The winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for mathematics in the 2024 STEM for BRITAIN awards were announced on Monday 4 March at a prize-giving ceremony in the Houses of Parliament, Westminster.

The three winners – Daniel Gardham (Surrey, Gold), Katherine Benjamin (Oxford, Silver) and Francisco de Melo Virissimo (LSE, Bronze) – were picked from 20 selected finalists from a field of more than 100 applications within the mathematics category. Full details of the research presented in the final’s poster session can be found below.

(below, left to right: Daniel Gardham, Katherine Benjamin, Francisco de Melo Virissimo)

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”, and each year invites 20 finalists to its awards event from each of the five categories of: Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematical Sciences, and Physics.

Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chair of the Parliamentary & Scientific Committee which sponsors the mathematics awards, said:

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.”

The Isaac Newton Institute – which provided support to the event and sponsored the mathematics Bronze Medal – 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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> For a gallery of full STEM for BRITAIN event see: (images by John Deehan Photography and the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee)

Gold Medal

“I really value scientific outreach, and I think it’s a responsibility of researchers to be able to communicate the ideas that we’re looking into. Obviously, this whole competition is a celebration of exactly that, so it was a natural decision to get involved. It feels absolutely brilliant to have won Gold. It’s a bit of a surprise, but I see it as a positive affirmation of my ambitions to keep pursuing scientific outreach. We also found out on Friday last week, that one of our industrial partners backed this project for standardisation with the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), so it’s gone from academic research to being deployed as a standard in WebAuthn devices – such as phones and laptops. It’s a long road ahead, but that’s the next stage: to make this a reality.”

(below, left to right: Stephen Metcalfe MP, Harry Kelly, Martin Bridson, Daniel Gardham, Andy Garrett, Viscount Stansgate)
Image credit: John Deehan Photography and the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee


Silver Medal

  • Winner: Katherine Benjamin (Oxford)

“I work on interdisciplinary science, so I like anything which involves bringing a lot of research together. In fact, we’re still working on the project that the poster is based upon. We’re trying to develop some of these to help create new ways in which maths can help with biology. I’m shocked to have won the Silver Medal as there’s so much amazing work here. I was not expecting it at all. I’m thrilled.”

(below, left to right: Stephen Metcalfe MP, Catherine Hobbs, Katherine Benjamin, Andy Garrett, Viscount Stansgate)
Image credit: John Deehan Photography and the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee


Bronze Medal

  • Winner: Francisco de Melo Virissimo (LSE)

“I’ve known about this event for many years, ever since I was a PhD student. Since my work has moved into environmental science and its applications – issues which are pressing and important for policy decisions – it’s been a good opportunity to showcase my research to decision makers in government. It was unexpected to win the Bronze Medal as there are hundreds of people who apply and only 20 that are selected for the finals here at Parliament. And all of those are absolutely excellent. So, in a way, it’s just luck that I’m one of the winners – but it also highlights how mathematics can help us with the climate challenges we are facing. Mathematics really is an underpinning subject for climate science, and I think this prize reflects. I’m currently looking for my next position, so I’m looking forward to continuing my research and to lay down foundations in the study of this kind of dynamical system.”

(below, left to right: Stephen Metcalfe MP, Ulrike Tillmann, Francisco de Melo Virissimo, Andy Garrett, Viscount Stansgate)
Image credit: John Deehan Photography and the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee


See below for a gallery of all 20 finalists in the STEM for BRITAIN mathematics finals. Further information about them and their poster submissions can be found here:

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