CSCT student Bethan Charles wins VC Award for Public Engagement with Research
The annual Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Public Engagement with Research, a showcase of the best in public engagement from researchers across the University of Bath, is an opportunity to share how and why public engagement matters, to demonstrate how it can improve the quality and impact of research and provide examples of good practice. CSCT PhD student Bethan Charles competed and won against three finalists to engage the audience about her research in a captivating and entertaining way, using just one prop in no more than six minutes.
Bethan’s PhD is focused on materials for the next generation solar cells, known as perovskites. Bethan aims to improve the structure and stability of perovskites to fully exploit their potential to transform solar energy generation, including by being incorporated into everyday objects such as walls and windows.
Her public engagement activities have included establishing a Bath in Science Policy group here at the University of Bath, working with local teenagers on science projects through BRLSI, and managing the ‘Atoms to Galaxies’ section of the popular Pint of Science Festival. Bethan recently took part in the STEM for Britain Annual poster competition at the Houses of Parliament, which supports and promotes Britain’s early-career research scientists and engineers.
CSCT Director Professor Matthew Davidson said: “It is fabulous to see another of our multi-talented PhD students excelling, not just in the ground-breaking research they do, but also in embracing its wider context through public engagement. The skill and enthusiasm shown by Bethan belies the hard work and thought that she has put into engaging effectively with many different audiences, so many congratulations Bethan – the whole centre is very proud of you!”
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Jonathan Knight said: “Once again we were wowed by the quality of presentations at this year’s Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Public Engagement with Research. Right across the board, researchers from Bath are using public engagement to maximum effect: developing relationships with key external audiences who can benefit from their work; getting feedback to improve their research; as well as inspiring a next generation. I am delighted to see public engagement embedded in the research of so many within our community.”