UCLan scientists take their research to Parliament

Two astrophysicists from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have showcased their research to politicians in Parliament.

By Dominic Collis
Thursday, 17th March 2022, 12:30 pm

PhD students Daniel Gass and Daniel Johnson took part in the national STEM for Britain event, which is run by the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee in collaboration with a number of distinguished scientific, learned and professional organisations.

The annual event celebrates the best of UK scientific research being carried out by early career researchers and is in the only national competition of its kind.

The physics section of the event was sponsored and supported by the Institute of Physics; and both students were shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to appear in Parliament.

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UCLan PhD students Daniel Johnson, The Lord Khan of Burnley and UCLan PhD student Daniel Gass.

PhD astrophysics student Daniel Johnson researches how extreme space weather events are powered.

He said: “Such events are extremely impactful and influence communication, the national grid and space based technology, and much more.

“The STEM for Britain event is a unique opportunity to present the science I have worked on during my PhD studies to the policy makers who are responsible for planning our national strategies for mitigating the impact of space weather. I aim to gain an insight into the link between science and politics from this event and hope this is the first instance of an ongoing relationship my work has with its underlying political foundations.”

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Fellow PhD student Daniel Gass, whose research analyses the sun’s coronal structure across the solar cycle to aid space weather prediction, said: "I am honoured to be selected as a physics finalist and share the talent and the quality of research taking place at UCLan.

“The University’s Jeremiah Horrocks Institute has been a fantastic place to be a researcher in solar astrophysics and I'd like to thank my supervisor Professor Robert Walsh, the head of the institute Professor Derek Ward Thompson, as well as other students and staff who have helped me present my research in the House of Commons."

The Rt Hon. Sir Lindsay Hoyle, MP for Chorley, Speaker of the House and UCLan Honorary Fellow congratulated the students at the event.

He said: “I am delighted to have met these talented young researchers and learn more about their work. The quality of research on display was outstanding and it’s exciting to see progress and innovation being made across the variety of STEM subjects.”