Thunderbolts and Lightning – Are They Really Frightening?

Saturday 14th October 2017 10:30AM – 10:30AM

Rhys Phillips is a research engineer at Airbus Group in Newport where he was worked since 2009. He graduated from Cardiff University in 2008 with a joint honours degree in Mathematics & Physics. In October 2016, he was made an honorary lecturer at the School of Physics & Astronomy. He is an award winning science presenter, presenting science stage shows to schools and the general public around the world having recently presented in Guadeloupe, New Caledonia, Morocco, Australia and New Zealand. Rhys is also an experienced broadcaster presenting his own weekly jazz and science radio shows as well as being a regular guest on BBC national and regional radio.  

Paraphrasing that famous line from Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, Research Engineer and science broadcaster Rhys Phillips will look at the phenomenon of lightning. In a light hearted and informative talk, Rhys will explain the processes which lead to a lightning strike and the different types of lightning that can exist. He will then move on to show what happens to aircraft when they are hit by lightning and explain how we protect against damage from this. This talk will also give the audience a chance to see exactly what happens in our lightning lab and answer the question that everyone is asking – can a piggy bank survive a lightning strike?!

Venue: Cellar Bar, Kennaway House, Sidmouth, EX10 8NG


The lecture is sponsored by Exeter College.