Panel Discussions

Climate Change 


Naaza Zimba
Naaza is freelance science writer and physics graduate from the University of Leeds. During his time at university he volunteered in the student outreach team, where he discovered his passion for science communication. His articles are always driven by the available scientific data and he has written about climate tipping points and the current climate crisis. In his free time Naaza enjoys cycling and rock-climbing.

Allan Simpson
Allan is committed to discovering how research and innovation can help deliver the clean, reliable, affordable energy that the world needs. He’s an experienced nuclear physicist and technical lead at the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory, leading projects such as working out how much fuel has been used, and exploring the potential future of nuclear power to generate hydrogen. Outside of work Allan enjoys travelling to see the world and getting out walking in the hills near his home.

Dr Kristin Burmeister
Kristin is a physical oceanographer at the Scottish Association for Marine Science in Oban. She’s investigating how changes in the climate system and in large ocean currents like the gulf stream impact each other in the Atlantic ocean. She works closely with marine biologists and chemical oceanographers to find out how these changes affect marine ecosystems. While she’s studying the ocean mainly from a computer during her working hours, she explores it first-hand as a scuba diver in her free time.

Dr José Luis Ramírez Mendiola
José Luis is a Research Fellow at the University of Reading, working to improve our understanding of the ways that energy demand is bound up with the rhythm of society and people’s day to day lives. The models he creates to show the way we use electricity are an essential tool to help make the most out of the clean power generated by renewable energy sources. His background in high-energy astrophysics and energy research led him to his current role. In his spare time he enjoys going on long cycle rides and doing a bit of gardening.


Jonathan Lansley-Gordon
Jonathan is the currently the director of a social enterprise for UK based Black physicists. He previously taught physics and mathematics for just under 12 years, most recently as the Assistant Head Teacher at a sixth-form college. He remains fascinated by the deep questions of science that remain unanswered and is passionate about inspiring the physicists of the future. In his spare time, Jonathan enjoys cooking and has set himself a goal of mastering the art of baking the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence


Dr Luke Davis
Luke is passionate about how knowledge of physics can explain nature. He grew up in Warwickshire and Oxfordshire before attending Swansea University and completing a PhD at University College London. Luke currently works at the University of Luxembourg, using mathematics, physics and computers to understand the science behind controlling organisms, both living and the robotics of the future; tiny nanoscale devices.

Matthew Goundry
Matthew is a robotics and remote handling engineer working for Jacobs, an engineering company. He studied physics at university and now specialises in designing, building and controlling remote inspection and intervention equipment; robots used mainly in the nuclear industry to conduct work in hard to reach or dangerous environments.

Matthew Watkins
Matthew is an Engineering Technician at Imperial College London, working in the Physics department. A former apprentice, he assists researchers with the design and manufacture of bespoke parts for projects at the cutting-edge of technology, ranging from prosthetic legs for ballet dancers to protype ion thrusters. Outside the workshop, Matthew loves nothing more than baking and playing volleyball and cricket.

Raquel Velasco
Raquel is Head of Product at Vivacity Labs, an AI start-up in the transportation sector that helps cities and councils to manage the movement of people and traffic. It’s important to Raquel that what she does has a positive impact on both individuals and society and as part of her role, she’s helped develop an AI-based system to improve traffic lights. She has a Masters in Physics from the University of Oxford and an MBA from London Business School, but she originally chose to study Physics because she wanted to be an astronaut! In her spare time, Raquel loves to be in the water as much as possible, particularly swimming and sailing.


Dr Clara Barker
Clara is a material scientist who manages the Centre for Applied Superconductivity at Oxford University. She is the chair of the LGBT+ advisory group to Oxford University and the Dean for Equality and Diversity at Linacre College, as well as a member of the Royal Societies Equality and Diversity Committee. She runs a youth group for LGBTI+ young people, is a Stonewall school role model, and presented a talk at a TEDxWomen London event in 2018. For her volunteer work she won a Points of Light Award from the UK Prime Minister in 2017. Clara is also a full time nerd, running Dungeons and Dragons sessions and playing board games. And, when possible, also a climber.

Physics in Medicine 


Heidi Hernandez
Heidi is a trainee nuclear medicine technologist at the Royal United Hospital in Bath. She previously completed a BSc in Biomedical Science at the University of Plymouth and is currently studying part-time for her MSc in Nuclear Medicine via the University of West England. Alongside studying, Heidi works in the nuclear medicine department at the hospital, where patients undergo specialist scans after receiving radioactive injections. Outside of training, Heidi loves to travel and hopes to visit South America once the pandemic is over.

Jamie Mewburn-Crook
Jamie is a nuclear metrologist; accurately measuring radioactive material to make sure nuclear medicine and power plants are safe. He began working at the National Physical Laboratory at the age of 16. Some of his work includes antiviral materials for use in the pandemic, creating CE certified PPE for NHS staff as well as winning Apprentice of the year for his work in 3D printing for cancer research. Outside the Lab he enjoys playing rugby and dog walking.

Sophie Martin 
From a young age Sophie was fascinated by the ways in which mathematics could be used to describe the world around her. She graduated from Imperial College London with an MSci in physics in 2020 and is now taking on a PhD at University College London. Sophie is keen to use her skills to help tackle problems in healthcare by developing machine learning models for dementia research and physics plays a key role in the tools required to obtain and analyse images of the brain. In her spare time, Sophie likes to relax by watching films, listening to music and playing video games. 

Lauren Byrne
Lauren works as a medical physicist in the Galway Clinic in both the radiotherapy and nuclear medicine departments. Her role involves calibrating and testing machinery and equipment in these areas, such as PET-CT scanners, SPECT scanners and radiotherapy treatment machines. She and her colleagues are also responsible for handling radioactive material that is used during certain scans or procedures and ensuring all the correct protective measures are in place. In her free time Lauren enjoys swimming, hiking and going for a run with her dog.


Dr Yolanda Ohene
Yolanda is a bio-physicist and a researcher at The University of Manchester. Her work involves developing new MRI techniques to look at the brain, to better understand conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease. During the pandemic, Yolanda worked at one of the UK Lighthouse Labs to help with the COVID-19 testing. When not in the lab, Yolanda enjoys cycling, dancing and roller-skating.

Key dates

Booking deadline:

24 February 2021