17Feb/17

PhD Students examine the Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster

This year’s Winter School, entitled “Building your leadership potential”, took place on the 13-15 February 2017 at Cumberland Lodge.  The former royal residence set in the heart of Windsor Great Park was host to 21 postgraduate students who enjoyed being immersed in its fascinating history dating back to the 17th century.

The 3-day residential school focussed on the skills required for  effective leadership and team-working. Different leadership styles were explored and each student attendee was given the opportunity to have their preferred team-working style evaluated using the Belbin model.

The core activity involved Columbia’s fatal final mission. The multi-media case tracks the Columbia Space Shuttle mission from launch as NASA engineers and leaders sought to understand the nature and threat associated with an anomaly that occurred on launch. Participants were given an opportunity to analyse the case using materials supplied by NASA under the guidance of Dr Trevor Long, Consultant.

Dr Stephen Haywood, Leader of the ATLAS Collaboration, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and Dave Harrison, Galileo KMF Project Manager, CGI Group,  gave their perspectives on leadership styles from an employer’s point of view.  Prof Pam Denicolo, University of Reading, Dr Julie Reeves, University of Southampton and Dr Laura Christie, Royal Holloway University of London presented the Belbin Model and sessions on developing personal leadership awareness and skills.

Students also enjoyed the recreational activities available in the games room in the cellar at Cumberland Lodge as well as the historical ghost tour which took place in Windsor town centre.

A 3rd year postgraduate delegate stated the reason why they chose to attend this year’s winter school was because: “SEPnet events are vibrant, engaging and fun. A great way to network with fellow physicists while learning useful employability skills and personal growth”

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Delegates, trainers and SEPnet staff at Cumberland Lodge.

Photographs from the event can be accessed here: https://goo.gl/photos/8ueimQdAAnuU2ugVA

13Feb/17

GRADnet Enterprising Ideas Competition 2017

Investing In Your Research, Your Skills and Your Future

Which SEPnet university team has the greatest entrepreneurial spirit?     

The 2017 GRADnet Enterprising Ideas Competition is now open!

Are you interested in developing your entrepreneurial skills?

Are you a SEPnet PGR or a physics undergraduate

Put forward a team for a chance to win £100 for each member!

What it is

SEPnet is organising its 2nd annual enterprising ideas competition to help you develop your entrepreneurship skills.

SEPnet PGRs and physics undergraduates in their penultimate year are invited to put forward teams to compete to be the most entrepreneurial in SEPnet.

Why you should be interested

Business and research increasingly need graduates who bring fresh ideas, innovative thinking and who have great team working skills. Physicists have the research skills and technical knowledge to inform policy, improve society and create exciting new products. Highly developed entrepreneurial skills and an enquiring mind are key to building a knowledge-based economy and can give you the edge when applying for research or graduate jobs or studentships.

Whatever career you pursue, whether in research or business, the skills you gain by participating in this competition will be of great value. By the end of the programme you will have:

  • gained a fresh perspective on how your skills and knowledge can be applied
  • understood more about entrepreneurship and what it means to have an entrepreneurial mindset
  • developed real insights into business, innovation, enterprise and team working
  • participate in multiple activities based on real life experiences and scenarios.

The programme is NOT about turning you into entrepreneurs or seeking new business opportunities but to expose you to the world of business and the impact of innovation on business.

You do not need to have a business idea or experience beforehand to take part!

How it works

If you are a PGR or an undergraduate you will need to confirm your interest in participating by 31 March 2017.  Places are limited on a first come, first served basis.

Forming teams:

  • these should be 3 – 6 people
  • may include PGR only, UG only or be a mixture of PGRs and UGs and may also be formed between SEPnet universities
  • if you do not have a team but would be interested in joining one, let us know and we will put you in touch with others

2-day training course:

  • designated member(s) of the team will attend two days of FREE residential training on 28 and 29 June which will contribute to professional development and build skills to help with the challenge. Training will include varied insights into entrepreneurship; what it really means and why it is important, team work and idea generation together with business, enterprise and communication skills.

Please note:

  • there is a maximum of twenty team spaces available, we are seeking ideally at least one team per institution; however, if an institution doesn’t put a team forward that space can be used by another partner
  • undergraduates on a summer placement should agree with their employer to take 2 days out to attend training

Video:

Teams will be required to produce and submit an initial short video by end of September outlining your idea.

Support:

Teams will be introduced to local entrepreneurial experts at your university to support development of your idea. Ongoing entrepreneurship materials giving hints and tips will also be provided.

Teams will receive feedback from a variety of experts and tips on how take your idea forward.

Key dates:

31 March 2017 Confirm your interest in taking part by e-mailing Cristobel Soares-Smith, gradnetadmin@sepnet.ac.uk

26 May 2017 Confirm your team members

28 & 29 June 2017  Entrepreneurship residential training for designated team member(s)

September 2017 Submit short video outlining your idea

January 2018 Proposals with market research and business case to be submitted

February 2018 Presentations to a panel of entrepreneurs and business people

Further information:

02Feb/17

Shattering Stereotypes is looking for Physics graduates in the South East!

Who are we looking for?
As part of our Shattering Stereotypes project, we are looking for Physics graduates in the South East area who have had all sorts of careers since graduating. As part of the project we are hosting a careers evening at our five partner schools. To make these evenings successful, we need you!

If you’re now working in anything from finance to accountancy, or working in the energy sector to those in healthcare or government, SEPnet needs your help! We are looking for Physics graduates from diverse backgrounds, across all ethnicities, genders and sexuality.

What would you need to do?
Sign up to help at one or more of our careers evenings. They are located around London, with one school in Guildford. The entire evening, which will include training from one of our SEPnet Outreach Officers, will only last around two hours. We are hoping to run the evenings as one-on-one sessions between you, the students and their parents / carers. This way they can ask you individual questions about the type of work you do and the type of scientist you are.

What are different types of Scientist?
As part of the project, we are introducing the term scientist to include all those who studied science at university. This includes you. In particular we are introducing students to the 12 Types of Scientists. These were introduced in a previous project from SEPnet and WISE called People Like Me. We are looking to match with students who have similar types to you.

When are the careers evenings taking place?

Monday 6 March, Overton Grange, Sutton.

Thursday 9 March, St Peter’s School, Guildford.

Monday 20 March, Lampton Academy, Hounslow.

Thursday 30 March, Preston Manor, Brent.

Date tbc, Charles Darwin School, Biggin Hill.

What if I can’t make any of the sessions?
We are more than happy to let you know about future Shattering Stereotypes events where you can help.

We would also like to feature some Case Studies on our websites and posters, so even if you can’t make it, you can still help us out!

Will this make a difference?
Shattering Stereotypes is a pilot project that is being externally evaluated including measuring what messages students are getting from the project. We would be more than happy to share our final report with you towards the end of 2017. Be a part of this innovative project and help us find out what messages work.

What next?
Sign up here and forward this page to any of your Physics graduates friends who may also be interested.

More details about Shattering Stereotypes can be found here.
Any additional questions, please e-mail outreach@sepnet.ac.uk.

17Jan/17

Student-led Conference: Functional scanning probe microscopy techniques 30-31 March 2017

Functional scanning probe microscopy techniques 30-31 March 2017

Who:  This is for postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers from the SEPnet region with research interests in this year’s conference topics.  A limited number of places are available to early stage researchers beyond the region.

When:  30-31 March 2017.  Arrival in the evening on 29 March 2017.

Where:  Building 58, Murray Lecture Theatre Complex, Highfield Campus, University of Southampton SO17 1BJ.  Free to attend.  Single en suite accomodation at the Glen Ayre Complex. Travel expenses to and from the venue can be claimed through SEPnet.

Abstract deadline 16 December 2016:   Please email your submissions to hector.corte [at] npl.co.uk using the template here. Once your abstract has been accepted you will be notified by the conference organiser to register for this conference.

This workshop contributes 12 hours towards physics skills training.

Registration: The deadline to register is 28 February 2017.  Register here.

What:  There are two parallel research conferences proposed and organised by students wanting to advance their research and extend their collaborations. The conferences include talks by invited speakers and students as well as poster and recreational sessions.

Confirmed speakers:  Florence Marchi, Institute Néel; Ekaterina Selezneva, NPL, Charles Clifford, NPL; Sonia Antoranz Contera, Oxford University

Functional scanning probe microscopy techniques:  

The conference will be focused on sharing the different functional scanning probe microscopy techniques that PhD students use in their day-to-day. Because scanning probe microscopy is becoming a standard tool in many materials laboratories, it has seen a huge increase in the number of available techniques, with almost no time for training of new users.

Our aim is that each PhD student will be able to share their experience and at the same time will be able to learn from others. The objective is that every student attending the conference will learn at least one new technique relevant for their work.

The main topics will be general applications of atomic force microscopy (AFM), magnetic force microscopy, Kelvin microscopy, nanolithography, scanning tunneling microscopy, electrochemical AFM, force spectroscopy, and thermal AFM. Our aim is to transfer knowledge between users of the different techniques in order to make students aware of the available tools they can use in their research.

If your research involves scanning probe microscopy, then you are welcome to submit an abstract (~300 words) describing your work. Please indicate your preference for an oral presentation (15 minutes) or a poster (A1 size). Travel and accommodation expenses are fully covered by SEPnet and there is no registration fee. Please email your submissions to hector.corte [at] npl.co.uk using the template here.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Organisers: Héctor Corte-León (RHUL) Alex Browning (Surrey)

(The parellel session is “A Broadband Look at Astrophysical Processes “.  This meeting will take a broadband look at astrophysical processes across the electromagnetic spectrum.  By introducing different features of the electromagnetic spectrum in an astrophysical context, it will create a foundation for broadband study at different wavebands. Organisers: Peter Boorman, Bella Boulderstone and Chris Frohmaier  (Soton.)

17Jan/17

Student-led Conference: A Broadband Look at Astrophysical Processes 30-31 March 2017

A Broadband Look at Astrophysical Processes 30-31 March 2017

Who:  This is for postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers from the SEPnet region with research interests in this year’s conference topics.  A limited number of places are available to early stage researchers beyond the region.

When:  30-31 March 2017.  Arrival in the evening on 29 March 2017.

Where:  Building 58, Murray Lecture Theatre Complex, Highfield Campus, University of Southampton SO17 1BJ.   Free to attend.  Single en suite accomodation at the Glen Ayre Complex. Travel expenses to and from the venue can be claimed through SEPnet.

Abstract deadline 30 November 2016:  Submit your abstract here.  Once your abstract has been accepted you will be notified by the conference organiser to register for this conference.

Registration: The deadline to register is 28 February 2017.  Register here.

What:  There are two parallel research conferences proposed and organised by students wanting to advance their research and extend their collaborations. The conferences include talks by invited speakers and students as well as poster and recreational sessions.

A Broadband Look at Astrophysical Processes:

Astrophysics PhD students commonly start work at a particular waveband of the electromagnetic spectrum, sometimes without any prior knowledge of how their work fits into the ‘bigger picture’.  By introducing attendees to a broad collection of astrophysical research topics at multiple wavelengths, this conference aims to create a foundation to the wider context of students’ research.

This conference will feature seven sessions across the electromagnetic spectrum on: radio; infrared; optical; ultraviolet; X-ray; gamma ray and cosmology/big data.

We encourage abstract applications from PhD students and post-doctoral researchers for oral and poster presentations on any of the aforementioned topics.  Presentations should encompass how you use this topic in your astronomy-based research.  To submit your abstract, please go to https://sites.google.com/site/broadbandlook/home and fill out the form under ‘Abstract Submission for Students’.

Successful applicants will be notified by early January, who must then register for the conference via the registration link included above.

Organisers: Peter Boorman, Bella Boulderstone and Chris Frohmaier  (Soton)

(The parallel session is Functional scanning probe microscopy techniques. This meeting is for those interested in surface analysis and nanotechnology characterisation. Basic concepts and different techniques used by students working on a wide range of topics, from nanomaterials, soft matter, biomedicine, to polymers, surface analysis, and magnetism will be explored. Organisers: Héctor Corte-León (RHUL) Alex Browning (Surrey).)

This workshop contributes 12 hours towards physics skills training.

17Jan/17

GRADnet School: Experimental Methods for Condensed Matter 5-7 March 2017

Experimental Methods for Condensed Matter 5-7 March 2017

Who:  This course is for 1st and 2nd Year Physics postgraduate researchers working in experimental condensed matter physics, and theorists wanting to learn what   experimenters can do!

When: Sunday, 5 March to Tuesday, 7 March 2017.  Arrival 12:30 on Sunday, 5 March.

Where:  Old Thorns Manor Hotel, Liphook, Hampshire, GU30 7PE.  All meals and accommodation have been booked and pre-paid by SEPnet.  Travel expenses to and from the venue can be claimed through SEPnet.  A shuttle taxi service will be provided from Liphook station to Old Thorns on Monday morning and Tuesday evening.

Register here.  Registration deadline 30 January 2017

What:  A 3-day residential workshop that describes the background science, the methodology, the capability and some dos and don’ts of a range of common spectroscopy, microscopy and characterisation techniques.

This residential school has the joint objectives of reinforcing understanding for students already working with some of the methods discussed and showing what other methods might offer. It will include lectures, tutorials, seminars and other activity sessions on:

  • X-ray and neutron scattering
  • Optical spectroscopies.  A discussion of the basics of optical spectroscopy, spectrometers and spectrographs will be followed by examples of their use in characterising materials by photoluminescence, Raman spectroscopy, absorption spectroscopy, etc.
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance. An introduction to how physicists use NMR to measure molecular dynamics and microstructure.
  • Electron and atomic force microscopies and surface analysis techniques. These methods enable the imaging of (i) the topography of materials surfaces, (ii) the microstructure of a material, (iii) the defects, such as dislocations, within a material and (iv) chemical analysis. Two sessions explore how these goals are achieved.

This workshop contributes 16 hours towards physics skills training.

13Jan/17

GRADnet Winter School – Please Register today.

GRADnet Winter School 13-15 February 2017, Cumberland Lodge, Great Windsor Park, Berkshire SL4 2HP

This 3-day residential school will focus on the skills required for effective leadership and team-working.  The core activity will centre around a multi-media case simulation of the ill-fated Columbia Space Shuttle mission. In this mission, NASA engineers and leaders sought to understand the nature and threat associated with a technical problem that occurred on launch. Over the course of the mission, they analysed the damage, assessed the risks, and decided what to do. Leadership, organisational culture, communication, personality characteristics, formal systems and job positions are amongst many complex issues that affected the course of the decision-making process.

Workshop participants work in teams to analyse the simulation, using materials supplied by NASA. Each team takes the role of one of the key NASA managers or engineers, initially experiencing only those events that that person had at the time of the mission. This adds a rich dimension to the case experience as participants recognise how perceptions of the same event can vary.

See attached for further details and a draft timetable. Columbia’s Final Mission Winter School Timetable 2017 Draft

To see what happened at the last Winter School look here.

This is a free event and all reasonable travel expenses are covered by SEPnet.

Log on to the VRE and register hereRegistration deadline 13 January 2017.

Cristobel

Cristobel Soares-Smith

SEPnet Graduate Network Administrator

mailto:gradnetadmin@sepnet.ac.uk

01483 682270

www.sepnet.ac.uk
12Jan/17

SEPnet SUMMER PLACEMENTS 2017

SEPnet is_DSC9244 seeking 8-12 week placement projects in industry or research in areas such as data analysis, mathematic modelling, product design and testing or science communication.

WHO CAN APPLY?
The scheme is aimed at any organisations interested in recruiting physics graduates or who can offer valuable business experience including large companies, SMEs, start-ups, research institutions, charities and NGOs.

BENEFITS TO EMPLOYERS
• Early access to bright, numerate students with excellent problem-solving and IT skills
• Enables you to carry out projects you would not normally have time for
• Provides a fresh perspective on your business challenges
• All advertising, administration and placement support is handled by SEPnet
• Some funding available for SMEs.

Employers who participate in the scheme include AWE, BAE Systems, CCFE, Good Energy, Leonardo, Met Office, NPL, QinetiQ, STFC and many SMEs.

Register your placement project, or projects, online by Friday 10 February
For more information visit www.sepnet.ac.uk/students-employers/information-for-employers/

Email summerplacements@sepnet.ac.uk.