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Student nominated for space ‘Oscar’

Student nominated for space ‘Oscar’

University of Kent student nominated for space ‘Oscar’ Ryan Laird, a PhD student at the University of Kent’s School of Physical Sciences, has been shortlisted for a Sir Arthur Clarke Award. These national awards provide recognition for those who have worked for the advancement of space exploration. During their five-year history, they have become known as the space equivalent of ‘The Oscars’. Ryan was nominated for his contribution to public outreach in astronomy and space science. This includes giving talks to astronomical societies, volunteering at Space School UK and representing the UK at the International Year of Astronomy 2009 opening ceremony in Paris, having been chosen by the Royal Astronomical Society. In 2005, he co-interviewed Professor Mike A’Hearn, Principal Investigator of NASA’s Deep Impact Mission, and helped create a video for the British Astronomical Association (BAA). The footage, which featured a wealth data from Comet Tempel 1, was shown at the annual BAA’s Horncastle Astronomy Weekend. Each year nominations are made by the public and winners are chosen by representatives of the space industry, research institutions and universities, and space-related organisations. The judges include: David Williams, Director General of the British National Space Centre; Richard Packham, Chair of UK Space; David Southwood, Director of Science and Robotic Exploration at the European Space Agency and Bob Parkinson, President of The British Interplanetary Society. This year’s winners will be announced at a gala dinner held during the UK Space Conference at Charterhouse School in Goldaming, Surrey, from 24 to 28 March 2010. Ryan Laird said: ‘I am delighted to have been short-listed for a Sir Arthur Clarke Award. They are extremely well respected in the field of space science and it is a fantastic honour to have been nominated for the student award.’ Dr Stephen Lowry, Lecturer in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University’s School of Physical Sciences, said: ‘We are delighted for Ryan to be recognised in this way. He is a very promising young scientist with the astronomy research group here at the University of Kent. Ryan is also currently involved the University’s SEPnet Astrodome project, which is one of Kent’s most advanced mobile planetariums. I have no doubt that he will continue to inspire groups of all ages to learn about astronomy and space.’
University of Kent
 

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