On the morning of Friday June 14, unusually, we found ourselves amidst the Liverpool Street commuters’ rush as we headed into the heart of the financial district for the 2019 LMS PhD Student Retreat. Our destination was the imposing figure of the Gherkin. Going up to just beneath the top of the building, we took a few minutes to marvel at the panoramic views before the retreat’s ‘entrepreneurship’ theme was brought sharply into focus.
“What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?” Ben Mumby-Croft asked, as we began the morning workshop. Ben is director of the Imperial Enterprise Lab, which works to help students at Imperial College London innovate and launch new ideas for the market.
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’.
By Shiladitya Ghosh, 2nd Year PhD Student, Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London
In the modern day, students (especially PhD students) tend to have a crippling fear of committing to future plans because – “what if I end up needing those extra days to finish this report or do repeats for my experiments?” As the 2018 edition of the Imperial – Tsinghua Global Fellows Programme (GFP) on Climate Change and Energy drew near, I too had misgivings. Who was going to write my reports for me?!
However, a change in setting and scenery helps to calm and settle the mind – and I experienced this upon landing in Beijing in the sweltering 36°C early morning sun.
For the post-grad Women in Physics Christmas social we organized an ice skating outing to the rink at the Natural History Museum. This event was also open to PG women in Computing, as we hope to run many events together in the future. The group was a mix of physics, maths and computing students and we had a mixture of all years of students and a couple of post docs. This was the first event combining the two departments. We all met and introduced ourselves in the Physics Department before walking over to the Natural History Museum together. Within the group there were a few girls who have never ice skated before and the rest of us have been at least a few times before.
Did you ever wonder what most of PhD students at the College have in common? They need to compute to finish their degree. The task can be as simple as a quick data analysis or as complex as creating a new software package. Did you also know that most of the students arrive with a minimal background in computing? A lot of them find themselves in a “sink or swim” situation. After experiencing this ourselves, we decided that we don’t want others to suffer the same fate and make the same mistakes. To bring the issue into the spotlight, we decided to organise a Fair that featured exhibits dedicated to essential computing skills that every student should know before they attempt to “swim”.
On Thursday 22nd June 2017, Earth Science and Engineering Graduate Society (Grad Soc) begun their Stress Less campaign, made possible by funding received from the Graduate School’s Research Community Fund. A recent Grad Soc survey had highlighted the number of PhD students within the department who felt that work-related stresses had a significant impact on their daily lives. This campaign aimed to foster discussion about such issues and provide activities that introduced coping techniques.
PhD “stress less” lunch
A sandwich lunch was set out informally on picnic blankets and was very well attended, drawing more than 30 PhD students, and providing an opportunity for all to voice concerns relating to any aspect of PhD life.
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 Daniel Hdidouan, PhD student in the Centre for Environmental Policy
The second annual Environmental and Sustainability Mixer took place on Wednesday 27th of September. The mixer is a cross-departmental initiative, the aim of which is to encourage the postgraduate research student community working in environmental and sustainability research to get to know each other. It was a fantastic event which saw high turnout for the social; students enjoyed pizzas and drinks in the Physics common room on Level 8 of the Blackett Building.
The event was devised because students in the past have found it difficult to find informal events for research students to build cross-departmental and cross-College relationships.
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.