The winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for mathematics in the 2023 STEM for BRITAIN awards were announced on Monday evening (6 March) at a prize-giving ceremony in the Houses of Parliament, Westminster.

The three winners – Chris Hickey (Arup, Bronze), Jenny Power (Bath, Silver) and Arkady Wey (Oxford, Gold) – were picked from 20 selected finalists and were awarded cash prizes of £750, £1,000 and £1,500 in value respectively. Full details of the research presented in the final’s poster session can be found below.

(below, left to right: Chris Hickey, Arkady Wey, Jenny Power)

STEM for BRITAIN aims to “help politicians understand more about the UK’s thriving science and engineering base and rewards some of the strongest scientific and engineering research being undertaken in the UK”. Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chair of the Parliamentary & Scientific Committee which sponsors the mathematics awards, said:

“The Parliamentary & Scientific Committee is delighted to sponsor the mathematics awards. 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. These early career engineers, mathematicians and scientists are the architects of our future and STEM for BRITAIN is politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work. Given the volume of applications each year, just to have a poster in this final is an achievement. Do be proud.”

Ulrike Tillmann, President of the London Mathematical Society, Director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, and speaking on behalf of the Council for the Mathematical Sciences as she awarded the medals, said: “The physicist Eugene Wigner famously commented on the ‘unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics’. So when we are looking for new and powerful ideas in the new fields of data science, and we are faced with difficult problems in medicine, national security, and artificial intelligence it is more than likely that the mathematical sciences will be a fundamental part of the solution.”

The Isaac Newton Institute – which provided support to the event – would like to congratulate all 20 of the mathematics finalists, and the further 100 finalists in the Biosciences, Chemistry, Engineering and Physics categories also. The level and passion of research on display was of inspirational quality, and we wish each of them the greatest success in the promising careers which lie ahead.

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Gold award

“I’m surprised and thrilled. I’m very near to the end of my PhD, and I applied for this competition as a way of rounding off my studies and presenting my research. My main feeling is one of pride that my work has been recognised on this platform. I’m less interested in maths for maths’ sake, and I want to produce something with real world, social impact. Today feels like a great success.”

(below, left to right: Stephen Metcalfe MP, Martin Bridson, Arkady Wey, Ulrike Tillmann, David Bott, Viscount Stansgate)

Silver award

“I am a big advocate for good and effective scientific communication. I believe posters are a perfect medium to showcase research in a fun and accessible way. With my poster, I want to demonstrate the impact maths can have on improving the lives of people, with my work specifically focusing on healthcare, and why research in mathematical sciences is so vital.”

(below, left to right: Stephen Metcalfe MP, Jenny Power, Ulrike Tillmann, Viscount Stansgate)

Bronze award

“It’s fantastic to be recognised for my research, and it’s particularly pleasing that I was commended on how well I’d designed and presented my poster. This competition really highlights the importance of communication in mathematics.”

(below, left to right: Stephen Metcalfe MP, Geoffrey Grimmett, Chris Hickey, Ulrike Tillmann, Viscount Stansgate)

Special mention should also go to mathematics finalist Julia A. Meister (Brighton), whose poster “NET ZERO NHS: MODELLING HIDDEN EMISSIONS OF A SUSTAINABLE MEDICAL DEVICE ECONOMY” was awarded Bronze medal in the Dyson Sustainability Awards, the winners of which were picked from across all five categories of the competition.

(Below, left: Julia A. Meister)

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