Despite the postponement of the event earlier in the year due to snow, over 80 people converged on the Strand Hotel for the event which was steered by the University of Limerick taking the theme, Sensing the Universe. Talks included ‘Adventures in the outer solar system’ from Dr Caitriona Jackman of the University of Portsmouth. Caitriona, a graduate of UL discussed findings from the missions of Galileo to Jupiter and Cassini at Saturn. The astronomical link continued with Prof. Andy Shearer of NUI Galway talking about opportunities for astronomy and business in Ireland given the recent government decision to join the European Southern Observatory. Dr Yvonne Kavanagh presented recent research on the success of women in physics in Ireland, drawing on her presentations at a number of conferences in this area. The formal presentations finished on a less than formal note with Dr Jessamyn Fairfield speaking about what physics can learn from comedy.
Alongside the talks, Dr Nicolas Bonne from the University of Portsmouth exhibited work from the Tactile Universe. This project is working to engage the blind and visually impaired community with physics research using 3-D printed tactile images of galaxies.
Exhibitors at the event also included Blackrock Castel Observatory with information on their outreach astronomy programme in association with the ESERO, the European Space Education and Resource Office.
It also includes the Rosse Medal Competition for postgraduate physics communication. All of the TEMUL PhD students attended, showcasing their work in posters to the wider physics community. There were 33 poster entries to the competition. Five students got through to the second round to give short presentations on their work, including Eileen Courtney, who went on to be named the overall winner of the event.
An additional competition was included in the Spring Meeting – best physics image, which was won by another University of Limerick PhD student, Sarah Guerin, with her image – Glycine Spider Web.