Blog by Yurong Yu, PhD student from the Centre for Environmental Policy
In response to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) and the environmental crisis, we, a few of PhD students from Centre for Environmental Policy (CEP), Dyson School of Design Engineering (Dyson) and Imperial Business School (ICBS), initiated the event, “Beauty of a More Colourful World”. The event brought together 12 PhD students from 6 departments to showcase how their research ties into addressing environmental problems.
The event took place on Wednesday 1st of December 2021 and was a cross-departmental initiative, aiming to create a unique opportunity to gather researchers and wider college community with shared interests in conservation, biodiversity, sustainability, and climate change & the environment more broadly.
By Corina Angheloiu, PhD Student, Centre for Environmental Policy
As the pandemic has unfolded, as PhD students we’ve had to rethink the ways in which we conduct our research, share and discuss findings, as well as build networks and seed collaborations. In this blog post, I’ll share my experience of co-developing a podcast in this attempt to adapt.
Why a podcast?
I’m a third year PhD student in the Centre for Environmental Policy and my research focuses on the ways we can tackle increasing gaps between the knowledge and the implementation of urban resilience. As a field, urban resilience has never seemed more vital over the past year – we’ve seen the ways in which different cities have dealt with challenges posed by a shock such as the pandemic, as well as challenges arising from the overlap of shocks (such as hurricanes or wildfires) or the overlap between the impact of the pandemic and existing underlying stressors such as air pollution, demographics, or inequality.
At the beginning of October, PhD students from the Department of Infectious Diseases were able to come together at a welcome event. Students from all year groups and based across multiple campuses met at a local pub for a friendly drink. At the first of what we hope are many events throughout the academic year, we laid the base of a strong foundation to create a supportive, engaging and friendly network of students from across the department. We were able to discuss lab problems and share career planning advice, as well as stories from the lockdown and our favourite local take outs!
By David Uribe Saenz De Camara, PhD Student, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Friday 22nd October saw 13 tribology PhD students joining the “London City of Sin” walking tour and discovering that darker history that cannot be learnt from books. This activity was undertaken as a team building exercise to help integrate new students into the group as mingling in a non-academic environment has not been possible since the Covid outbreak.
Around 6PM, the group headed to Waterloo and stocked up on refreshments as preparation for the 2.5-hour walk. At 7PM, they met their tour guide Vincent and started the stroll along South Bank -now an iconic area but once a medieval red-light district-.
By Javier Cabello Garcia, PhD Student, Department of Bioengineering
After a really tough year, the members of the SynBIC decided to organize a trip to bring back together PhD and Master’s students. This way, we could give a proper welcome to the new arrivals in the team! After thinking about what the best place for our meet and greet would be, we reached the logical conclusion that there is no better place than a garlic farm! So, we headed to the Isle of Wight to visit its garlic farm and the island surroundings.
The day trip to the Isle of Wight took place on Friday 2nd of July, 2021.
By Jonathan Li, PhD Student, Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction
Hi, I’m Jonathan. I’m a 3rd year PhD student studying signalling pathways in the myometrium. I presented my research at the Rising Scientist Day hosted by Faculty of Medicine. It is a one day conference that allows PhD students from multiple backgrounds to present their work. Usually, the symposium offers a great chance to network with other PhD students and to find out what their research is all about. This year, due to COVID-19, the format was slightly different than previous years, where everything was done remotely. Nonetheless, the event was still a great success.
By Alexander Carver, PhD student, Department of Infectious Disease
Hi, I’m Alex, a second year PhD student studying in Professor Xiaodong Zhang’s group. On 20th April, I was lucky enough to take part in Rising Scientist Day 2021 and win the 3-minute thesis competition. It has been a tough year for PhD students across Imperial College with the coronavirus pandemic taking a toll on what has been possible to achieve in the lab; however, it was very impressive to see what people have been working on for the last 1-2 years. The day consisted of poster viewing sessions in which all 2nd and 3rd year PhD students in the Faculty of Medicine were expected to compete.
Every three years, PhD students from The Francis Crick Institute and Imperial College hold a symposium dedicated to enabling students from both institutions to share their research through posters and talks in a supportive environment. Obviously, this year had to be a little different. The event had to held virtually as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which posed new challenges. A key objective of this event is the provide a platform for graduate students from a range of scientific backgrounds to network and work together, something we can all agree is much more challenging behind a computer screen!
We decided that alongside using Zoom for the talks we would use Gather.Town
by Dr Sonia Wolf, Department of Infectious Disease
In January 2020, talk of a new virus in Wuhan emerged. As whispers spread about what it was and where it had come from, my curiosity was only that of an interested PhD student in the Department of Infectious Disease. As the epidemic grew and spread, however, I became increasingly aware that, as a medical doctor, my skills on the frontline were going to be needed. As college shut down, my research samples sat sadly in the freezer, while I tried (and failed) to write from home. The email came at the end of March; I was going to Newham Hospital, as an Acute Medical Registrar.
by Aina Roca Barceló
On the 29th of January 2020, a group of students and staff members from Imperial College London gathered with one objective: to identify the barriers to a more sustainable workspace. This was part of the 1st MRC Centre for Environment and Health’s Sustainability Workshop, organised by the MRC Researchers Society’s co-chair Aina Roca Barceló (1st year President PhD Scholar), supported by the MRC Centre for Environment and Health, within the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department (EBS), represented by Drs Fred Piel and Eduardo Seleiro. This was kindly funded by the Graduate School’s Research Community Fund.