3rd Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics UK

20 November 2017 | Source: 3rd Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics UK

This year the 3rd Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics UK, more lovingly known as CUWIP took place in Oxford, UK on the 23rd-26th March.

Starting in 2006 at the University of Southern California in the US, this 3-day event has rapidly grown, with 6 conferences held across the US every year. Following the success of CUWIP in the US, Professor Daniela Bortoletto introduced CUWIP to the UK in 2015. For the past 3 years, the regional conference has been held in Oxford with support from the Oxford Women in Physics society. The event consists of a range of activities aimed at encouraging young female physicists to pursue a career in physics. These include presentations from distinguished female physicists; tours of laboratories at both the University of Oxford and Rutherford Appleton Laboratories; panel sessions with prominent female physicists from both academia and industry; and CV workshops. Starting the event, Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell gave an inspiring speech about overcoming imposter syndrome and her career through astronomy. She emphasised the importance of pushing through your fears to continue doing your best and working hard. Professor Heidy Mader from the University of Bristol made her own volcano while discussing geophysics here on earth and Professor Sarah Thompson from the University of York explained how electrons change spin by cartwheeling across the lecture hall! Professor Erika Andersson also took students on a journey from the quantum wonderland, with of course some dark references to Schrödinger’s cat; and Professor Sheila Rowan discussed the new LIGO results. Finally, the IOP President 2017, Professor Roy Sambles topped it all off with a motivational after-dinner speech. He shared the outstanding progress the IOP are currently making to encourage more women to continue in science and highlighted that: "A good physicist asks dumb questions. A really good one answers them.” Commenting on the effect of the conference, he stated: “There's enough excitement in this room to keep physics going in the UK for a number of years!" And that is what CUWIP is all about, harbouring that love of science through social networking and encouraging young female physicists to pursue physics further.

Coming away from this conference I feel infinitely more confident in my ability as a woman in science… Hopefully in a few years, I may be able to come back and share my story in order to make other girls feel as inspired and enthused as I do now." – CUWIP Attendee 2017

So do you want a piece of the action or do you know someone who could benefit from CUWIP? CUWIP 2018 is taking place at Keble College, University of Oxford next year on March 15-18, 2018. Applications are opening soon, so keep your eyes peeled!


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