Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. The Open University's contribution to the NI Science Festival

The Open University's contribution to the NI Science Festival

The Open University has continued its work with the hugely successful Northern Ireland Science Festival.  The festival is a great opportunity to showcase the world-class research taking place within the University by hosting five events spanning the breadth of STEM. The festival now hosts 200 events across 90 venues in Northern Ireland. These events present some of the best scientists from NI and beyond to discuss their work, cutting-edge research and what the future might hold. It is now one of the biggest science festivals in Europe.

‘The future of space in society’, saw a panel of OU experts including Mr Thomas Cheney, Lecturer in Space Governance at the School of Environment, Earth & Ecosystem Sciences, Dr Leslie Budd, Reader in Social Enterprise in the Business School, Dr Nisha Ramkissoon, Post Doctoral Research Associate, Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM), discussing the role that the private sector could play and the need for governance within the realm of space exploration. ‘The science behind The Planets’ was hosted by Dr David Rothery, Professor of Planetary Geosciences, and filled out the auditorium in the Ulster Museum as delegates were given a behind the scenes look at how the famous BBC/OU co-productions are designed and produced.

Two other OU events approached things from a mathematical angle. ‘The mathematics of voting and electoral systems’ gave an in-depth look, warts and all, at popular voting systems from across the world by Dr Andrew Potter, Staff Tutor in Maths and Physics. ‘The mathematics of dessins d’enfants’ showcased the latest in cutting edge mathematical theory which is extrapolated from simple shapes and why it is such a big area of research within the field. This was led by Dr Ian Short, Director of Research in Mathematics and Statistics.

Along with the above, an interactive workshop ‘Science on screen’ showcased the OU’s interactive VR apps to get hands-on with a model heart, solve maths puzzles and explore the vastness of the ocean.

Taking part in the Northern Ireland Science Festival allows the OU in Ireland to showcase the immense talent involved within research at the OU and to connect with the public on issues of space, maths and interactive learning on a platform with other higher education institutions in Northern Ireland.  


For more information please contact Laura Dowie, Events and Ceremonies Coordinator for Ireland, at:

For media enquiries:

Contact Christine Murphy

Communications Manager
Tel 028 9053 6219