Beecroft building, Department of Physics, Oxford
Credit: Jack Hobhouse

Department of Physics recognised in Impact Awards

Atomic and Laser Physics

The Department of Physics has been recognised in the University of Oxford’s annual Maths, Physics and Life Sciences Impact Awards. Ramy Aboushelbaya won the Early Career Impact Award while Peter Hatfield has been awarded the Public Engagement with Research Impact Award.

Innovation and entrepreneurship

After leading the winning team of the Oxford Student Entrepreneurs’ Programme (StEP) competition, Ramy co-founded a new spinout, Quantum Dice, from Oxford University’s Department of Physics. As the company’s CEO, he is overseeing the technical and business roadmap aimed at commercialising a newly developed technology that uses quantum processes to generate secure truly random numbers. This innovative piece of hardware has the potential for a wide impact ranging from securing digital infrastructure and telecommunications networks to managing the encryption of consumer devices and increasing the accuracy computer simulations.     

Inspiring the next generation of physicists

Peter Hatfield is a champion for young people undertaking real research to deepen their physics engagement. He provides mentorship and access to data to allow students to develop their own research ideas leading to a peer-reviewed paper. He plays a leading role in the scientific and educational aspects of a project that enables school students – more than 7,000 since 2016 – to explore space science through authentic research with cosmic ray detectors. Peter’s work has influenced the creation and strategic direction of the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS), founded in 2016, which facilitates research opportunities for over 200 schools.

Professor Ian Shipsey, Head of Department, comments: ‘As a Department, we celebrate and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship and Ramy, through the creation of Quantum Dice, is a fantastic example of this and he is an outstanding talent.

‘Equally, we have always been exceptionally proud of our award-winning outreach work with schools and the public and Peter’s pioneering work is a wonderful and inspiring example of the  high priority goal of Oxford physics to support public engagement with research in this case enabling school students to engage with and carry out physics research. We are incredibly proud of Ramy and Peter and it is wonderful that their hard work has been recognised with these awards.’