Skip to main content
Credit Jill Wellington

Image courtesy of Jill Wellington 

College hosts its 5th annual Christmas Lectures

On 19th December 2018 the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences hosted their 5th annual Christmas Lectures, arranged by Professor Pete Vukusic, Dr Gihan Marasingha, Dr Alice Mills and Vicky Glazer. 

200 students from local schools attended a day of exciting lectures from academics across the University of Exeter's CEMPS disciplines.

Dr Layal Hakim, one of Exeter's Mathematics lecturers, began the day by talking about the mathematics of fracture mechanics, looking at ‘The Titanic and other ships that cracked’. In her lecture, Dr Hakim shared the more unusual applications of mathematics in everyday life.

Professor Ronaldo Menezes, the Head of Computer Science then gave a fascinating lecture on, ‘Self organisation: how simple rules lead to complexity and affect our lives’ and had students running around at the front demonstrating interesting human patterns of behaviour.

Dr Helen Smith, a senior lecturer in Renewable Energy from the University of Exeter's Penryn Campus gave a festive lecture on, ‘Lighting up Christmas with the power of the sea’ based on her cutting her edge research on wave and tidal power, demonstrating how it would be possible to light all the Christmas lights in Devon and Cornwall just using tidal and wave power.

Finally, some festive science from Dr Ryan Edginton who recently completed his PhD in Biomedical Physics. His talk entitled, ‘Festive Frequency shifts: spectroscopy and the molecular markers of disease’, focussed on recent research into new methods for detecting cancers, combining two areas of science that the public would rarely link together.

Dr Alice Mills said: "The audience were enthusiastic throughout and the talks prompted excellent questions from the students and vibrant discussion.

"It is wonderful to welcome so many local school students to the University and share the diverse and exciting research being undertaken."

Philip Atherton, from Kingsbridge School, said: "I thought the Christmas lectures were fantastic and really covered a wide range of disciplines, which opened the students eyes to the huge range of opportunities open to them by studying STEM subjects. 

"It was also great to hear about subjects at the cutting edge of university research."

One student said:"I liked how visual examples helped to convey the message of the lectures and how they involved and engaged the audience. I also liked how they calculated the power of Christmas’.

The CEMPS department look forward to planning an equally exciting programme for the 2019 lectures!

Date: 21 December 2018

Read more University News