Successful early and late stage PhD assessment submissions mean only one thing… escape from the fast pace of University life is required. In mid-September, a dozen graduate students from the Centre of Synthetic Biology packed their bags and made their way to the beautiful and dramatic mountains of Snowdonia National Park in North Wales for a long weekend away from the city. The purpose of the trip was for the current graduate students to bond over some of the UK’s best hikes, while also spending some quality time with some of the 2019 master’s students before they leave Imperial to do their own thing, ensuring long lasting connections.
With the help of funding from the Graduate School, we put on a seminar and social event for first year PhD students based at the St Mary’s campus. Given that most first year PhD students have their early stage assessments due in June and July, we wanted to create an event where we could share our research and improve our presentation skills in a relaxed and friendly environment. Additionally, we hoped that the event would help us get to know each other and to develop a supportive network of peers throughout our PhDs.
The first part of the event started in the afternoon and consisted of a seminar hosted by Professor Wendy Barclay.
By Sophie Spitters, PhD Student, Department of Medicine
The Imperial College London Graduate School organised their annual Summer Showcase on Friday July 13th. The showcase aims to celebrate research undertaken by PhD students at Imperial and invites staff, students and visitors to find out more about their work via a poster and a research as art exhibition. I joined the research as art exhibition, showcasing my NIHR CLAHRC NWL research, and won second prize! First prize was won by Iman Ibrahim, who demonstrated what it takes to get clean drinking water to our taps in her mandala called ‘the ripple effect’.
It’s been quite the ride so far. Since being elected into the role, it seems the Graduate Students’ Union has undergone quite the transformation, hopefully destined for something new and exciting. Thanks to the hard work of both th e outgoing and incoming committee, we’ve developed a new logo, promotional flyers, a website and more recently a strategy for our year ahead! And we are only getting started…
Yet I must be honest, it’s been quite the challenge. As a Constituent Union representing 7000 postgraduate students, our productivity has been limited by having only 3 members of our committee elected over the summer period: Paul and Alex, our two Vice Presidents, and I.
by Seth Wilson, PhD Student, Mechanical Engineering
After the successful completion of the ICL-TUM Global Fellows’ Programme 2017, entitled Cities of the Future, I was fortunate enough to remain in Munich, Germany for a further three-weeks. During this time, I carried out a short research project within the Lehrstuhl für Nuckleartechnik (Chair for Nuclear Technology) at the Technische Universität München (TUM) under the supervision of Professor Macián-Juan.
Germany has decided to discontinue its use of nuclear energy and will have phased-out its remaining functioning nuclear power plants by the end of 2022. Without wanting to completely abandon nuclear, research within this field has become more general to processes and systems, such as to have a wider range of applications.
By Firdous Ul Nazir, PhD Student, Electrical Engineering
I got a chance to participate in the ICL-TUM global fellows programme: Cities of the future, thanks to the Imperial Graduate school. This was a week long course involving 51 participants from 7 globally renowned institutions. The first day of the course was mainly aimed at acquainting the participants of the practical challenges and expected transformations in cities of the future which was aptly conveyed through presentations by experts of the field. In the remaining four days we were involved in a lot of group activities which culminated in a collaborative group project from each group.
As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claims, the warming of the climate system is unequivocally supported by scientific evidence. It is a vital task of human beings to work out practical solutions and put them into real effect in this century. This year, the Imperial-Tsinghua Global Fellows Programme, co-organized by Imperial College London and Tsinghua University, focused on climate change and energy, through 5 days of intense communications and collaborations amongst early stage Ph.D. students in multiple disciplines from both universities. As a third year PhD candidate in finance, I was honoured to be part of the programme.
by Ruth Davey – Year 2 PhD Student from Earth Science & Engineering
I signed up to the programme back in the Spring, thinking it sounded like a unique opportunity to collaborate with students from China so I was very excited to find out I’d been accepted! As the programme date drew closer however, I became bogged down with several unexpected and large workloads relating to my PhD research. I began to wonder if losing a week of research time was such a great idea. As it was, I arrived at the coach on Monday afternoon with some trepidation. My worries were quickly dispelled and, as the course evolved, it made me so aware of how much we, as PhD students, become isolated in our own research bubble.
Summer seems to have finally arrived in London and it is hard not to start thinking about the holidays. Imagine, in a few weeks, going back home to visit your family and having to answer the recurring question: “What is it exactly that you are researching?” In my case, I can categorically forget the usual “I am developing algorithms to minimise the bias created by deterministic errors on the position estimated by a satellite-based positioning system.” You will need to keep your explanation clear and concise while trying to share your enthusiasm.
This situation is actually pretty similar to the 3-minute thesis competition!