LJMU PhD student shortlisted for Institute of Physics award
05 October 2012
LJMU PhD student Claire Burke has been shortlisted for the Institute of Physics (IoP) Very Early Career Woman Physicist Award for her research and outreach activity.
Every year the IoP presents the award to a woman at the start of their Physics career who has made a substantial contribution to the subject and has undertaken activities to support and encourage others in the field.
Claire, who is in the final year of her PhD at LJMU's Astrophysics Research Institute (ARI), is one of only four women in the running to win the award, which will be presented in London on Wednesday 17 October.
To make it onto the shortlist Claire had to submit a report summarising her research and the work she has done with the public and young people.
Claire’s research focuses on the evolution of galaxies and their interactions in the centres of galaxy clusters. Although not yet fully completed, her work has already received international recognition and she recently gave a presentation at a major international meeting of astronomers in China.
Her outreach work includes hosting workshops for school children, taking part in the National Big Bang Fair in 2012 and working on the BBC's Stargazing Live programme, helping members of the public identify astrophysical objects using only a pair of binoculars.
During the final in London Claire will deliver a ten-minute presentation giving a summary of her work before finding out if she has won the coveted award.
Claire said: "I am so pleased to have been shortlisted - it is recognition of the work I have done at LJMU and hopefully it will help me progress my career in Astrophysics. I am really enjoying my time at LJMU and feel I have accomplished a great deal. This is largely due to the support from everyone at the ARI and particularly the advice and help I’ve received from my supervisor Professor Chris Collins. The ARI is among the best in the world and I am constantly learning new things while also being encouraged to pursue my own line of research."
Professor Chris Collins said: "Claire deserves to be shortlisted for this award because she is very enthusiastic about her work and she has achieved a great deal in the space of just three years - both in terms of her research and the outreach work she has completed. It would be an achievement for anyone to have done as much as Claire in the time period but it is especially commendable given that she is still in the early stages of her career."
On completing her PhD Claire hopes to work at the European Southern Observatory which owns the telescopes she currently uses to make her observations.