Industry emerging around Accelerator Science is driving demand for Physics Grads

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Physics remains a discipline where a degree increases employability.  Rapid advances in accelerator science are stimulating innovation across the energy, health, security, transport and communications sectors and there is a shortage of scientists and engineers with these skills.

Ground breaking research undertaken in the area of accelerator science is driving technological progress with applications in health, security and energy”, says Professor Carsten Welsch, Head of the University of Liverpool Physics Department and leader of the QUASAR (Quantum Systems and Advanced Accelerator Research) Group based at the Cockcroft Institute.

Accelerators find application in many areas outside of fundamental research including proton beam cancer therapy, non-destructive testing and the development of new materials for the telecoms industry.

The trickle-down effect of this has been increasing opportunities for companies that supply the accelerator industry and a number of these are participating in a symposium that is looking at the career and business openings in this emerging industry.

Particle Colliders – Accelerating Innovation is a symposium co-hosted by The University of Liverpool and CERN together with partners from the Future Circular Collider (FCC) and EuroCirCol projects. It is taking place on 22 March at Liverpool’s Arena and Convention Centre and will bring together hundreds of school and university students with industry delegates and world-class speakers.

The aim of the symposium is to explore the opportunities for co-innovation between a variety of industries that will include the application of cryogenics, detectors and accelerator technology,” says Professor Welsch. “Interactive demonstrations will also bring alive this important technology sector for young people.

Mike Lam, a teacher from Mosslands School says this is invaluable. “I will be taking 30 students to the event as few of them know people that have careers in science and as a result have a limited perception of what a ‘scientist’ would do. This event will give our students a fantastic chance to see how particle physics is used in real life situations and the jobs available and it will help with their motivation to learn the topic”.

Amongst the speakers at the event are Professor Steve Myers, former director of accelerators at CERN and now Executive Chairman of Advanced Oncotherapy, a company producing medical accelerators used in cancer treatment, and Professor Jonathan Rowe, Programme Director at the Alan Turing Institute.

There will also be an industry exhibition as well as a special appearance by CERN’s LHC interactive tunnel exhibit.

Industry collaboration, scientific advances and demonstrations that show how accelerator science research and development benefit society – are all helping to make physics exciting for young people,” says Professor Welsch. “Physics qualifications are invaluable and make applicants highly employable.

The multitude of industry applications which particle acceleration is creating is generating brand new career pathways and job opportunities. All of us in academia and industry have a key part to play in passing on the message to the current generation of schoolchildren and school leavers that physics is the gateway to so many new and exciting opportunities.

Attendance to the Symposium is free but registration is required.