There are many pitfalls that must be navigated as you work towards earning a PhD: one of the biggest is isolation. By its very nature, a PhD requires you to be researching something new and unique and when you’re at your desk trying to work out why the data looks weird, because it always looks weird, it can be easy to forget you’re not alone. That’s why events like the PhD Summer Party are so important. Thanks to the generosity of the Graduate School and the Bioengineering Department, every year, we’re afforded the opportunity to relax, make new friends outside of the lab, and live the student dream of free food and drink.
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.
I’m very grateful to Imperial College Graduate School for offering me a scholarship to attend the “Life Beyond the PhD” conference at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor. About 60 PhD students and early career researchers from 35 universities across the UK attended. I was honoured that I was representing Imperial College. Their research was not only in science but also in other fields such as history, art, sociology etc. It was great to meet people from so many different disciplines in such a relaxing and glamorous place situated in the heart of Windsor Great Park.
- On the first day, we were given an extensive tour of the lodge.
With the Christmas break a distant memory and work-weary lab members itching for a break, re-energisation of the work place was desperately in order. And how better to achieve this than with ping pong, pizza and (substantial quantities of) alcohol? Generous funding was granted from the Research Community Fund, allowing PhD students and early career post-docs from the Section of Investigative Medicine and Section of Cell Biology and Functional Genomics to attend an inter-lab social at Bounce Ping Pong on 12th April 2019. Due to popular demand, a round robin competition was held across the two hired tables, with members from different sections paired into doubles teams.
As we get closer and closer to graduation, we look forward to taking a step into the real world and work either for corporations or starting our own venture in order to reach our potential. Judging by the society we live in, connections have a great impact on our future. Events managed and produced by the GSU give such opportunities to students, allowing them to expand their horizons. One such event was the GSU connect 2019 initiative.
The event offered students the opportunity to enjoy the cross disciplinary collaboration with other students, allowing for students to benefit from different skills and expertise.
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).
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.
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.
by Stephanie Martin, MRes student in the Department of Life Sciences
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.
On 29th of June 9 CDT PhD students from 2 different CDTs left London for a 3 days trip to the countryside to explore West England.
On Friday morning all of us met at Heathrow airport at the Sixt car rental shop. After everyone arrived and after we got our cars we drove towards Bristol and then turned further left to reach a town called Tauton. There we bought some groceries and continued our journey to finally reached our end destination with was a small farm located between Taunton and Exeter.
Immediately the AirBnB owner welcomed us with her lively 3 dogs Bisket, Douglas and Holly.