YSA Prizes (Seah, Castle and Crossley)

The YSA Competition will take place at the Summer Meeting in July 2024.  There will be up to three prizes awarded at the end of the UKSAF meeting, as follows:

  • The Seah Award: £250 Best Overall (Oral + Poster) Presentation
  • The Castle Award: £150 Best Poster Presentation
  • The Crossley Award: £500 Best Industrial Related Presentation (Awarded by the IOP)

(Note the winner of the Seah Award will not be eligible to win the Castle Award)

All aspects of the competition, including abstracts, presentations and posters, will be assessed by a panel of judges. All finalists invited to give a presentation at the UKSAF meeting will receive reimbursement of their travelling and accommodation expenses for the meeting up to a maximum of £100 (receipts required), and their meeting fee will be waived.


The competition will have the following format and rules:

  1. The analyst must be a registered research student studying for a PhD or similar qualification (including within their official writing up period, or within one year of completion)
  2. The analyst must not have been a previous winner of either the Seah or Castle Award.
  3. The analyst can be from either an industrial or an academic institution and does not have to be a current member of the UKSAF.
  4. The analyst MUST be responsible for most of the measurements reported in the presentation and poster.
  5. The analyst should submit an abstract (250-500 words) by midnight on 26th June 2023 to the YSA chair for evaluation by the panel of judges. Receipt of the abstract will be acknowledged. From the abstracts submitted, the judges will invite up to six candidates to submit a full poster and give an oral presentation at the UKSAF Meeting. Please do not submit an abstract if you will not be able to attend the UKSAF Meeting.
  6. The invited finalists will each prepare a poster (max. size A0) for the July UKSAF meeting.
  7. The invited finalists will submit an electronic version of the content of their poster in advance of the meeting. The purpose of this is to give the judges time to familiarise themselves with the content of the poster prior to the Meeting, allowing the best use of the limited time available for judging at the meeting itself. The file format can be Adobe Acrobat (*.pdf), Microsoft Powerpoint (*.ppt, *.pptx) or Microsoft Word (*.doc, *.docx) and should be received by the Chair of the judges by 7th July 2022. The layout of this advance copy is not important but the content (text and images) should be essentially the same as will be used in the final poster.
  8. The actual poster should be on display by 9:30 a.m. on the morning of the Meeting. The analyst should be present at the poster from this time until the main Meeting begins at 10:00 am to allow the judging to start and the posters to be seen by arriving UKSAF attendees. The analysts should also be at their posters during the lunch break. All posters should be removed at the end of the meeting.
  9. The analyst will give a short oral presentation (3 minute talk plus 1 minute for questions) at the July 2023 UKSAF meeting. The ability to keep to the allotted time will form part of the assessment procedure. All attendees at the meeting will be encouraged to ask questions.

The UKSAF YSA competition is held yearly1 during the UKSAF summer meeting and is intended to encourage and promote talented surface analysts at an early stage in their careers. There are two prizes associated with the competition named after Martin Seah and James Castle. Both Martin and James played a leading role in the development of surface analysis, were prominent members of UKSAF and have encouraged and educated innumerable young scientists throughout their careers.

In 2022, in conjunction with the Institute of Physics (IoP), the Crossley award has been created to recognise researchers whose work has a significant industrial impact. The award is named after Alison Crossley, who established Oxford Materials Characterisation Service (OMCS). Alison has an established research base in nanotechnology, surface and interface studies, has acted as a consultant to EPSRC on mid-range facilities for surface analysis, scanning probe microscopy and forensic science. The Award is presented for "the best presentation from an industry-based researcher, an academic collaboration with industrial partners or project with demonstratable industry impact".

1 NOTE: Previously, the YSA competition was held every two years on even numbered years. Due to the COVID pandemic, the YSA was put on hold for 2020 and 2021.

Previous winners of the Seah, Castle and Crossley Awards:

  Young Scientist (Seah) Award Best Poster (Castle) Award Crossley Award
2023 Xinyun Liu Li Lu Mohammed Khan
2022 Anna Katowska Khadisha Zarah Yizhou Ding
2019 Akmal Bin Sabri Pundarik Prasittisart  
2018 Clare Newell Christopher Jones  
2017 Tamara Mahmood Liam Payne  
2016 Aleksej Popel David Cant  
2014 Andreea Iuras Aleksej Popel  
2012 Tara Salter Moamen Hammad  
2010 Ali Rafati Andrew Bowfield  
2008 Joanna Lee Mischa Zelzer  
2006 Michelle Dickinson Christopher Baker-Brian  
2004 Tom Scott Charlotte E Thompson  
2002 Jae Won Choi Charles A Clifford