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Matthew Watkins is an Engineering Technician at Imperial College London. A former apprentice, he helps researchers with the design and manufacture of tailored parts for projects at the cuttingedge of technology, ranging from prosthetic legs for ballet dancers to prototype ion thrusters for spacecraft.

Raquel Velasco is the head of product for an artificial intelligence start-up. She helps cities and councils improve the way they manage the movement of people and traffic. In particular, she has been part of a team which developed an AI-based system to improve traffic lights. It is important to her that what she does has a positive impact on both individuals and society.

These are just a couple of examples of the 12 physicists who took part in a series of recorded panel discussions organised for schools by the IOP during National Careers week in March 2021. They are part of our Limit Less campaign to support young people to change the world and fulfil their potential by doing physics.

The recordings are great for use in the classroom. They bring together relatable role models from across the UK and Ireland to discuss the role of physicists in tacking global issues in climate change, robotics & artificial Intelligence (AI) and medicine. One student commented: “I enjoyed hearing about some of the speakers’ personal experiences, it felt real and less like an advert for the industry.”

Watched live by almost 1,000 teachers and students, the recordings include questions from students. They wanted to know more about what our panellists did day to day - their successes, their failures and their hopes for the future. They also used the opportunity to ask the panellists for advice. How can they get into coding? What are the good books and resources to read? And perhaps, most importantly, what to do in the case of a robotic uprising…?

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