Dr Xiao Han, 31, a Research Associate at Newcastle University, hailing from Chongqing, China and currently living in Gateshead, UK, is attending Parliament to present his engineering research to a range of politicians and a panel of expert judges, as part of STEM for BRITAIN on Wednesday 13th March.

Xiao’s poster on his research into the innovative manufacturing of aerogels will be judged against dozens of other scientists’ research in the only national competition of its kind.

Xiao was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to appear in Parliament.

On presenting his research in Parliament, he said, “I have been working on the development of aerogel – a space-age super insulating material for more than 7 years, and am currently participating in the Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research (ICURe) funded by Innovate UK to explore the potential commercialisation opportunities of aerogels.

“Since Prof Lidija Siller and I invented this technology, we believe it could bring aerogel to more civil applications and serve society. STEM for BRITAIN provides a great chance for me to present our frontier research from Newcastle University to members of both Houses of Parliament at Westminster and illustrate how this project could potentially benefit the economy of the North East of England and contribute to the UK’s manufacturing industry.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, said:

“This annual competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak to a wide range of the country’s best young researchers.

“These early career engineers, mathematicians and scientists are the architects of our future and STEM for BRITAIN is politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work.”

Xiao’s research has been entered into the engineering session of the competition, which will end in a gold, silver and bronze prize-giving ceremony.

Judged by leading academics, the gold medalist receives £2,000, while silver and bronze receive £1,250 and £750 respectively.

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee runs the event in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Biology, The Physiological Society and the Council for the Mathematical Sciences, with financial support from the Clay Mathematics Institute, United Kingdom Research and Innovation, Warwick Manufacturing Group, Society of Chemical Industry, the Nutrition Society, Institute of Biomedical Science, the Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research and the Comino Foundation.