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”.
The Fair happened on October 11th, 2017 and it was a success.
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 Luke McCrone, GSU President
It’s been quite the ride so far. Since being elected into the role, it seems the Graduate Students’ Union has undergone quite the transformation, hopefully destined for something new and exciting. Thanks to the hard work of both th e outgoing and incoming committee, we’ve developed a new logo, promotional flyers, a website and more recently a strategy for our year ahead! And we are only getting started…
Yet I must be honest, it’s been quite the challenge. As a Constituent Union representing 7000 postgraduate students, our productivity has been limited by having only 3 members of our committee elected over the summer period: Paul and Alex, our two Vice Presidents, and I.
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.
By Firdous Ul Nazir, PhD Student, Electrical Engineering
I got a chance to participate in the ICL-TUM global fellows programme: Cities of the future, thanks to the Imperial Graduate school. This was a week long course involving 51 participants from 7 globally renowned institutions. The first day of the course was mainly aimed at acquainting the participants of the practical challenges and expected transformations in cities of the future which was aptly conveyed through presentations by experts of the field. In the remaining four days we were involved in a lot of group activities which culminated in a collaborative group project from each group.
By Dapeng Chen,
As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claims, the warming of the climate system is unequivocally supported by scientific evidence. It is a vital task of human beings to work out practical solutions and put them into real effect in this century. This year, the Imperial-Tsinghua Global Fellows Programme, co-organized by Imperial College London and Tsinghua University, focused on climate change and energy, through 5 days of intense communications and collaborations amongst early stage Ph.D. students in multiple disciplines from both universities. As a third year PhD candidate in finance, I was honoured to be part of the programme.
by Holly Jenkins
A diary of the LERU Doctoral Summer School
My name is Holly, I’m a second-year PhD student in the Section of Neonatal Medicine. This July I was fortunate enough to represent Imperial College at the League of European Research Universities (LERU) Doctoral Summer School, held at University of Zurich. LERU is “an association of 21 leading research-intensive universities that share the values of high-quality teaching within an environment of internationally competitive research.” The topic this year was: Citizen Science – nexus between research and public engagement. If you are scratching your heads wondering what citizen science is it can be broadly described as the involvement of non-professional scientists in research.
by Ruth Davey – Year 2 PhD Student from Earth Science & Engineering
I signed up to the programme back in the Spring, thinking it sounded like a unique opportunity to collaborate with students from China so I was very excited to find out I’d been accepted! As the programme date drew closer however, I became bogged down with several unexpected and large workloads relating to my PhD research. I began to wonder if losing a week of research time was such a great idea. As it was, I arrived at the coach on Monday afternoon with some trepidation. My worries were quickly dispelled and, as the course evolved, it made me so aware of how much we, as PhD students, become isolated in our own research bubble.
By Peter Shatwell
Know it Wall (KiW), is a public engagement project run by students at Imperial and UCL. It was founded in the summer of 2014 by three UCL students, and a few months later I noticed a friend of mine from Imperial (now doing an MSc in Science Media Production) working on it. I thought it sounded like a pretty cool idea, so I got in touch with the team asking to get involved. Luckily they saw I could be of some value to the team, and so the five of us decided to make KiW a collaborative project between UCL and Imperial, launching the website in 2015.