On a cold crisp morning in February I poured myself a coffee and sat in the lounge at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor. It was time to reflect on the uplifting experience that was the SEPnet* Enterprising Ideas Competition.
Judging done; winning team announced; I smiled quietly to myself. How lucky I am to have worked with such a talented group of physicists. How lucky I am to know so many interesting and thoughtful people.
Creating and facilitating the Competition was right up my street as they say. Whoever ‘they’ are! Helping scientists and engineers world-wide invest in their broad-ranging skills is my mission. Helping them achieve great things is what gets me up in the morning.
The challenge for some physicists is that they see themselves as a list of technical activities and not a bundle of brilliant transferrable skills. This narrower view can make it difficult for them to appreciate their real value or can inhibit them from exploring and creating wider opportunities. Plus it can skew their perspective on professional development, careers and employability.
The work of SEPnet and the Enterprising Ideas Competition address this; giving physicists from across nine universities the chance to invest in themselves, their careers and their futures.
Top Talent on Show
Working with such talented people over the past months has been a pleasure. At our initial 2-day training session, during the evolution of the enterprising ideas and then at the final, I was impressed by the range of skills developed and demonstrated.
Ultimately, three university teams made it through to the final, representing Kent, RHUL and Southampton. Please take a look at who’s who in the Slideshare below…
On 15 February these teams and our panel of business judges assembled; final presentations and Q&A sessions got underway. The standard was high and the ideas very different. STEM** expertise was mixed with entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen; giving our judges a challenge and plenty to think about.
The Competition was close but we had a winner…
The team from RHUL had won the SEPnet Enterprising Ideas Competition!
The Winning Team from RHUL
Teams from Kent and Southampton
Well done to all the teams and many thanks to our judges Bob Pickles, Phil Edwards and Simon Bland.
As I continued to reflect on the Competition and the talented physicists I had the privilege of working with, I realised just how much they’d inspired me. And for that I can’t thank them enough.
*SEPnet = South East Physics Network
**STEM = Science | Technology | Engineering | Maths