Category Archives: Employer Engagement

31Oct/16

Connecting Industry and Researchers in Physics at University of Hertfordshire

Connecting Industry and Researchers in Physics – SEPnet’s physics PhDs and employers came together for a lively networking evening at University of Hertfordshire on 19 October.

Herts 1 Key employers AWE, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, GlaxoSmithKline, Leonardo, Royal Marsden, Ultra Electronics and others met physics postgraduates and postdocs to talk about what they can offer industry. Students also met data science experts, Pivigo, and Oscar winners, Framestore, in a structured networking session which raised their awareness of how their research can be applied in a wide range of industries. 

 Asked what students gained from the evening, comments included: ‘that my very narrow field links to the wider world’, ‘how my astrophysics research translates into useful transferable skills for industry application’, ‘I met some really interesting (and hopefully useful) people’.

 Our next event will be in May at University of Sussex.  For more details email gradnetadmin@sepnet.ac.uk

10Oct/16

Connecting Industry and Researchers in Physics – A SEPnet Event – Wednesday 19 October 2016 – 17.00-20.00, University of Hertfordshire

Connecting Industry and Researchers in Physics,

Wednesday, 19 October 2016, University of Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire Sports Village, Hatfield.

SEPnet’s Graduate Network (GRADnet) is organising its 6th networking evening to facilitate greater collaboration and links between industry and physics postgraduate research students (PGRs) and researchers.

Who should attend

  • SEPnet PGR students who want to meet businesses and employers from physics-related industries to find out about career opportunities, make contacts and explore research and business ideas.
  • SEPnet partner researchers who want to build links with industry to explore how their research can create impact.
  • Businesses and employers in physics-related industries interested in recruiting physics graduates.

During the evening

  • Hear from panellists including representatives from Culham, Lein Applied Diagnostics, Leonardo, Ultra Electronics, Royal Marsden, Pivigo and GSK talk about the benefits of knowledge exchange and what physics postgraduates and postdocs can offer industry
  • Participate in a speed networking session
  • Build ongoing relationships between industry and researchers through placements, mentoring or research collaboration
  • Find out about work experience and mentoring opportunities;
  • Develop your networking and communication skills.
  • Refreshments will be provided.

How to register    This event is FREE to attend.  Places are limited so please book early by clicking on the following link:http://bit.ly/1R9GsmA.  (PGR students are requested to attend a networking workshop at 16.00). Registration deadline: 14/10/2016

Banners    If you would like to bring a banner for display let us know and we will reserve you a space.

For enquiries, contact gradnetadmin@sepnet.ac.uk

THIS EVENT IS SUPPORTED BY THE INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS

31Aug/16

Connecting Industry and Researchers in Physics – A SEPnet Event – Wednesday 19 October 2016 – 17.00-20.00, University of Hertfordshire

Connecting Industry and Researchers in Physics,

Wednesday, 19 October 2016, University of Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire Sports Village, Hatfield.

SEPnet’s Graduate Network (GRADnet) is organising its 6th networking evening to facilitate greater collaboration and links between industry and physics postgraduate research students (PGRs) and researchers.

Who should attend

  • SEPnet PGR students who want to meet businesses and employers from physics-related industries to find out about career opportunities, make contacts and explore research and business ideas.
  • SEPnet partner researchers who want to build links with industry to explore how their research can create impact.
  • Businesses and employers in physics-related industries interested in recruiting physics graduates.

During the evening

  • Hear from panellists about the benefits of knowledge exchange and what physics postgraduates and postdocs can offer industry
  • Participate in a speed networking session
  • Build ongoing relationships between industry and researchers through placements, mentoring or research collaboration
  • Find out about work experience and mentoring opportunities;
  • Develop your networking and communication skills.
  • Refreshments will be provided.

How to register    This event is FREE to attend.  Places are limited so please book early by clicking on the following link:http://bit.ly/1R9GsmA.  (PGR students are requested to attend a networking workshop at 16.00). Registration deadline: 14/10/2016

Banners    If you would like to bring a banner for display let us know and we will reserve you a space.

For enquiries, contact gradnetadmin@sepnet.ac.uk

THIS EVENT IS SUPPORTED BY THE INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS

 

 

27Jul/16

Open University hosts its first SEPnet Careers Information Fair

Open University hosts its first SEPnet Careers Information Fair for Physics Undergraduates and PhD Students

At the end of June, The Open University hosted a Careers Information Fair for Physics students. Seema Shoor, responsible for employer engagement, organised the fair to enable undergraduates and postgraduate researchers to meet a range of employers face to face (a rare and valuable opportunity for distance learners) to identify potential career options. Key employers of physics graduates attended including Network Rail, Airbus, E2v, IoP, STFC, Home Office, Leonardo (formerly Selex ES) and QinetiQ.

Over 50 students attended and the feedback from employers and students alike was very positive.  Students valued the informal atmosphere: one commented ‘I found it very useful to speak with potential employers and didn’t find the experience too daunting’ (undergraduate student).   Employers commented on students’ enthusiasm and the quality of the conversations with one stating,  ‘I feel that the majority of the students were very willing and open to engage in conversation over their studies and where they wish to progress after their completion of their course. A few of them had read up on the company prior to the event and so they had an idea of who we were and what we could offer them’. (large corporate).

 

14Jul/16

GRADnet Entrepreneurship Challenge – Winners announced

Our dynamic modern world presents interesting and exciting opportunities for those who want to get involved and add value to the economy and society. Entrepreneurship is a key and Research Councils encourage PhD students to have a better understanding of its role in value creation and the role of innovation in fostering it. Earlier this year, GRADnet launched its Entrepreneurship in Action Challenge tailored for Physics PGRs in SEPnet to get involved. Elaine Hickmott of EH-Enterprises developed the programme especially for GRADnet.

As  part of the Challenge, SEPnet institutions were invited to form teams of PGR researchers to compete to be the most entrepreneurial physics department in SEPnet. Teams were formed from Kent, Portsmouth, QMUL, Southampton, Surrey, and  Sussex.

In the six months since the teams formed they have undertaken an exciting, and sometimes gruelling, journey to develop their ideas into marketable proposals. Unfortunately along the way, some teams dropped out due to research commitments. However they gained valuable experience from the intensive training provided.

The teams from across the network gathered on 13 July to present their business ideas to a panel industry judges.  Neil Phillipson of Outsideology, Simon Bland of Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and Phil Edwards of Weald Technology were all impressed by the quality, credibility and potential of the ideas being showcased.  They commented that it was impressive to see physics PhD students applying their skills to challenges and scenarios outside of their normal environment.  They agreed that the creative thinking and entrepreneurial mindset demonstrated by the teams would be an asset to any industry or organisation.

The teams were from Portsmouth (Daniel Goddard and Ben Mawdsley, who sent a video of their project), Southampton (Azaria Coupe, Anthony Preston, Andrew Lawson, and Marc Scott), and two teams from Surrey (Ralitsa Ilieva and Gemma Chapman; Bob Simmons and Louise Dummot).

 

Winning Team from Southampton. Azaria Coupe was unable to be present.

Winning Team from Southampton. Azaria Coupe was unable to be present.

The winning team came from the University of Southampton and they are looking forward to spending their cash prize.  The achievements of all the teams were celebrated at the follow-on networking event which brought together the students and local entrepreneurial businesses.Azaria Coupe, who led the winning team, has written an article on her blog.

All the teams thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, having learnt a lot about innovation, business and themselves.

 


16Jun/16

Connecting Industry and Researchers at Surrey

Connecting Industry and Researchers  – what a PhD graduate learned from our recent GRADnet networking event at Surrey.

On the 9th of June 2016, GRADnet held the fifth in a series of “Meet the Employers” events in which Physics and Astronomy Postgraduates and Researchers meet with regional and national employers.

The recent Surrey event was a great occasion to hear about a wide array of opportunities in physics-related industries – from medical diagnostics to satellite systems – and to get invaluable advice from employers.  There are many R&D roles in industry where a company needs problems solved eg product design, creating innovative methods of quality testing etc. Companies need people who can develop analysis techniques to make sense of data and physics postgraduates can offer these skills.

Employers don’t necessarily expect you to have the expertise required for a specific job role. They need people able to research new techniques, to be curious and flexible and to learn fast – familiar territory for postgraduate researchers who have to cope with fast-paced, unpredictable situations during their PhD. Employers want good problem-solvers.  They want to know what challenges you have overcome during your PhD and what you have gained – both technical knowledge and skills.  Perseverance and resilience are highly valued.

Student and employer exchanging contact information at Industry event.

Student and employer exchanging contact information.

In applied physics, the word ‘engineer’ is often used in a job description but physicists should not be discouraged from applying – it is likely you already have the skills required!  It is really important to find out what are you passionate about because enthusiasm and passion will shine through any role you choose.  Talking to experts from the field can help you to identify ‘what makes you tick’.

The event was a great success and we’re now planning the next one at the University of Hertfordshire on October 19th.

01Jun/16

Register by Friday 3rd June: GRADnet Summer School: Where might my physics take me? 4-7 July 2016

This year’s GRADnet Summer School will focus on where your physics might take you.

Date:  4-7 July 2016,  09:30-17:00

Venue and Accommodation: Herstmonceux Castle, Herstmonceux, Wartling Road Entrance, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 1RN.  For directions see here.

Register here.  (logon to the VRE first) Registration deadline Friday, 3 June.  All accommodation, meals and reasonable travel expenses are covered by SEPnet.

The summer school will provide you with an exciting opportunity to interact with employers from leading companies through interactive workshops, presentations and poster sessions.   By the end of this summer school you will have expanded your skills and have the ability to apply them more broadly.  You will also develop your analytical, problem-solving skills, and your ability to present persuasively to a diverse audience.  These are skills that will help you succeed in your doctoral research and your viva, as well as in interviews and future employment.

Participating companies include:

  • Airbus Defence and Space
  • Amec Foster Wheeler
  • Centre for Applied Science and Technology, Home Office
  • InSync Technology
  • Knowledge Transfer Network
  • Met Office
  • MR Solutions
  • NPL
  • Observatory Science Centre
  • WP Thompson.

The GRADnet Summer School is open to all Physics postgraduate research students across the nine partner institutions of SEPnet.  Approximately 5 places per institution are available but priority will be given to final year students in the event it is over subscribed.

This workshop contributes 8 hours towards physics skills training and 4 hours towards professional skills training.

Photo 03-02-2015 16 11 04

One of the employer led workshops at the 2015 Winter School

16May/16

SEPnet’s Sir William Wakeham’s review on STEM employment is published

Professor Sir William Wakeham, SEPnet’s Independent Chair, has produced an independent review of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) degree provision and graduate employability.

This independent review looks at the employment situation among STEM graduates and the role of accreditation of courses.

The review focuses on the skills requirements of employers, how STEM graduates’ skills and knowledge relate to labour market demand, and how existing accreditation systems support this.

The report is available here.

 

09May/16

Connecting Industry and Researchers in Physics – A South East Physics Network (SEPnet) Event – Thursday 9 June 2016 – 17.00-20.00, University of Surrey, Guildford

SEPnet’s Graduate Network (GRADnet) is organising its 5th networking evening to facilitate greater collaboration and links between industry and physics postgraduate research students (PGRs) and researchers.

Who should attend

  • SEPnet PGR students who want to meet businesses and employers from physics-related industries to find out about career opportunities, make contacts and explore research and business ideas.
  • SEPnet partner researchers who want to build links with industry to explore how their research can create impact.
  • Businesses and employers in physics-related industries interested in recruiting physics graduates.

During the evening

  • Hear from panellists David Banks, InSync Technology; Oliver Dewhurst, QinetiQ; Iain Duncan, Mousetrap Innovation; Kathryn Graham, Surrey Satellite Technology, Peter Lancaster, University of Surrey and Jason Lepley, Finmeccanica talk about the benefits of knowledge exchange and what physics postgraduates and postdocs can offer industry
  • Participate in a speed networking session
  • Build ongoing relationships between industry and researchers through placements, mentoring or research collaboration
  • Refreshments will be provided.

How to register    This event is FREE to attend.  Places are limited so please book early by clicking on the following link: http://bit.ly/1R9GsmA. (PGR students are requested to attend a networking workshop at 16.00).

Banners    If you would like to bring a banner for display let us know and we will reserve you a space.

For enquiries, contact gradnetadmin@sepnet.ac.uk

THIS EVENT IS SUPPORTED BY THE INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS

28Jan/16

Connecting Industry and Researchers in Physics

Connecting Industry and Researchers in Physics – employers and physics PhDs meet at Kent to share ideas on joint working

SEPnet’s Graduate Network (GRADnet) recently held its 4th networking evening to facilitate greater collaboration between industry and physics postgraduate researchers.

Panellists including Simon Campbell of Selex ES, Phil Edwards of Weald Technology, Julie Barry of RIFT Research & Development and Jim Telfer of Hilger Crystals shared their views and advice on what physics graduates can offer businesses, what skills industry needs and what opportunities are available to physics PhDs.   Students then networked with employers to explore potential jobs, research work or industry mentoring support.

SEPnet helps students develop their employability skills in a number of ways and, during the evening, Greg Smith, physics PhD student at Kent, showed his video describing an investigation he would like to send into space. Greg’s video won him a week at the Yuri Gagarin Training Centre in Russia, sponsored jointly by Kent and SEPnet.  The training week will offer Greg the chance to enhance his leadership, team building and communication skills.  You can view Greg’s video here:   Greg Smith, University of Kent – A solution to showering in space.

Our 5th networking event takes place at Surrey on 9 June.  To book a free place, email gradnetadmin@sepnet.ac.uk