News Martian Craters Mapped for Mullard Space Lab 03.09.2020

Current and former Collyer’s students are now published authors in a renowned scientific journal! The MDPI journal is a pioneering on-line scholar open access publisher, supporting academic communities.


Head of Physics Matt Horncastle explained: “Two years ago we got involved in a project with UCL (university College London) to use AI (artificial intelligence) to map the surface of Mars. This involved a PhD student coming in weekly to train up a group of physics students in planetary surveying and machine learning. The students then gathered data over a period of a few months in order to train the AI. The paper that they worked on has finally been published! You can see the link in the email below to the journal.


Alistair Francis, a PHD student from the Imaging Group at UCL’s Mullard Space Laboratory was delighted: “I want to congratulate you all on becoming published authors in a scientific journal! You can be very proud of yourselves for having been a part of this project.


“My work, and hopefully the work of other researchers, has been helped hugely by your efforts. I’d also once again like to thank Collyer’s Matt Horncastle and James Waller for all the help they provided throughout.”


Vice Principal (Curriculum) Dr Robert Hussey was thrilled: “This is an amazing project and superb opportunity for our students. We have an outstanding Physics department and we are extremely grateful to Matt and James for cementing this wonderful partnership with UCL’s Mullard Space Laboratory”.


The students involved were: Jonathan Brown, Reuben Crawford Clarke, Thomas Cameron, Romilly Dodd; Jennifer Hurdle, Matthew Neave, Jasmine Nowakowska, Viran Patel, Arianne Puttock, Oliver Redmond, Aaran Ruban; Damien Ruban, Meg Savage, Wiggert Vermeer and Alice Whelan.


Arianne Puttock said: “The Mars project was an amazing opportunity to be involved with current research into a fascinating and constantly evolving field. I am beyond grateful to have been part of the team and it has inspired me to go on to study physics at university and subsequently pursue a career in this area.”


Reuben Crawford Clark said: “It was an amazing experience to contribute towards new science and an honour to have a publication as a teenager. I have also used this contact and experience to work on an additional project looking at secondary cratering on Mars and has inspired me to pursue a PHD myself.”


Jennifer Hurdle said: “I was so pleased to be selected to be part of the Mars Project. It was just amazing to take what we were learning in the classroom and see it come to life in a real-life academic research project, working as part of a really select group on something so interesting!  I am so proud to be named in the published research paper.“

Romilly Dodd said: “This project has given us a fantastic opportunity to contribute to real research and help write a paper as well as skills that will be widely transferable for university. Thank you so much to the physics department for providing us with this amazing opportunity.”

Collyer’s Deputy Principal Steve Martell said: “The Collyer’s community are incredibly proud of our published authors. Huge thanks to Alistair Francis and the team at UCL.”