Researcher wins UK Parliament prize


Researcher wins UK Parliament prize

An astrophysics researcher from Queen’s University Belfast has won a major prize at the UK House of Commons.

Elena Andra Muntean, a Research Fellow in the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen’s, was awarded silver in the SET for Britain poster competition for the excellence of her physics research.

Elena presented her work, which looks at dust and ice, and the birthplace of new molecules in interstellar and interplanetary space as a result of low-energy ion irradiation, to dozens of politicians and a panel of expert judges. Up against 29 other shortlisted researchers’ work, she came out second, winning a prize of £2,000.

Elena said: ’I am so pleased that the research we do at Queen’s University of Belfast was highly appreciated at this competition in the House of Commons and really look forward to taking my success back to my research group.’

SET 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.

Professor Alan Fitzsimmons, from the Astrophysics Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, said: ’This is a tremendous achievement. It is recognition of Elena’s dedication and enthusiasm in setting up her investigations on the link between the original interstellar ices that went into forming the Solar System, and what we see on distant bodies beyond the planet Neptune.’

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