George Gordon, 26, a final year PhD student in optical communications at the Department of Engineering in the University of Cambridge, won Bronze at a competition in the House of Commons, for the excellence of his research, walking away with a £1,000 prize.
"My work on this project has involved long hours in a laboratory so it is encouraging to see the results beginning to have an impact and the importance of the research receive external recognition. Furthermore, the greatest benefit of the day in my opinion was being able to share this work with the UK's top researchers, hear their opinions and also to discuss their research, much of which was new to me."
—PhD student George Gordon, SET for Britain prizewinner
Representing Dr Joel Carpenter, the second author, as well as himself at the poster competition event, called SET for Britain, George presented research on increasing the data capacity of optical fibres to dozens of politicians and a panel of expert judges on Monday 18 March.
George and Joel's research, which seeks to address our exploding appetite for data through the development of a holographic mode multiplexing system that can simultaneously transmit multiple specially shaped light beams down an optical fibre, was judged against 59 other shortlisted researchers' work.
George said, "It was an honour in itself to have been invited to present a poster so to be awarded a prize was truly something special.
"My work on this project has involved long hours in a laboratory so it is encouraging to see the results beginning to have an impact and the importance of the research receive external recognition.
"Furthermore, the greatest benefit of the day in my opinion was being able to share this work with the UK's top researchers, hear their opinions and also to discuss their research, much of which was new to me."
George and Joel will share the prize money, with George putting his share towards his wedding in the summer.
SET for Britain aims to help politicians understand more about the UK's thriving science and engineering base and rewards some of the strongest scientific and engineering research being undertaken in the UK.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya KB CBE of WMG, sponsors of the Bronze Medal in the Engineering Section, said, "I am delighted to support the 2013 Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) for Britain awards, because we at WMG and the SET for Britain awards share the same aims.
"For over three decades WMG has provided world class teaching, research and collaboration projects from a base at the University of Warwick. Together researchers, students and businesses at WMG have developed the products and services that transform technologies, companies, and lives.
"Equally, the entries for the SET Engineering prize show how Britain's early career engineers are changing the world around them, demonstrating how scientific excellence and practical application can combine to grow our economy and benefit our society."
Philip Greenish, Chief Executive of The Royal Academy of Engineering, said, "Innovation, based on engineering research is key to our economic revival and recovery. As such, the Royal Academy of Engineering is delighted to support the SET for Britain event, which showcases the work of some of our very best young engineers.
The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee run the event in collaboration with the Institute of Physics, The Physiological Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Society of Biology and the Society of Chemical Industry, with financial support from BP, Airbus/EADS, INEOS, AgChemAccess, Essar, the Institute of Biomedical Science, GAMBICA and WMG.
Andrew Miller 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 scientists are the architects of our future and SET for Britain is politicians' best opportunity to meet them and understand their work."