Author: Graduate School

Bringing Together Imperial’s and Britain’s Energy System Community

Britain is at the forefront of energy system transformation. In 2018, 53% of electricity consumed came from low-carbon generators, up from 25% in 2009. As a result, carbon intensity halved from nearly 500 to 217 gCO2/MWh (Electric Insights). However, as an island with limited interconnection to its neighbours, the stakes are particularly high to achieve further reductions down to 100 gco2/MWh by 2030 (Fifth Carbon Budget).

At the same time, me and fellow PhD students miss the exchange amongst us as well as with other academic, industry and policy experts on energy system transformation. What is missing is a closeknit energy system community that can easily discuss transformation pathways.

Go-Karting Event – 1st Year Bioeng PhD students

by Enrico Varano

On Sunday the 17th of March 2019, the first-year PhD students from the Bioengineering Department enjoyed an active day out which started with a go-karting race in Sandown Park and culminated in a joyful social over dinner at Franco Manca in Earl’s Court. The students, who organised the outing on the WhatsApp group they created at the beginning of the year, sought to reinforce the professional ties and personal bonds they developed since the first social at the beginning of February. The event was made possible thanks to funding obtained through the Imperial College London Graduate School from the Research Community Fund, for which the students are very grateful.

Imperial/Tokyo Tech-VCC Challenge

Kai and Laura are engineering PhD students at Imperial College. They met last year in Tokyo on the Global Fellows Programme and have since started a social business together.

By Laura Braun

In March 2018, Kai and I attended the Global Fellows Programme run by Tokyo Tech and Imperial College. The theme of the programme was: “Innovation to eradicate poverty” and brought together 40 students who share an interest in humanitarian work. The programme was based in a brutalist student accommodation set in a forest in Hachi-oji, and on arrival we were welcomed with green tea, sake and sushi. Over the course of the week, we heard from guest speakers, participated in team-building activities, and developed solutions to poverty-related challenges.

4Cs Science Communication Writing Competition – People’s Choice Award

by Jemimah-Sandra Samuel, PhD student in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering

My PhD in Under 500 Words

When people think about oil and gas, they think of climate change. But let us imagine for an instant that the exploration of oil and gas has no effect on the earth and its habitats, even more so the use of oil and gas products. Then surely, we will be looking out for better ways to harness its exploration and production. This is the basis for my research which is largely pertinent to developing countries where the means to engage cleaner energy technologies is still emerging, and or in developed nations where there is a current shift from oil towards a cleaner energy source (gas).

4Cs Science Communication Writing Competition – 3rd Place

by Sarah Hayes, PhD student in the School of Public Health

How can we maintain mans’ best friendship? 

Here in the UK we think of dogs as mans’ best friend. But in some regions of the world they can be our deadliest enemy.

Meet Amos (name changed to protect identity).

He’s a 5-year-old boy living in rural Tanzania.

Ten days ago, he was bitten by a rabid dog.

Anyone exposed to rabies through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal must receive treatment immediately. A course of 3 vaccinations (known as post-exposure prophylaxis or ‘PEP’) will effectively protect a person from this deadly virus.

4Cs Science Communication Writing Competition – 2nd Place

by Oluwalogbon Akinnola, PhD student in the Department of Bioengineering

The Other Hand Model

If the first thing you think of when you hear the phrase ‘hand model’ is David Duchovny in the 2001 film Zoolander, then congratulations on your excellent taste. Unfortunately, however, no one was willing to fund a PhD researching his performance. No, in the world of Biomechanics hand model means something different yet no less appealing.

Our hands are how we communicate and manipulate the world around us. Feeding ourselves, checking the bathwater, even holding the medium this text is printed on: we use our hands to keep us healthy, happy, and safe.

4Cs Science Communication Writing Competition – 1st Place

by Stephanie Martin, MRes student in the Department of Life Sciences

Dear Present

Dear Sister,

I recently had an experience which reminded me of the stories Grandma used to tell us. I was hiding in what I thought was an animal’s den after being chased by water-raiders through the desert. The den turned out to be a large chamber, full of nothing except hundreds and hundreds of binders and a sign which said ‘The Daintree Rainforest – Lest We Forget.’

Do you remember what Grandma used to tell us about the Daintree? That luscious mythical jungle that used to inhabit these lands in Australia that we never really believed ever existed.

Making sustainability tangible: experiences from a workshop for postgraduate students

The sustainability workshop was organised by PhD student Vasiliki Kioupi of the Centre for Environmental Policy (CEP) on November 13 2018. It was an opportunity for postgraduate students from different departments of Imperial College London and other Universities to participate in two sessions related to materials and circular economy and assessment of the sustainability of a proposed technology in the context of the problem-solving approach. Moreover, the aim was for the participants to develop skills related to collaboration, systems and strategic thinking.

Twenty PhD students from CEP and Design Engineering Departments as well as a CEP Teaching Fellow and a post-graduate student from Queen Mary University joined the workshop.

Bioengineering PhDs go for an escape room and dinner!

On Saturday the 2nd of February 2019, the first-year PhDs from the Bioengineering Department went for a nice evening out, that started with an escape room followed by a nice Italian dinner.

The objective of this activity was fomenting a good relationship and friendship between the first-year PhD students from the Bioengineering Department, as we don’t all know each other despite constantly crossing each other in the hallways. We are all now starting a 3-4 year journey where these relationships are going to be invaluable, not only on a personal level but also on the professional one, as thriving engineering usually requires (besides obvious personal effort) help/knowledge from others and team effort.

Theory Group Student Seminars: Sharing Our PhD ‘Wisdom’

One of the most important skills of any physicist, second only to the ability to do research itself, is to communicate both the results and the methods of that research to a variety of audiences: students, peers, senior researchers, and to a lesser extent, the general public. All of these groups require their own unique approach, and it is to the first two that the student seminars in the theoretical physics department at Imperial are aimed. The speakers are PhD students, the audience consists of PhD and MSc students in comparable proportions. This is a pedagogical experience for all involved, albeit in different ways.