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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Postgraduate students based at the Imperial Hammersmith Hospital campus took to the ice for a PG student social at the Natural History Museum on Wednesday the 19th of December. This social brought together research students from the departments of Medicine, Surgery & Cancer and the NHLI in a festive skating session followed by drinks at ħ bar, allowing PG students on the campus to mingle across different departments and disciplines.
The event was a great success, bringing together research students from across departments and institutes based at the Hammersmith hospital campus, as well as other research staff that were interested in getting involved with the event (including clinical and postdoctoral fellows).
by Eloise Matheson, PhD student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering
The first PhD networking event for robotics related researchers was held on Thursday 15th November 2018. Sponsored by the Imperial College Graduate School Research Community Fund and the supported by the Imperial College Robotics Forum (Network of Robotics), this event was aimed to connect PhD researchers across the college that face similar technical and research challenges! Robotics in general is a very multi-disciplinary topic, and with over 28 robotics labs spread across departments and faculties, this event was a great chance to bring people together. Over 50 people from 15 different labs registered for the event, with a turnout of around 40.
5-aside football at Imperial’s new White City Campus takes place very Wednesday lunch time between 12 and 1pm at PlayFootball Shepherds Bush, just A 5-minute walk away. The first event took place on the 7th November and will continue for 10 weeks. The aim of this event was to facilitate activity and departmental communication between staff, PhD students and masters students across all floors of the new Molecular Sciences Research Hub.
This summer, the Chemistry department was the first to move to the new White City Campus. The new building was designed to foster a sense of communication within the department and as the campus is still in development, there are currently little or no social areas, activity / sports spaces.
by Martin Prießner, PhD student in the Department of Chemistry
On Tuesday the 11th of December the first event of this year’s Cross-CDT event series took place. The Cross-CDT event series aims to strengthen the already established friendships and form new ones between CDT students of different disciplines across the different cohort years. By organising meetings and fun activities with an informal character, the participating students get the opportunity to exchange their PhD experiences and professional and private matters. This enables them to form long-lasting friendships which will hopefully surpass their PhD studies.
On this winter-like evening on the 11th of December a total of 18 CDT students from 4 different CDT programs across two cohort years gathered together in front of the library at Imperial College London.
by Inne Nauwelaers, PhD student at the National Heart and Lung Institute
On Wednesday, 12th of December 2018, students at St. Mary’s School of Medicine building got together for the second building-wide party. Thanks to the financial aid of the Graduate School, we were able to organise a Christmas party, bringing people together from every department at this campus: the School of Public Health, Virology, Respiratory medicine, Infectious Diseases and Paediatrics.
The reason we took the initiative and wanted to bring everyone together, is due to the fact that there is no communal space for people to gather and therefore interaction between departments is often limited.