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This has been an exceptional year for the Poynting Physical Society. We have held 22 events, including some of the biggest and best attended the society has ever seen. We’ve also set a record of 158 new memberships and the largest number of Spring Ball tickets ever sold – 407!

Unfortunately, due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, the decision was taken to cancel the Ball. However, we must say a big thank you to the committee and our partners for the excellent organisation that would have undoubtedly pulled together a spectacular event. We were happily able to provide full refunds to all our members and we can’t wait for next year for the return of the Ball.

Our second semester began with a games night aimed at first year students in conjunction with the new PPS Family Scheme. It was a fantastic bonding experience and a great way to welcome the first years back after the Christmas break. This was followed by the Photo Bar Crawl which was a massive hit! Students grouped into teams and were given disposable cameras along with a list of photo challenges to be completed on the night. The event was extremely well attended from all year groups and it was great to see lots of nostalgic, older students get involved. The Spring Term also saw the return of the PPS Spring Quiz which had new, elaborate rounds and a very competitive staff team...

{Recreate a famous picture challenge on the Photocrawl}


For our members thinking about internships and graduate jobs, the Physics Internships Fair was held at the beginning of the semester. This was a speed-networking style event, aiming to advise students on internship opportunities available to them and what could help get them jobs in industry as well as further study. There was also another careers event run by the returning former PPS President Joe Martin about Airbus for students aspiring to get into the space sector, which was very informative and educational.

This semester saw the return of Science on Tap. The term’s edition brought leading academics and PhD researchers from the Cold Atoms and Quantum Technologies group to discuss their research with students. Inspiring talks were given by Dr Vincent Boyer and Prof. Kai Bongs and the second half of the evening was again provided as a networking opportunity.

PPS also ran our first LGBTQ+ event to educate students on how to be a good ally as well as inspire those who identify as LGBTQ+. It was a panel event which saw discussion on personal experiences of guest speakers followed by networking. We were delighted to hold this edition and we will be running more in the future. Thank you to our fantastic speakers who came and got involved in such thought-provoking discussion.

Of all our fantastic events this term, PPS is especially proud of holding our first ever national conference: The 2020 National Student Space Conference (NSSC). The event was co-hosted with the UK Students for Exploration and Development of Space (UKSEDS) and saw collaboration between the two committees to bring together a hugely successful weekend of space.

{Our women of NSSC 2020 on International Women’s day!}


In attendance were 500 delegates, including more than 80 from the University of Birmingham, who came for two days of space talks and networking in the brand-new Teaching and Learning building on campus. The fantastic keynote speaker was non-other than former NASA astronaut, Dr. Kathy Sullivan who discussed her involvement as part of the team that launched, rescued, repaired and maintained the Hubble Space Telescope. There were excellent speakers on topics ranging from gravitational waves to safety in space to panels discussing sustainability in space and diversity and inclusion within the sector. We hope the conference was inspiring and informative for our members and we are massively grateful to UKSEDS and their collaboration which brought this amazing even to our university!

{The Lunar panel at the conference}


This year in whole has been the most successful for the society yet; from bringing in record numbers of first years to the society to hosting our largest and most well-attended events. We are sad that we could not finish the year with the fantastic finale that would have been the Spring Ball but we are positive that next year can only be bigger and better so bring it on!

We would like to take this opportunity thank the outgoing committee for all they have done. A special thanks must also be made to Prof. Mike Gunn for all of his support throughout the year as head of department.  We would also like to wish the best of luck to the new committee led by incoming President Lucy Millins; we cannot wait to see the year of events they have in store for us next year. There may even be another national conference planned…

Follow our social media Facebook and follow @PoyntingPhysics on Twitter or uobpps on Instagram to keep updated with all society and event updates!

To find out more about PPS visit their website
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