UCL Innovation and Enterprise


UCL Ph.D. student takes research to Parliament

9 April 2013

A PhD student at UCL has presented his research to an audience of academics and MPs in the House of Commons.

Atif Elahi

Atif Elahi, 24, who is studying a PhD in Chemistry and who is from Crawley, West Sussex, made the trip to Parliament to present his science to a range of politicians and a panel of judges, as part of a poster design competition for original research in science.

As part of SET for Britain – established by Dr Eric Wharton in 1997 – Atif presented his discovery of a new property of flames in a competition against dozens of other early-career scientists’ research in the only national competition of its kind.

“This annual competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak to a wide range of the country’s best young researchers,” said Andrew Miller MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee. “These early career scientists are the architects of our future and SET for Britain is politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work.”

Atif entered into the Chemistry section of the competition.

Tom Crotty, Director of INEOS Group AG, sponsors of the Gold Medal in the Chemistry Section, said that for manufacturing to thrive, the UK needs more investment in the next generation of scientists, with a particular problem being the continued rise in the average age of engineers.

“For manufacturing to thrive, the UK needs a large and growing reserve of people with the knowledge and skills to deliver world-class manufacturing and research & development”, he said. “We’re delighted to support SET for Britain as an opportunity to celebrate the success of our early career scientists and we hope it will convince politicians to invest even greater effort to ensure the next generation of engineers and scientists come to the fore.”

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee run the event in collaboration with the Institute of Physics, The Physiological Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Society of Biology and the Society of Chemical Industry, with financial support from BP, Airbus/EADS, INEOS, AgChemAccess, Essar, the Institute of Biomedical Science, GAMBICA and WMG.

“I would like to thank SET for Britain for the invitation to the House of Commons to present my research to a broader audience,” said Atif. “it was great to meet fellow researchers and politicians to discuss recent scientific advancements.”