Stephanie Mellor – Rising Star in Public Engagement 2021

During her PhD on the development of wearable optically pumped magnetoencephalography (OP-MEG) systems for clinical use in epilepsy, Stephanie Mellor has engaged with a diverse group of communities. Stephanie has co-designed, built and run a number of workshops and demonstrations, including the Green Man festival, Brain Awareness Week at Wellcome, and the MEG team’s annual fete at Young Epilepsy over her PhD.

Her engagement activities have had a notable real-world impact on young patients with epilepsy: Young Epilepsy’s new shielded room is inspired by a doll-house room which Stephanie created for a workshop. This work continues as the team about to launch a series of digital workshops with young people with epilepsy. These workshops will help shape the future OPM technology and ensure the helmets, space and tasks are friendly to young people and those with complex needs.

As she nears the end of her PhD, Stephanie will be taking her proactive and positive attitude towards public engagement into the next stage of her scientific career. The work she has contributed to the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging will continue to inspire future engagement projects and steer the direction of research within the MEG team.

Upon winning Stephanie said:

“I was really flattered to win the Rising Star Award, especially given the amazing nominees and excellent public engagement work done by the entire centre. I’ve learnt a lot from Cassie [Hugill, Public Engagement Manager] and the public engagement team and am enjoying putting it into practice. It has been a privilege to meet and talk to young people and children with epilepsy about our research and learn more about their needs and concerns. I’m really proud of my contribution to the OPM collaboration project and am excited to see how it develops.”

Congratulations to Stephanie on her fantastic contribution to Public Engagement this year. To see more of Stephanie’s work, check out the OPM Collaboration project.

Awarded May 2021