Athanasios E. Giannenas, Alexander Schwertheim & Omar Mahfoze
Postgraduate Students & Departmental representatives, Department of Aeronautics
The Inaugural Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering Seminar took place on 29th of March 2019 comprising a joint academic seminar between the Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering departments, followed by a networking opportunity over food/snacks. Three presenters (PhD students and Postdocs of both departments) introduced their latest research to their fellow colleagues. The seminar offered a unique opportunity for the presenters to share their work in a somewhat informal setting. This allowed them to discuss not only their achievements, but also their failures and struggles—something generally not shared at formal conferences.
The rationale behind this event was to create a bridge between the two departments. While these two departments overlap in several research areas, they seldom interact both academically and socially. We wanted to change this, and in turn create a broader, more active community of young researchers, by improving relations, and inspiring both presenters and audience.
A wide variety of research areas were covered by the three speakers who provided the following titles for their talks:
- Michela Gramola (PhD Student, Department of Aeronautics): ‘Adaptive shock control bumps for next generation transonic wings’
- Giovanni Giustini (Postdoc, Department of Mechanical Engineering): ‘Computational Fluid Dynamics for nuclear thermal hydraulics: application to microscopic modelling of boiling’
- Dimitrios Bekas (Postdoc, Department of Aeronautics): ‘Structural Health Monitoring of composite structures using additively manufactured sensors’
The event drew fantastic attention and attendance with approximately 65 attendees from both departments. The seminar was an outstanding opportunity for the active PhD and Postdoc students of both departments to gain an insight into the world-leading research that is currently conducted in our departments. Despite the rather short duration of the presentations (15 minutes), they provided a high-level introduction on the presenters’ field of research. The networking session over food and drinks proved to be a success which brought together students from both departments not only to discuss their research but also network and socialize.
Overall, the seminar proved to be a tremendous success as we received very positive feedback and many requests to repeat the event in the future. Furthermore, we received many requests from students who are eager to present their research in future events. Both departments recognised the benefits and popularity of the event and we are currently trying to establish funding to repeat the seminars every month where members of academic staff will also be invited. We also learned a lot from organising and hosting this event and we very much look forward to arranging more (and hopefully equally successful) events.
We would like to very warmly thank Dr Paul Bruce (Senior Tutor for PGR in the department of Aeronautics) for his help and support. We thank the PhD reps from the Mechanical Engineering Department for their help and cooperation. We would also like to thank the Graduate School for kindly awarding us the Research Community Fund and making this event possible.