UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


MAPS Faculty Postgraduate Prize Winners and Dean’s Commendations Announced

20 February 2020

Many congratulations to Luke Pratley, winner of the 2019 Faculty Postgraduate Research Prize, and to Hayley Goold, winner of the 2019 Faculty Postgraduate Taught Prize.

UCL Campus

Postgraduate Research Prize

Luke Pratley - PGR Prize winner 2019
The 2019 Postgraduate Research Prize was awarded to Luke Pratley for his outstanding achievements in his PhD in Space & Climate Physics.

Luke’s research supervisor Dr Jason McEwen:
“Luke made exceptional progress during his PhD, solving very significant problems in the field of radio interferometric imaging for the emerging big-data era. These methods will be essential for next-generation radio telescopes, such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), to ensure they reach their scientific potential. The SKA will address a broad range of science goals, from imaging the dark ages of the Universe's evolution for the first time, when first luminous objects formed, to understanding cosmic magnetism, and uncovering the properties of dark energy and dark matter.”

Prof. Andrew Fazakerley, Head of the Department, said:
“Luke has been a remarkably productive student in MSSL’s Astrophysics Group whose innovative work has made an important contribution to the nascent field of exact wide-field radio interferometric imaging, by developing techniques to overcome instrumental and computational challenges. The importance of his contribution will be seen when huge new radio telescope arrays such as the SKA become fully operational. We wish him continued success at the University of Toronto where he has won a prestigious Dunlap Fellowship.”

In his response to being awarded the prize, Luke Pratley stated:
“I am grateful to be awarded the Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences Postgraduate Research Prize. I would like to thank the Research Software Development Group at UCL and my PhD supervisor A/Prof. Jason D. McEwen for providing me with the resources and opportunities needed for my PhD. I am grateful for funding from STFC that allowed me to visit the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Western Australia. The collaboration with Prof. Melanie Johnston-Hollitt and UCL's RSDG was critical to the development of novel new techniques for imaging with radio telescopes. I would also like to thank the community and my friends at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory for their support. Finally, the Astrophysics and Cosmology group at MSSL exposed me to a range of interesting science which has enhanced the breadth of my astrophysical background.”

Postgraduate Taught Prize 

Hayley Goold - PGT Prize Winner 2019
The 2019 Postgraduate Taught Prize was awarded to Hayley Goold for her impressive work in her MSc Mathematical Modelling during the last academic session.

Dr Sergei Timoshin, MSc Mathematical Modelling Graduate Tutor, said:
“Hayley’s success on MSc Mathematical Modelling stems from a great deal of dedication combined with a painstaking effort, her superb intellectual ability and a genuine interest in the field of modelling. Her grades, remarkable as they may be by a historic measure, only serve to illustrate Hayley’s readiness to apply academic knowledge to real-world modelling tasks. This was demonstrated in full in her research project where Hayley ventured into a previously unexplored topic in modelling communicating autonomous vehicles and achieved publishable results.”

Prof. Helen Wilson, Head of the Mathematics Department, said:
“Hayley’s performance on the MSc in Mathematical Modelling is stunning by any measure. She has achieved 100% on two modules, which is unheard of; she has effectively moved the goalposts for what we can consider to be a really excellent performance in the future! I have been involved with this MSc programme since 2004 and I have never seen a performance like it.”

In her response to being awarded the prize, Hayley Goold stated:
“I am incredibly grateful to have received this award; I thoroughly enjoyed studying on the MSc Mathematical Modelling programme and this is a great way to end it. I am very grateful to the excellent lecturers within the department and in particular to Dr Sergei Timoshin, an incredible tutor who made everyone feel welcome and supported us all throughout the year. My dissertation on the control of connected and autonomous vehicles was a learning curve for me, having never undertaken mathematical research before, but I am thankful that I had the expert knowledge and guidance of my supervisor Prof Benjamin Heydecker. Given the rapid technological advancements of today’s society, the relevance of the project made it all the more enjoyable to investigate and I am excited to see where the next developments in the field take us. Lastly, I would like to especially thank the wonderful friends that I made on the course, without which long days in the student centre would not have been possible."

Dean’s Commendations

Dean’s Commendations were awarded to the following students:

Postgraduate Research students:

•    Alex Doak (Mathematics)
•    Peter Taylor (Space & Climate Physics)

Postgraduate Taught students:

•    Joe Stacey (Statistical Science)
•    Samuel Lai (Physics & Astronomy)