In their effort to establish an Early Career Research (ECR) community for all malaria researchers based at London research institutes, PhD students organized a launch event at the Crick Institute to bring everyone together. Research assistants, research technicians, PhD students and junior postdocs who work under either computational or laboratory settings were encouraged to interact with researchers outside their own social/departmental circles and suggest their ideas about the future of this network. None missed the chance to also show-off their ‘Knowles-it-all’ expertise on a malaria-based pub quiz, while enjoying nibbles and drinks.
Over 50 people from four different London-based institutes registered for the event, with a turnout of 30.
With the help of funding from the Graduate School, we put on a seminar and social event for first year PhD students based at the St Mary’s campus. Given that most first year PhD students have their early stage assessments due in June and July, we wanted to create an event where we could share our research and improve our presentation skills in a relaxed and friendly environment. Additionally, we hoped that the event would help us get to know each other and to develop a supportive network of peers throughout our PhDs.
The first part of the event started in the afternoon and consisted of a seminar hosted by Professor Wendy Barclay.
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.
On Friday, 10th of May the third event of the Cross-CDT series took place. The students from five different CDTs gathered at the Union bar to catch up with people from their own cohort as well as with people from other CDTs and cohort years that they got to know at the other events. In total more than 20 students from different CDTs joined for this event in the course of the evening and had a great time together.
It was a great opportunity for friends who have not seen eachother in a long time to socialise and grab a drink together.
On Wednesday 13th of February 2019, the second event in the Cross-CDT series took place – a total of 14 PhD students from different 3 different CDTs gathered to face the tasks that needed to be solved. The students divided in to two teams and were required to work together to solve different puzzles in order to beat the clock (and each other), to escape and unlock their respective ‘rooms’. As this was the second of the scheduled activities, many of the students were already acquainted and were able to jump to the tasks at hand instantly.
The theme of the first room was “Project D.I.V.A”
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.