Institute of Physics Undergraduate Challenge 2019


Judging the Institute of Physics Undergraduate Challenge 2019

The Institute of Physics Undergraduate Challenge 2019 has launched and we are delighted to announce that Dr Adam Tuff, Kromek’s Senior Nuclear Physicist Gamma-Ray and Neutron Detector Products will be one of the judges.

This is a challenge between first-year physics undergraduate students at universities in the North of England and is designed to develop and showcase workplace and employability skills as well as practical physics skills and theoretical physics knowledge.

Adam Tuff Kromek physicist

Dr Adam Tuff Kromek physicist

“The Undergraduate Challenge is not only a great way for students to flex their creativity with a physics task, but one to practice transferable skills – communication, teamwork, and self-motivation to name a few – skills that are vital to creating well-rounded scientists much sought after in today’s job market. The competition also gives them a chance to interact with scientists at companies here on NETPark such as Kromek, to get a taste of the scientific research landscape here in the North East, and to discover opportunities for post-University employment they might never have before considered.”

This year, the challenge is to design, build and demonstrate an analogue voltmeter, which incorporates an elastic band, to measure voltages between 0 and 5 volts, and “sell” this in a pitch to an employer from industry and Institute of Physics judges. The judge from industry works for Kromek, a leading supplier of nuclear detection components and devices.

The winning voltmeter will be chosen during the competition final on Wednesday 13 March 2019. Both the winning team and runners up will receive expenses paid, personal tour around the physics-based companies based at NETPark science technology park.

How to enter

  • The challenge is open to students in their first year on undergraduate physics courses at the universities.
  • Each university can enter up to one team of 3-5 students.
  • Entry to the challenge final will close at midnight Wednesday 20 February 2019.
  • Email for more info.


More details about The Institute of Physics Undergraduate Challenge 2019

What should the teams do in advance of the day?

Teams will need to meet to plan what they are going to do, purchase materials, build, and test their voltmeter. Teams must build a voltmeter which incorporates an elastic band to measure voltages between 0 and 5 volts to the greatest possible accuracy. A digital meter will be provided on the day for calibration. Appropriate lab space and equipment (soldering iron, digital voltmeter, etc.) should be provided by the team’s institution. Each team must also prepare an A1 poster which includes details of the design process, any problems which were overcome during the build phase, and the underlying theoretical physics of the design. The poster should also include the total cost of the voltmeter.
Teams will also need to prepare a 5-minute pitch for the judges based on their poster and also showing why their meter is a product worthy of future development and investment

What will teams have to do on the day?

  • Teams will have time to calibrate their voltmeter and make any final adjustments.
  • Teams will demonstrate their voltmeter to the judges.
  • Teams will present their poster and pitch to the judges.
  • Teams will view the voltmeters of all other teams and score them as part of the peer review element of the judging process.

Good luck

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