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IET WSW Thunderbolts and Lightning - Are They Really Frightening?


Image of three blue heads in profile on grey background

A light hearted and informative talk on the phenomenon of lightning. Can a piggy bank survive a lightning strike? Find out at the IET Wales South West Christmas lecture.

Date and Time

14 December 2017 - 18:30-21:00


Swansea, United Kingdom - icon_popup  (See map)


Organised by the UK - S Wales:Wales South West local network. Contact Hugh Woodward hwoodw2928@aol.com for more information.

About this event

Paraphrasing that famous line from Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, Rhys Phillips, Research Engineer and science broadcaster 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 what happens in a lightning lab and answer the question everyone is asking - can a piggy bank survive a lightning strike?


Lecture starts at 19:00, refreshments available from 18:30.
The event will be held in:ALEX Reading Room
Institute of Sustainable Design UWTSD
Alexander Road

Reasons to attend

This is a Christmas event - families and young people are especially welcome.

Continuing Professional Development

CPD logo declaring this event can contribute 2 hours towards your Continuing Professional Development

This event can contribute towards your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as part of the IET's CPD monitoring scheme.


Free of charge.

Additional information

Rhys Phillips is a research engineer at Airbus Group in Newport where he has worked since 2009. He graduated from Cardiff University in 2009 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. 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. Rhys volunteers in numerous roles for the Institution of Engineering & Technology within the South Wales Local Network, the Electromagnetics Technical Network and the Young Professionals Community Committee. 

Registration information

This a free event open to the public. Young people are especially welcome to this event. Registration is helpful to allow us to make catering arrangements, but not essential.


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