SET Award goes to stellar astronomer

1 October 2013

Christopher Frohmaier has won the BG Group Award for the Best Physics Student in this year’s SET Awards.

SET Award goes to stellar astronomer Christopher Frohmaier
Photo: Graham D Holland

The announcement was made at a gala evening in London on 26 September, following interviews and final judging earlier in the day that were organised by the IOP, which supported the prize.

Frohmaier has just embarked on a PhD at the University of Southampton, where he completed a four-year integrated master’s degree in the summer. His master’s project, “Blue stragglers in the Globular Cluster M30”, was the winning entry for the award. He explained that blue stragglers are stars that are rejuvenated through a fresh source of hydrogen, making them appear younger than they actually are. Their existence cannot be explained by standard stellar evolution models.

Frohmaier said: “I am very pleased to have won. A lot of it was down to my supervisor, who thought my project was good enough to be nominated, but I also worked hard on it for a year.”

The other shortlisted candidates for the physics prize were Christian Gilson, who has just finished an integrated master’s at the University of Bristol, for his project “Are there too many distant galaxy clusters?” and Stephen Jiggins, for his project “Photon pile-up errors in lifetime parameter calculations”. Jiggins has completed an integrated master’s at King’ College London and is about to start a PhD at University College London.

The judging panel consisted of Prof. Bill Gelletly, emeritus professor of physics at the University of Surrey, Dimitra Darambara, team leader in multimodality molecular imaging at the Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden Trust, and Prof. Philip Moriarty, of the University of Nottingham. At the ceremony, Paul Blair (left), from prize sponsors the BG Group, presented the prize to Frohmaier (right).

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