Milan’s “inspirational” first prize

Milan’s “inspirational” first prize

Sixth-former Milan Hirji has won first prize in a prestigious Science writing competition looking at the challenges found at the very frontiers of Physics.

Milan’s essay won him the top prize in one of the four categories in the Royal College of Science Union’s (RSCU) Science Challenge 2017.

Congratulating him, Chemistry teacher Susanna Butterworth explained that she had publicised the competition in School earlier this year, but it was Milan who had taken the initiative to follow it up and enter. His success had been both “encouraging and inspirational”, she added.

Founded in 1881, the RSCU is a student union and Science outreach organisation at Imperial College London. Its competition, which is in its 10th anniversary year, aims to stimulate thought among future generations of scientists by examining the problems facing society and how Science can be used to tackle them. It also seeks to improve the effective communication of Science to the wider public.

Milan’s winning entry answered the following question: "High-energy physics probes the smallest structures in nature, often using accelerators to get subatomic resolution. In the future, will we run out of resolution? What technologies might help us do better? And why should we even try?"

Dr Butterworth added: “In his answer, Milan demonstrated the rare combination of a thorough understanding of abstract concepts in Physics and the ability to explain them in a clear and accessible way.”

At the prize-giving ceremony, a black-tie event held at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, Milan, of Year 12, had the opportunity to meet scientists, Science communicators and Imperial College Physics students. Milan himself plans to read either Natural Science or Physics at university.