News & Events

NCEO future leaders recognised and awarded at prestigious STEM for Britain competition

Congratulations to NCEO’S Dr Cristina Ruiz Villena and PhD student Abigail Waring who recently had the opportunity to present their research to politicians and policymakers, showcasing the cutting-edge work that will impact our lives in coming years.

They attended Parliament to present their chemistry research to a range of politicians and a panel of expert judges, as part of STEM for BRITAIN on 4 March.
Dr Cristina Ruiz Villena from Space Park Leicester and the National Centre for Earth Observation was awarded Gold in the 2024 STEM for BRITAIN poster competition for Physics – proudly sponsored by AWE as part of its commitment to supporting the next generation of scientists. Her poster focused on the use of digital twins in studying climate change.

Dr Ruiz Villena said: “I am incredibly grateful for the honour of receiving the STEM for BRITAIN Physics Gold award and the chance to discuss science in Parliament. It was a fantastic and exciting experience! This recognition will really help my career by providing evidence of my work achievements for future funding applications and other opportunities.

“Events like STEM for BRITAIN are invaluable for early-career researchers, providing a platform to challenge ourselves and gain experience communicating our science to policymakers. Effective science communication, particularly in influential settings such as Parliament, is essential for enabling real-world impact and driving positive change.”


PhD student Abigail Waring part of NCEO’s Land Surface Temperature Group said: ‘Being chosen as a physics finalist for the esteemed STEM for Britain competition, hosted in Parliament, was a remarkable highlight of my PhD journey. It afforded me the chance to interact with fellow early career researchers not only from physics but also from chemistry and mathematics. Being chosen as one of only 20 candidates out of hundreds of applicants, provided me with a unique opportunity to engage with experts in our field and Members of Parliament from across the country. This experience not only enhances my academic CV but also bolsters my self-confidence in my scientific research abilities. Furthermore, it exposed me to high-level events, which I believe will empower me to make a meaningful impact in the future’.

NCEO would like to congratulate both Cristina and Abigail on their fantastic achievements. We look forward to seeing what both of these future female leaders in STEM will achieve throughout their careers.

Dr Cristina Ruiz Villena from Space Park Leicester and the National Centre for Earth Observation
Abigail Waring, PhD student part of NCEO’s Land Surface Temperature Group at University of Leicester