UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


Faculty Postgraduate Prize winners announced

14 April 2014

Angela Occhiogrosso, winner of the 2013 Faculty Postgraduate Research Prize

Many congratulations to Angela Occhiogrosso, winner of the 2013 Faculty Postgraduate Research Prize, and to Yik (Jennifer) Chan, winner of the 2013 Faculty Postgraduate Taught Prize.

Postgraduate Research Prize

The 2013 Postgraduate Research Prize was awarded to Angela Occhiogrosso for her outstanding achievements in her PhD in Astronomy.

Angela's Supervisor Prof. Serena Viti noted that:

"Angela finished her PhD (including her viva) in less than 3 years, published 3 papers (plus 1 in press) as a first author out of her thesis already and has collaborated with many important groups, out of her own initiative. She is clearly an independent researcher and already has the potential to be a leader in astrochemistry. During her short PhD she has given 7 talks at conference, of which 3 were invited."

Prof. John Butterworth, Head of Department for Physics, noted that:

"One of the great things about astrophysics is that it is much more that 'physics in space'. It is a genuinely cross-disciplinary enterprise to understand the universe out there. Angela's outstanding thesis is a great example, pulling together as it does physics, chemistry and surface science. We in Physics & Astronomy are very proud of her award, and I'd like to add my personal congratulations and best wishes for her future career."

In her response to being awarded the prize, Angela Occhiogrosso stated:

"I am overwhelmed to have been awarded this honour, and very pleasantly surprised. My gratitude goes to those responsible for the three key elements to my success: Prof. Nadia Balucani, who encouraged me to come to UCL in the first place; Prof. Serena Viti, my PhD supervisor, who let me run with my own research ideas; and finally, LASSIE, the European Union FP7 training project which focused on laboratory astrophysics and surface science. Finally, thanks to all my colleagues, who made my studies more enjoyable. Now I hope that my PhD achievements together with this prize will be a good business card for my future career."

Postgraduate Taught Prize

Yik Chan, winner of the 2013 Faculty Postgraduate Taught Prize

The 2013 Postgraduate Taught Prize was awarded to Jennifer Chan for her impressive work in her MSc in Astrophysics during the last academic session.

Jennifer's Supervisor Prof. Kinwah Wu noted that:

"Jennifer has contributed several pieces of pioneer works in Astrophysics. The quality of Jennifer's MSc work is of a PhD standard. In terms of research capability Jennifer is one of the best 3 of the 80 or more pre-PhD research students whom I have supervised officially or unofficially. Overall it is an excellent piece of research for a student in a one-year MSc program."

Prof. Dorothy Duffy, MSc Astrophysics Programme Tutor observed that:

"Jennifer achieved exceptionally high standards in all aspects of the Astrophysics MSc course. The taught component of the MSc consists of 6 challenging modules and the marks she achieved for these were 100, 94, 92, 91, 84 and 81 (average 90.3). Jennifer also did very well in her research project, gaining a mark of 90."

In her response to being awarded the prize, Jennifer Chan stated:

"I am delighted to receive the UCL MAPS Faculty Postgraduate Taught Prize. I would like to express my thanks to my supervisor Professor Kinwah Wu for his invaluable guidance. I would also like to thank Dr Ignacio Fererras and Dr Hiranya Peiris, as well as my colleagues Ellis Owen, Suhail Dhawan, and Isabella Soldner-Rembold.

In my MSc research work, I have built a theoretical foundation for using polarised radiative transfer (PRT) to probe the structure of cosmological magnetic fields. Future observational results may be compared to theoretical polarisation maps obtained from the proposed algorithm that interfaces between cosmological PRT calculation and cosmological MHD simulation, leading to a better understanding of magnetic fields in the Universe."