEM for Britain is the politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work.”
Najwa’s research on supermirrors has been entered into the physics session of the competition, which will end in a gold, silver and bronze prizegiving ceremony. Judged by leading academics, the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee runs the event in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Biology, The Physiological Society and the Council for the Mathematical Sciences, with financial support from the Clay Mathematics Institute, United Kingdom Research and Innovation, Warwick Manufacturing Group, Society of Chemical Industry, the Nutrition Society, Institute of Biomedical Science, the Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research and the Comino Foundation.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) for Britain – which involves around 180 early stage or early career researchers – is judged by professionals and the top academic experts in their field.
All presenters are entered into either the engineering, the biological and biomedical sciences, the physical sciences (chemistry and physics), session, or the mathematics session, depending on the researcher’s specialism.
The gold medallist receives £2,000, while silver and bronze receive £1,250 and £750 respectively.
There will also be an overall winner who will receive the Westminster Wharton Medal.