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 Rosie Dutt, MRes student in the Department of Chemistry
Within academia, each individual is working diligently towards their research aims. It is fair to say there have been many nights where some may be working tirelessly to fix a programming code, whilst others ponder over why their reaction series has not worked. Eventually, we reach the end of our research once our scientific questions have been fully explored, with the aim of a publication into a prestigious scientific journal. However, this results in our work being read by our peers within the field, and on some occasions, by individuals with allied interests into the research area – but seldom by the general public.
By Hannah Maude, 2nd Year PhD Student, Department of Medicine.
I was absolutely thrilled to recently be awarded third place in the Graduate School Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition. Not only because it was completely unexpected, but because the standard of the competition was insanely high (classic Imperial?!). Every single contestant gave an excellent talk.
If you aren’t familiar with the concept of a three-minute thesis, I can tell you it means exactly that: describe your three-year PhD in three minutes. Sounds a challenge, right? I confess that my favourite bad habit is signing up to anything outside my comfort zone; bad because it means experiencing all the nerves and potential failure, but good because overcoming the challenge means learning new skills, feeling proud of my achievements, and ultimately having a great time.
The rules are very simple. Contestants get exactly three minutes to describe their research to a general audience, using only one static slide. Sounds easy, but trust me, it’s extremely difficult. How do you introduce your narrow topic, explain what your research involves and persuade the audience that they should care in the first place?
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.
Science and art are two disciplines that would not normally be put together, which is why the choice of theme for this year’s CDT Festival of Science “Science and Art-Exploring Creativity” presented an intriguing challenge. The festival‑in‑a‑day is an annual event, which is organised by a committee of PhD students from the 12 Imperial‑affiliated Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) and this year it took place on Friday 21st April in the Sir Alexander Fleming building of Imperial.
The planning of the festival happened over 5 months, during which we invited scientists and artists working at the interface between the two to come and speak about their work.
As researchers we are used to talking about our research to different audiences, explaining the ideas and findings. Often we are less able to see the wider value in our practices and how these can be translated to other roles and positions.
This became very relevant for me when having completed a PhD and several post-doctoral positions I wondered if I had relevant experience that I could evidence to gain full membership of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). The challenge was to examine my academic progress through a leadership and management perspective. Looking through the activities of my PhD I found evidence in the five areas below.