By Hannah Maude, 2nd Year PhD Student, Department of Medicine.
I was absolutely thrilled to recently be awarded third place in the Graduate School Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition. Not only because it was completely unexpected, but because the standard of the competition was insanely high (classic Imperial?!). Every single contestant gave an excellent talk.
If you aren’t familiar with the concept of a three-minute thesis, I can tell you it means exactly that: describe your three-year PhD in three minutes. Sounds a challenge, right? I confess that my favourite bad habit is signing up to anything outside my comfort zone; bad because it means experiencing all the nerves and potential failure, but good because overcoming the challenge means learning new skills, feeling proud of my achievements, and ultimately having a great time.
by Paulina Rowinska, PhD student in the Department of Mathematics.
Years of research squeezed into three minutes? That was the task I and eighteen other participants of Imperial College Three Minute Thesis competition had to face on Tuesday 24th April 2018.
The rules are very simple. Contestants get exactly three minutes to describe their research to a general audience, using only one static slide. Sounds easy, but trust me, it’s extremely difficult. How do you introduce your narrow topic, explain what your research involves and persuade the audience that they should care in the first place?
All nineteen of us managed to do that.
by Katerina Lawlor, Sara Samari, Helena Lund-Palau and Kate Strong, PhD students in the National Heart and Lung Institute.
The National Heart and Lung Institute Postgraduate committee successfully put on a student quiz night on Friday 9th February. The event took place at the Hammersmith Campus, which was a welcome change from South Kensington for the many students based there. The evening was well attended and everyone enjoyed the drinks and pizza which were provided thanks to the Research Community Fund. Rounds included ‘Name the Professor’, as well as Imperial College and London trivia. The competition was fierce, but in the end Team #Covfefe were victorious and went home with the winner’s prize.
by Adrian Brown, Clinical Medicine PhD student.
We originally decided to organise a social event to try and help our fellow colleagues beat the January blues! Once we had a spare moment, and to stop the students going on a New Year’s strike, we decided to organise an after-work bowling event. We invited students from Investigative Medicine and the Division of Brain Sciences to attend the inter-group networking event on Friday 12th January 2018. We were very fortunate and extremely grateful as this event was funded by the Graduate School. Attendees were randomly divided into teams across the three bowling alleys hired and participated in some friendly competition to find the top scoring team and player.
by Scott Melville
The Theoretical Physics cohort are a reclusive bunch. But nothing brings them out of their shells better than the promise of knowledge (and pizza). Thanks to the generous support of the Graduate School, this term saw the Theoretical Physics PhD students come together each week for a heart-warming exchange of ideas and discussion of how their research is progressing, bringing together not only the graduate students, but also a great number of Master’s students and postdocs to share in the fun.
The seminars took place every Thursday from 17.00-18.00 in Huxley 503. On average, 16 PhD students, 15 Masters students and 2 postdocs attended.
By Luigi Montibeller
The laboratories of Brain Division of Imperial College London (ICL) opened its doors on the 23rd and 25th of October to display it’s state-of-the-art technology, experiments and research through interactive talks and guided tours run by its researchers, specializing in the field of neurodegenerative diseases.
More than 100 people including patients, relatives and members of the public attended the event. The tour and presentations gave attendees the opportunity to talk to leading researchers and medical professionals, exploring the latest research, tackling conditions like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and brain injury.
A presentation about each specific neurological disorder was given followed by a visit through the labs and the Brain bank.
Did you ever wonder what most of PhD students at the College have in common? They need to compute to finish their degree. The task can be as simple as a quick data analysis or as complex as creating a new software package. Did you also know that most of the students arrive with a minimal background in computing? A lot of them find themselves in a “sink or swim” situation. After experiencing this ourselves, we decided that we don’t want others to suffer the same fate and make the same mistakes. To bring the issue into the spotlight, we decided to organise a Fair that featured exhibits dedicated to essential computing skills that every student should know before they attempt to “swim”.
On Thursday 22nd June 2017, Earth Science and Engineering Graduate Society (Grad Soc) begun their Stress Less campaign, made possible by funding received from the Graduate School’s Research Community Fund. A recent Grad Soc survey had highlighted the number of PhD students within the department who felt that work-related stresses had a significant impact on their daily lives. This campaign aimed to foster discussion about such issues and provide activities that introduced coping techniques.
PhD “stress less” lunch
A sandwich lunch was set out informally on picnic blankets and was very well attended, drawing more than 30 PhD students, and providing an opportunity for all to voice concerns relating to any aspect of PhD life.
by Daniel Hdidouan, PhD student in the Centre for Environmental Policy
The second annual Environmental and Sustainability Mixer took place on Wednesday 27th of September. The mixer is a cross-departmental initiative, the aim of which is to encourage the postgraduate research student community working in environmental and sustainability research to get to know each other. It was a fantastic event which saw high turnout for the social; students enjoyed pizzas and drinks in the Physics common room on Level 8 of the Blackett Building.
The event was devised because students in the past have found it difficult to find informal events for research students to build cross-departmental and cross-College relationships.
by Seth Wilson, PhD Student, Mechanical Engineering
After the successful completion of the ICL-TUM Global Fellows’ Programme 2017, entitled Cities of the Future, I was fortunate enough to remain in Munich, Germany for a further three-weeks. During this time, I carried out a short research project within the Lehrstuhl für Nuckleartechnik (Chair for Nuclear Technology) at the Technische Universität München (TUM) under the supervision of Professor Macián-Juan.
Germany has decided to discontinue its use of nuclear energy and will have phased-out its remaining functioning nuclear power plants by the end of 2022. Without wanting to completely abandon nuclear, research within this field has become more general to processes and systems, such as to have a wider range of applications.