Big Bang Fair's physics winner is making waves

16 March 2011

A student from Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester is top of the class after winning the prestigious Institute of Physics Prize for Physics in the National Science & Engineering Competition at The Big Bang: UK Young Scientists’ & Engineers’ Fair.

Abigail Davies won the award with her project on making waves. According to Abigail, it is known that long distance sea state contributes to increased background seismic noise at low frequencies. 

Using a school seismometer, this study has suggested that local sea state also affects seismic noise. Background noise was significantly correlated to local wave height along a high energy coastline.

Abigail fought off stiff competition from 155 other entries to be awarded £500 and a trip to the world-leading fusion research laboratory, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in Oxfordshire.

Charles Tracy, Head of Education at the Institute of Physics and one of the judges of the Prize for Physics in the National Science & Engineering Competition said: "I’m delighted to award Abigail her prize for a truly inspiring project. The standard of entries was outstanding and the judging process proved much harder than expected. 

All the judges were left truly overwhelmed by the standard of entries and it’s wonderful to witness such enthusiasm and dedication from young people, such as Abigail. It’s left me hugely excited about the future of science and engineering in the UK.”

11-18 year olds from across the UK were given the chance to enter the National Science & Engineering Competition by completing a project or activity in any field of science, technology, engineering or maths. The finals took place at The Big Bang - one of the country’s biggest celebrations of science and engineering for young people.

Sir Roland Jackson, Chief Executive of the British Science Association who runs the National Science & Engineering Competition, commented: “The National Science & Engineering Competition aims to inspire the talent of the future by making science, engineering, technology and maths more appealing for young people. All of the finalists brought something different to the competition but their entries show just how exciting and extraordinary science and engineering can be.

“The National Science & Engineering Competition is the perfect chance to put forward a project you’re proud of and we’d encourage everyone to take part in next year’s competition, which start with the next round of Regional Fairs this summer.”
Visit for more information about this year’s competition.

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