Category Archives: GRADnet

10Apr/18

GRADnet Summer School 2-5 July 2018

Who: Physics, and physics related,   post-graduate researchers.

What: A 4-day residential school that explores the wide range of opportunities open to PhD physicists.

When: 2-5 July 2018

Where: Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex.

Numbers: Circa 50–60 delegates

This intensive school comprises a broad menu of workshops and challenges led by different employers designed to offer students an insight into opportunities beyond their PhD.

A wide range of employers join the school to offer workshops designed to show what life in a given industry sector type is like and what kind of work is involved. Students choose to take four of these over two days.

A consultancy challenge is run another day. High-tech companies come with real science problems and invite students, working in teams, to create solutions using the skills they have learnt in their PhD.

The whole event is threaded through with short sessions led by expert speakers looking at some of the issues that confront those working in science: Outreach, Impact, IPR, Ethics and the like.

Employers participating in recent summer schools include:  Airbus Defence and Space; AkzoNobel; Amec Foster Wheeler; AWE;Centre for Applied Science and Technology (Gov’t forensics); Centre for Integrated Photonics (Huawei); Chomko & Rosier; Culham Centre for Fusion Energy; Dstl, Fourth State Medicine; IBM; InSync Technology; Magnox; the Met Office; MR Solutions; Observatory Science Centre; Oxford Instruments; Petroleum Geo-services; RBA Acoustics; Rolls Royce; Starcount; Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd; and WP Thompson.

Your travel expenses, meals and accommodation are covered by SEPnet.

Registation deadline 1 June 2018

Eventbrite - GRADnet Summer School 2-5 July 2018

You will not incur any personal costs for attending this workshop.  For residential events SEPnet charges your Department £100.

2016 Summer School

Group Photo from the 2016 GRADnet Summer School at Herstmonceux

27Mar/18

Student-led conference 21-23 March 2018 – A great success!

The student-led conferences took place 21-23 March at the University of Southampton with over 60 delegates taking part in two parallel conferences:

  • Advances in High Energy Physics and Cosmology led by Simon King at the University of Southampton
  • From Micrometres to Megaparsecs” organised by Justyn Campbell-White from the University of Kent.

Simon King shares his views on why he wanted to organise a conference for postgraduate research students and the skills he acquired during the process:

“When I was presented with the opportunity to organise my own conference in high energy physics, I was very keen to pursue it! I was not exactly sure what would be required, but I thought it would be a great occasion to participate in the other side of conferences than just attending (many of) them!

In practise, the vast majority of the work was undertaken by the fantastic Cristobel Soares-Smith, GRADnet Administrator, who was in charge of all of the practical aspects which allowed me to focus on the scientific programme.

Me (and my co-organiser on the astronomy department) Justyn Campbell-White were the lead organisers of our respective conferences, but not without help from many other students! I would like to personally thank Sonali Mohapatra, Jack Setford and Alex Titterton for their help in finding scientific speakers and shaping the conference to what it was. There were many unexpected challenges, including dealing with last-minute changes to the programme, and trying to satisfy all participants from a wide variety of fields; but I think this was a success. Many thanks to the invited speakers who did an excellent job of providing a general introduction to their respective topics, and to the students who did a wonderful job explaining their current research.

The whole conference went very smoothly, and it was a fantastic opportunity to practise skills required for a career in academia beyond publishing papers. I am very thankful to GRADnet, and Cristobel for allowing me this opportunity and I would highly recommend it to any PhD student!”

The student led conference Advances in High Energy Physics and Cosmology was exciting and varied. The balance of student talks to invited speakers was ideal as both a networking opportunity and as an inviting atmosphere in which to present PhD research. I was unfortunately unable to give a talk myself, however I’ve been inspired by the organisers dedication to providing an excellent experience and would very much like to organise such a conference myself! Also Cristobel is amazing.” (Azaria Coupe, third year PhD student at the University of Southampton)

See “From Micrometres to Megaparsecs” conference Twitter feed here.

Attendees from both conferences take a break:

 

19Feb/18

Columbia Space Shuttle Mission is case study at GRADnet Winter School

This year’s Winter School, entitled “Building your leadership potential”, took place on the 14-16 February 2018 at Cumberland Lodge.  The former royal residence set in the heart of Windsor Great Park was host to 25 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.

Thank you to Alys Brett Data and Coding Team Leader, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, Jan-Theodoor Janssen, Head of Science for SI Metrology, National Physical Laboratory and John Wells, VP Engineering, Leonardo Air and Space Systems Division, who participated in the employer panel session.

Students also had an opportunity to hear from the finalists of the Enterprising Ideas Competition during a “Physics Means Business” networking evening. Congratulations to the winners, Royal Holloway University of London who had a team of both undergraduate and postgraduates. Thank you to Elaine Hickmott, Elaine Hickmott Enterprises for  leading the entrepreneurship training and running the 2017-18 competition.

A PGR from the University of Sussex said, “I really enjoyed the programme. It was varied and interesting. I liked the mix of presentation and workshop and having networking/discussion panels with employers was useful.”

Thank you to Trevor Long, Trevor Long Consultancy who ran the workshop, Veronica Benson, SEPnet Employer Liaison Director and Kay Pearson, Employer Engagement Advisor, for offering feedback and finally Cristobel Soares-Smith, Graduate Network Administrator for organising the event.

19Feb/18

GRADnet Winter School 2018 a Great Success

This year’s Winter School, entitled “Building your leadership potential”, took place on the 14-16 February 2018 at Cumberland Lodge.  The former royal residence set in the heart of Windsor Great Park was host to 26 postgraduate students from eight of the SEPnet members, 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. Veronica Benson and Kay Pearson from SEPnet’s Employer Engagement team observed the PGRs and provided feedback to them.

Alys Brett, from UKAEA, JT Jansenn from National Physical Laboratory, John Wells from Leonardo and Helen White from AWE took part in a panel discussion and  gave their perspectives on leadership styles from an employer’s point of view.

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 in the pouring rain.

12Feb/18

Strong Correlations Workshop 11-13 April 2018

What: A 2.5-day residential workshop that describes the background science of strongly correlated systems and experiments to probe them.

Who:  1st and 2nd Year Physics postgraduate researchers working in condensed matter physics.      

When:  11-13 April 2018

Where:  Old Thorns Manor Hotel, Liphook, Hampshire

Numbers:  Circa 25-30 delegates

No two researchers would ever completely agree on the definition of a strongly correlated system; however they may very roughly be described as materials where the correlations between electrons induced by interactions make the behaviour of the material ‘interesting’.

This interactive two-and-a-half day residential workshop is designed for PhD students who would benefit from learning more about this subject. The course will consist of three short lecture courses of three lectures each, covering both the theoretical concepts necessary to understand strongly correlated systems, as well as how one would probe them experimentally. The course will be self-contained, assuming only a knowledge of quantum mechanics and undergraduate level solid state physics. It should therefore be beneficial to students working on both theoretical and/or experimental projects. 

In addition to the lectures, the workshop will have tutorials that pose and discuss problems related to the lectures. This will also offer an opportunity to ask many questions and continue further discussions with all of the lecturers. There will also be a poster session, some evening seminars, and a skills session focussing on scientific communication. 

Posters to be presented must be size A1 portrait.

Travel expenses, meals and accommodation are covered by SEPnet.

Registration deadline 9 March 2018.

Register here:

24Jan/18

GRADnet Observational Astrophysics Workshop 5-7 March 2018

Who: Physics postgraduate researchers in observational astronomy. Would also be of interest to theoretical astronomers wanting an introduction to data analysis.

What: A 3-day residential workshop led by senior researchers in the SEPnet region comprising lectures, tutorials, seminars and other activities.

When: 5-7 March 2018

Where: Old Thorns Manor Hotel, Liphook, Hampshire.

Numbers: Circa 20-30 delegates

The aim of this workshop is to give a broad overview and hands-on experience of different techniques in observational astrophysics. The emphasis will be on practical skills training sessions with plenty of opportunity for student/staff interaction.

Exercises will be graded to match students experience and abilities.

Data mining – in other words doing astronomy using existing data in public repositories: examples from galactic and extragalactic astrophysics; an introduction to TopCat from its author (Mark Taylor); practical exercises.

Citizen science – how to get the general public to do your data analysis for you: examples and exercises.

Telescope proposals: the techniques and tools required to write an observing proposal; how the evaluation procedure works; practical exercises in both writing and reviewing. Much of what is learnt will be transferable to other types of proposal, e.g. applying for HPC time, grant funding, etc.

Using the OU robotic telescope: we will make remote observations on the OU PIRATE telescope on Tenerife (weather permitting).

Analysing observational data – an introduction to the main concepts: examples and practical exercises of source extraction, photometry, spectroscopy, SED fitting, etc.

Standalone lectures: introduction to X-ray/HE astronomy; Introduction to radio astronomy & interferometry; Current & planned telescopes/satellites/instruments.

Register here. Deadline to register is 2 February 2018.

24Jan/18

Numerical Modelling in Condensed Matter Workshop a success!

The Numerical Modelling in Condensed Matter Workshop took place on 14-16 January 2018 at Old Thorns in Liphook and was attended by 20 delegates.

The students enjoyed the hands-on practical sessions on the simulation programme and the interaction with other SEPnet PGRs.

Malin Schulz, a first year PGR at the University of Surrey ” found the workshop an amazing opportunity to learn about molecular modelling. The lecturers did a great job to deliver the methods to us and helped us getting started on modelling. It was also a great opportunity to meet PhD students from other universities who work in a similar field.”

Thanks to Dr Dave Faux, University of Surrey and Professor Keith Refson who delivered the 3-day workshop and to Cristobel Soares-Smith who organised the event.

17Jan/18

From Micrometres to Megaparsecs: Student-led Conference 21-23 March 2018

From Micrometres to Megaparsecs: Student-led Conference 21-23 March 2018

Who: 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.

What: 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.  

When: 21-23 March 2018  (Arrival 18:00 on 21 March 2018)

Where:  Murray Lecture Building, Highfield Campus, University of Southampton. (Accommodation at Glen Eyre Complex, Highfield Campus)

NumbersCirca 35 delegates

This conference aims to bring together students from all areas of astronomy research. From micrometeorites at Kent, to cosmological surveys at Portsmouth, the GRADnet groups and astronomy departments cover all sizes and scales of the Universe. Students will gain knowledge of a wide range of research techniques applied to the various size scales, and see where such techniques may cross over and enhance their own research; e.g. how the physics of planetary system formation can scale up to galactic formation.

Organisers:  Sam Billington, Justyn Campbell-White, University of Kent, and Ben Mawdsley, University of Portsmouth

The parallel conference is Advances in High Energy Physics and Cosmology and aims to bring together students from all areas of particle physics research. There will be cross-over lectures which are relevant to students of both astronomy and particle physics.    

The deadline to register is 7 February 2018. Register here

17Jan/18

Advances in High Energy Physics and Cosmology: Student-led Conference 21-23 March 2018

Advances in High Energy Physics and Cosmology: Student-led Conference 21-23 March 2018

Who: 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.What: 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.  

When: 21-23 March 2018  (Arrival 18:00 on 21 March 2018)

Where:  Murray Lecture Building, Highfield Campus, University of Southampton. (Accommodation at Glen Eyre Complex, Highfield Campus)

Numbers: Circa 35 delegates

This conference aims to bring together students from all GRADnet nodes and provide high quality lectures from experts in the fields over a variety of topics.

Students attending will learn from a wide range of topics, which include dark matter, gravitational waves and other cosmological topics. There will also be sessions for students to present their own research in addition to learning from accomplished lecturers.

Organisers: Simon King, University of Southampton, Sonali Mohapatra and Jack Setford, University of Sussex.

The parallel conference is From Micrometres to Megaparsecs and aims to bring together students from all areas of astronomy research. There will be cross-over lectures which are relevant to students of both particle physics and astronomy.

The deadline to register is 7 February 2018.  Register here.

12Jan/18

PRACTICAL INNOVATION Workshops for GRADnet Students

Friday 9 February, University of Sussex
Thursday 15 March, Queen Mary University of London
10:30am to 3:00pm

Thinking about how to commercialise your research, or an idea, and turn it into a product or service? Perhaps you are interested in a career in business or knowing how businesses are created. Would you like to start thinking like an entrepreneur? Or as someone that wants to change the world through innovation.

In this workshop you will learn and practise some real business thinking. We’ll introduce you to a modern and practical tool-set for evaluating new business ideas and innovations and help you get off the starting block.

Book your place at Eventbrite via these links:  Sussex  and QMUL.

The same workshop is taking place on both days, so come along to the one most convenient for you. PGR students from any SEPnet department are welcome.

Places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.  For enquiries, email: gill.prosser@port.ac.uk

Workshop Leader: Julia Shalet, Product Doctor
Julia spent the first 15 years of her career managing products – at one end of the scale generating new revenues of £1m per annum for a start-up and at the other managing a product portfolio of £350m per annum in Corporate. In 2006 she set up independently as Product Doctor providing user and revenue-centric product coaching for innovators – often helping them to apply tried and tested toolkits to make successful products. She runs courses at UCL, coaches at Pearson Education and has worked with many funded start-ups including Fitbug.