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EPSRC funded 'light' garden project wins SEPNet public engagement award

Published: 29 October 2015

An EPSRC-funded public engagement project, hosted at RHS Tatton in July, has won most innovative public engagement project by SEPnet (South East Physics Network).

The garden, 'Reflecting Photonics' was designed by Elks-Smith Design to celebrate the International Year of Light. Inspiration for the garden design came following a visit to the ORC and a tour of our clean-room facilities.

As well as many features within the garden that incorporated themes on photonics, the project team ran a public engagement stand, within a marquee beside the garden, from which our outreach team, led by Pearl John demonstrated a host of light technology experiments to members of the public: some 80,000 people attended the show.

The win is the third award for this project, initiated by EPSRC's Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Photonics in conjunction with the Optoelectronics Research Centre. The garden also won Gold at RHS Tatton along with the coveted People's Choice award - a publicly nominated award for best large garden at the show.

Pearl John, Public Engagement team leader for the project said: “Much of our work is conducted in schools, colleges and universities, with visitors already thinking about education. this project has given us an opportunity to reach a broader public who may not realise the opportunity and value of science and technology subjects as careers and which help feed the UK economy."

Special thanks go to our energetic and talented outreach team: Matt Posner, Lieke Van Putten, Nathan Soper and Tina Parsonage and post doctoral researcher, Dr Natalie Wheeler.

The awards ceremony will take place on November 18th at London's South Bank.

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