Students tour Diamond facility as a thank-you for their hard work from the IOP

29 September 2017

Our campus ambassadors and students from the Conference of Physics and Astronomy Students (CAPS) committee were invited to a tour of the Diamond Light Source facility at Harwell in Oxfordshire on 21 September as a thank-you from the IOP for their hard work over the past year.

Students tour Diamond facility as a thank-you for their hard work from the IOP

Around 17 students went to the celebration event, including seven of the ambassadors who have been recruited in the pilot year of the scheme to be representatives for the IOP in universities, and students on the CAPS committee for 2017.

Students tour Diamond facility as a thank-you for their hard work from the IOP

They were given lunch and heard a talk by the chief executive of Diamond, Professor Andrew Harrison, then toured the facilities including the synchrotron and spoke to some of the physicists engaged in research there, before hearing from our outgoing President, Professor Roy Sambles, and chief executive, Professor Paul Hardaker.

IOP marketing coordinator Jo Keogh said: “The campus ambassadors really impressed and wowed us. They have been an incredible source of information, tapping into the student community, giving shout-outs for IOP lectures and for student physics societies’ events, distributing brand surveys and providing useful feedback for initiatives such as the new digital platform for student members, as well as being involved in the consultation on the new membership structure.”

Examples of events led by the ambassadors include a CV and pizza session at Queen’s University Belfast, a physics careers day at Swansea University and a feedback session on the IOP membership structure at the University of Bath.

From an initial 12 ambassadors the scheme has grown and there are now ambassadors at 23 universities, with plans to recruit more in the early part of next year.

Students tour Diamond facility as a thank-you for their hard work from the IOP

Similarly the IOP wanted to thank the CAPS 2017 committee, which organised the student conference at University College London in June this year, she said. “It was the biggest there had ever been and had the largest attendance. They packed a lot into the schedule and really thought about the students and how they would experience London, so we wanted to give a big thank-you to them as well.”

Speaking about the trip to Diamond, Mark Cunningham from Queen’s University Belfast, said: “I had a great day – it was lovely to meet with the rest of the campus ambassadors and share ideas in person about how we can progress and push ourselves in the forthcoming year as being ambassadors.

“The venue itself was amazing and talking to a few of the physicists and employees at Diamond allowed me to see potential roles I could find myself in, in the future.

“Listening to the president of the IOP speak to us on our role as physicists and the part we will play in the future was fantastic and really emphasised the opportunity and importance that we have for impacting the future generation. The speech was a highlight of the day for me personally.”

Amy Neild from Newcastle University (pictured top with Michael Williams) said: “I really enjoyed the tour of Diamond Light Source and found the talks given in the different beam lines particularly interesting. It has definitely got me thinking about applying for a summer placement there. It was also a wonderful experience meeting different members of the IOP and I especially enjoyed listening to Roy Sambles, president of the IOP, share stories about his life as a physicist. The day was a huge success and enjoyed by all.”

Michael Williams from the University of St Andrews added: “Thanks for arranging the trip. It was very interesting to see the facility. I actually hadn’t known about it before so I’m amazed to hear that all of that is going on quietly in Oxfordshire.”