Upcoming events from the Symposium Office

Neonatal update

The Symposium Office will be running 7 short courses and meetings in the Autumn with updates for paediatricians, obstetricians and gynaecologists, GPs, anaesthetists – both consultants and trainees.   Full details can be found on http://symposia.org.uk

Book now for the Neonatal Update 2016: “The Science of Newborn Care” running from 28 November – 2 December. This meeting has developed an international reputation for delivering a novel and fascinating programme of current best practice and the latest research findings – giving you a glimpse of the future of neonatal care.

http://www.symposia.org.uk/neonatal

Looking further ahead, Expert Fetal Medicine on 2 and 3 March 2017 is offering an early bird discount until 15 October 2016.  This meeting presents a unique opportunity to hear about the latest developments in the field of fetal medicine, as well as providing a forum to discuss current controversies and to debate the future developments expected in the next few year.

http://www.symposia.org.uk/ExpertFetalMedicine

Martin Gozdzik
Department of Surgery and Cancer

MSk Lab researchers awarded prestigious fellowships

Gareth Jones has won the prestigious European Knee Society International Knee Arthroplasty Travelling Fellowship.

This September he will spend five weeks in seven European centres of excellence, with the opportunity to present work from the MSk Lab, and hopefully cultivate future collaborations.


Sarah Onida has been awarded a Royal College of Surgeons Research Fellowship.

Matthew Ryan
Research Manager
MSk Lab

Eurohaptics 2016

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Imperial College London was the host of Eurohaptics 2016, the main international European conference for researchers in haptics and touch-enabled computer applications. The conference was held at South Kensington over 4-7 July 2016 and was organised by Imperial College London in partnership with University College London, University of Reading, University of Bristol and University of Birmingham.

Eurohaptics 2016 was a great opportunity for researchers – drawn from disciplines such as neuroscience, psychology and robotics – to meet and present their work with the goal of improving understanding of the sense of touch from a physiological and perceptual perspective, devising new haptic devices and investigating better ways of controlling and interacting with them.

Haptics is a growing field, with awareness amongst the wider public also on the rise thanks to the increasing use of haptic technology in mobile devices. Eurohaptics 2016 included public-focused evening events at the Royal Society and Royal Institution.

Imperial College’s Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science (ICCESS) played a leading role in the conference, with Centre Director Dr Fernando Bello as both Programme co-Chair and local co-Chair, and Dr Alejandro Granados-Martinez showcasing the haptic rectal examination trainer he has developed. His innovative device attracted a great deal of media coverage over the conference period, with articles in the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Vice Magazine, to name a few.

Keynote speakers at Eurohaptics 2016 included Professor Stephen Brewster (University of Glasgow), Dr Henrik Jörntell (Lund University, Sweden) and Professor Blake Hannaford (University of Washington, USA), who acknowledged challenges in the design of haptic devices and how we could improve this by studying brain circuitry during tactile skin sensing and by enhancing the way we interact with them.

Eurohaptics 2016 was attended by nearly 400 delegates from 26 countries and was therefore the largest event in the history of the conference.

Read about the rectal examination trainer on the Daily Telegraph website.

Listen to Guardian Science Weekly podcast on haptics featuring Dr Fernando Bello.

Duncan Boak
Centre Manager
Imperial College Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science

Joint Research Office School Leaver Apprenticeship

The JRO launched a School Leaver Apprenticeship scheme in August 2015.

Our aim was to work with a local school to find a student with appropriate skills who would be motivated to grasp the opportunity of JRO Apprenticeship, with the hope of launching a professional career. We were interested in helping a student who might not otherwise have the chance to develop or seek this kind of professional career trajectory.

We envisaged the post as an entry-level position with a fixed duration of one year, and was aimed at school leavers with an interest in finance. The successful candidate was to be based in the JRO grants team in the Commonwealth Building at Hammersmith.

Burlington Danes Academy, a local school adjacent to the Hammersmith Campus, agreed to work with us on this scheme. The Head of the 6th Form, Laura Stone, was extremely supportive and was instrumental in helping to select the first Apprentice.

Laura said:We were delighted to be approached by Imperial regarding the School Leaver Apprenticeship scheme.  We work hard to try and foster links with employers so that our students can access valuable and relevant work experience; and to receive support from an organisation as renowned as Imperial is just fantastic.  

“What has been the biggest benefit has been the time commitment of a one year paid placement.  This enables the student to fully grasp the wide range of specialist and inter-personal skills required for working in a professional environment and build up real examples that they will be able to use in future job applications.  In a time of increasing cost for university study, it provides students with the opportunity to save up for tuition fees whilst doing something that enriches them.  As a school we feel that being able to provide our students with challenging, relevant and high-quality work experience in our local community is part of our vision, and Imperial have helped us realise that for two very fortunate students. I look forward to working with them for the second year.”

The scheme has been a great success and our first Apprentice, Cherry Thein, has taken her opportunity with both hands. Cherry has been a quick learner, has worked hard and has grown in confidence as the months have progressed. She has not just been a token observer, but has been carrying out important work and her efforts have made a significant impact on the productivity of the grants team.

Cherry said: “I have really enjoyed the scheme and it has been extremely useful, as it has helped ease the transition from a school environment to the workplace. This apprenticeship was a stepping-stone for me and the experience has given me more options for the future, as well as an advantage when looking for a job.

“What surprised me the most about working in the JRO was seeing how the money from charities like the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK is actually being used to fund important research. It really motivated me to work because you’re helping these researchers, at least on a small scale, to find an answer. It is interesting working with several diverse teams and departments to make sure a research project can be carried out smoothly.”

The motivation for setting up the scheme was two-fold. Firstly, it was an opportunity for the College to engage in social responsibility with its local community. Secondly, it allowed us to pick up and run with a project reviewing College apprenticeship, which one of our Grant Manger’s Victor Abah developed on the ‘Impact’ Staff Development Programme. Victor has taken on the role as mentor to the apprentice.

The JRO Apprenticeship scheme could not have worked out better. As a result we are continuing with the scheme and have already signed up another Burlington Danes pupil, who will become the second apprentice in August 2016.

William Mortimer
Operations Director
Joint Research Office