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The University of Southampton
Public Engagement with Research

Past Events

The Southampton Science and Engineering Festival was first launched in 2002.

Since then, events have taken place every March across the University's campuses and the City of Southampton.

Since May 2020 we also developed a digital presence online that allows us to engage with national and international audiences.

SOTSEF Goes Digital 2021

SOTSEF Goes Digital 2021 run as a fully online edition of Southampton Science and Engineering Festival and took place from Friday 5th to Sunday 14th March 2021, with downloadable resources, content on-demand, live debates, talks, quizzes, workshops, shows and art performances! 

​Thousands of people joined us from across the world, with 250,000+ website views from 5 different continents.  

All digital content was made available on the official website at

Recordings of some of the Festival events are still available for you to enjoy from the safety from your home, wherever you are in the world, on the Southampton Science and Engineering Day 2021 playlist on the UoS Festival YouTube channel. 

Southampton Science and Engineering Festival + SOTSEF Goes Digital 2020

In 2020, Science and Engineering Week was planned for March 6th - 15th. On March 9th the University regretted to announce that it was postponing the remaining events for SOTSEF, including Science and Engineering Day originally scheduled for Saturday 14th March. 

Due to many requests from researchers and the public, Southampton Science and Engineering Festival 2020 was then re-developed and launched as 'SOTSEF Goes Digital' in May.

SOTSEF Goes Digital ran from Friday 22nd May until Saturday 25th July with a variety of different activities, from downloadable resources, virtual tours, talks and podcasts to live talks, workshops and Q&A sessions, with more than 22,000 people across 6 continents visiting the website. 

Content on-demand is still available to watch on the SOTSEF Goes Digital 2020 dedicated playlists on the UoS Festival YouTube channel.

Southampton Science and Engineering Festival 2019

The 2019 Science and Engineering Festival ran between 8th - 17th March 2019. This year edition saw a week full of events across the city of Southampton and was concluded by Science and Engineering Day on Saturday 16th March. We had more that 5,000 people joining us on Science and Engineering Day, coming from as far as Manchester. More than 850 volunteers between students and staff across the University of Southampton made all this possible.

Wider Festival events included: 

Watch the following video to find out what Science and Engineering Day at SOTSEF is all about from senior leaders and researchers at the University of Southampton and hear about how it helped changing perspectives from festival attendees and our visitors too.     

Southampton Science and Engineering Festival 2018

The 2018 Science and Engineering Festival ran between 9th - 18th March 2018. Although Science and Engineering Day did not take place due to the sector wide industrial action over pensions, the week was full of events across Southampton:       

Southampton Science and Engineering Festival 2017

The 2017 Science and Engineering Day event was our largest to date as we welcomed over 7000 people to our Boldrewood and Highfield campuses to participate in over 130 hands on demonstrations, shows, talks, and tours run by University research staff and students.

Of the 130 activities, we had 87 brand new activities such as the Science Soundwalk Experience, From Glowing Sea Anemones to Medical Research, Maths on the Move and the Planeterella. We also welcomed several brand new zones: the Biodiversity Hub (in Valley Gardens), the Alumni Zone, and the Teachers Zone. And, if that wasn't enough, we also opened up more of the state-of-the-art research facilities at our Boldrewood campus for public exploration for the first time ever.

In addition to all these new activities, we welcomed back long-standing SOTSEF favourites like the highly competitive Annual Mars Bar Bridge Building Challenge, the Archaeology Village, and Minecraft Engineering. We once again had the R J Mitchell wind tunnel and the 138m Towing Tanks open with live demonstrations occurring throughout the day. 

SOTSEF 2017 Infographics

Southampton Science and Engineering Festival 2016

Watch the following video, courtesy from That's Solent TV, to see what happened at Science and Engineering Day 2016. 

Watch also the following video, courtesy of Total Scoop.  

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