Category Archives: postgraduate

03Oct/16

GRADnet Induction 2016 for our new PGRs

GRADnet is pleased to announce the Induction event for Physics PGRs from across SEPnet.

Who:  1st Year Physics PhD students. All SEPnet Departments expect all new students to attend.

When:  26 October 2016, 10:15-16:00

Where:  Park Crescent Conference Centre, 229 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 5PN.

Numbers: This event is strongly recommended by all SEPnet partner Departments.  Circa 100 students are expected to attend. Students are to sign up for two workshops on arrival and attend one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Register here.  Or with your local GRADnet administrator. Deadline to register is 19 October 2016. Please ensure you have your VRE account activated.

What:  A one day introduction to GRADnet to learn more about opportunities, to meet fellow researchers from across the network and to participate in two from five short workshops designed to get you started in key areas of activity.

  • LaTeX. LaTeX is a document preparation system widely used by physical scientists for the creation of scientific papers, reports and theses, indeed many key journals require paper submission in LaTeX. You will learn to create a simple document covering the key components — title, abstract, sections, tables, equations, figures, and references.
  • MATLAB. Matlab is a high-level technical computing language and interactive environment for algorithm development, data analysis and visualization, and numerical computation.  MATLAB can solve technical computing problems faster and more easily than with traditional programming languages, such as C, C++, and FORTRAN.
  • Python. Python is a powerful, high-level scripting language that is widely used in scientific research for a huge range of data  analysis and visualisation applications. In this workshop you will learn how to use Python, starting from basic scripts to explore syntax and data types, working up to more complicated ‘real world’ examples.
  • Getting your research published.  This workshop will explain the steps necessary to take the results of your research through to a published paper.  Led by “insiders” from IOP Publishing, it will explain what makes a good paper and why some authors succeed while others do not.
  • Meetings and conferences.  A major part of many students’ PhD is organising meetings; meetings with supervisors, collaborators, sponsors and broader workshops and conferences.  This is a practical workshop designed to help you organise conferences, meetings and events from start to finish, without compromising your research.
03Oct/16

Effective Physics Researcher 1 & 29 November 2016

GRADnet is offering a two day course for recent Physics PhD researchers in the SEPnet region.

Who:  This course is for 1st and 2nd Year Physics PhD researchers.

When:   Tuesday, 1 and 29 November 2016

Where:  The Open University, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden, NW1 8NF, Room 1

Register here.  Registration deadline 25 October 2016.

What:  An interactive two-day course designed to develop the skills necessary for you to start your PhD research off on the right foot.  Throughout the two days you will participate in activities and discussions that help you develop plans and strategies which will enable you to succeed now and that will provide you with a solid foundation for the future after your doctorate.

Attendance is required on Day 1 and Day 2.  Day 2 is on 29 November 2016 at the OU in Camden and will cover activities with employers.

Day One: Starting Strong

A varied series of interactive sessions that explore;

  •  What is an effective researcher
  •  Different research approaches
  •  Critical thinking and reading
  •  Understanding expectations and supervisors
  •  Your path to completion
  •  Research project planning
  •  What you need to know
  •  Your next 100 days!

Day Two: Succeeding Now and in the Future

  •  Building your resources
  •  What will this doctorate do for me?
  •  The academic horizon
  •  Employer panel: What do employers want from physics doctoral graduates?
  •  Researcher spotlight: Presenting your research plans
06Sep/16

GRADnet Planetary Science School 14-15 November 2016

Planetary Science School 14-15 November 2016

GRADnet is pleased to announce a two day workshop for postgraduate researchers engaged in the diverse areas of Planetary Science at the SEPnet members.

Who:  Physics postgraduate researchers in planetary science.

When:  14-15 November 2016

Where:  National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, Middlesex, TW11 0LW Accommodation is pre-booked and paid by SEPnet at the Travelodge in Teddington.  Travel expenses to and from the venue can be claimed through SEPnet.

Register here.  Registration deadline 14 October 2016. You will need to be logged onto the GRADnet VRE to register.

What:  A 2-day residential workshop led by senior researchers in the SEPnet region comprising lectures, tutorials, seminars and other activities. The workshop comprises four sessions exploring difference aspects of planetary science through a mix of lectures, seminars and tutorials. There will be a poster opportunity for students to present their own plans and research.

Measuring geology on distant worlds

Led by researchers from the Open University, this session explores how rocks and minerals that form distant worlds are formed, destroyed, and rebuilt during geologic processes.  The contrasting examples of Mercury and Mars will be described.

Planetary magnetospheres

Led by researchers from the University of Southampton, this session explores how solar system bodies interact with the solar wind, the extension of the Sun’s outer atmosphere that flows outward through the solar system.

Asteroids and Comets

Led by researchers from the University of Kent, this session focuses on the exploration of asteroids and comets that recently achieved fame through Rosetta’s Philae probe first-ever landing on a comet; 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

Deep space communication and navigation

Getting probes to distant worlds and getting quality data back is a key aspect of any mission in planetary science.  Led by researchers at NPL this session discusses the technical and intellectual challenges involved.

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

 

 

30Aug/16

GRADnews Issue 5 – Summer 2016 Issue available

The Summer 2016 issue of GRADnews has been sent off for printing. It will be distributed to all PGRs and staff across the SEPnet members over the next two weeks. Watch out for it in your mailslots or in your PGR student common rooms/areas. If there’s one in your mailslot, then it’s for you!

This issue concentrates on the GRADnet Training programme as we reach the third year of its delivery. It summarises some of the recent programme, such as the Online Learning modules produced by PGRs keen to pass on their knowledge to newer students; the recent Summer School held at Hertmonceux; the Entrepreneurship Challenge; the SEPnet Scholar scheme; and, looking forward, the Student led conferences planned for 2017; the training programme and the forthcoming Big Data workshop.

As always, please ensure you have a functioning VRE account so you can fully participate in the programme. If you need help, please look here: http://www.sepnet.ac.uk/sepnet-graduate-network/gradnets-virtual-research-environment/frequently-asked-questions-faqs-gradnet-vre/ 

You can download a copy of the newsletter here: 63890 GRADnews Issue 5 PROOF1

30Aug/16

GRADnet VRE – Make sure your account is working

With the start of the new academic year upon us and the GRADnet training programme being launched for the coming year, we must ensure that all PGR students in SEPnet have ensured they have functioning logins for the GRADnet Virtual Research Environment.Your login (also called an OUCU) is of the form AB12345 where AB is normally your two initials.

It is vital that all students are able to login to the VRE and regularly check it for information and enrolment on GRADnet offerings. We have implemented a system for enrolling on GRADnet offerings via the VRE and for most offerings enrolment will only be possible via the VRE.

This same system on the VRE allows you to find and search for courses, workshops, residential schools etc that you may be interested in attending or required to attend. It is important that you are able to access it and to ensure you are able to use it. These can be found under the Training tab when logged onto the VRE and the GRADnet Event Catalogue and Registrations entry on that page.

The VRE is accessible via www.sepnet.ac.uk/vre . It can also be found via the SEPnet website (www.sepnet.ac.uk) under the “SEPnet Graduate Network” menu: SEPnet Graduate Network -> GRADnet’s Virtual Research Environment.

A set of FAQs concerning the VRE and how to register or reset accounts are available here.

For:

  • New Students (or unregistered current students): you will need to register and can do so on www.sepnet.ac.uk/vre At busy times this process may take up to 5 days, if you have not received account details within 5 days please contact your local GRADnet administration contact.
    • Herts: Kathy Head
    • Kent: Helen West
    • The OU: Georgina Ayre
    • Portsmouth: Emma Bain
    • QMUL: Karen Wilkinson
    • RHUL: Carmella Froggatt
    • Southampton: Ceris French
    • Surrey: Joanna Moore
    • Sussex: Rebecca Foster
  • If you have an existing account but have forgotten the password you can reset your password by calling the OU’s Student Computing and Distribution Helpdesk on 01908 653972 and ask for your “visitor SAMS password” to be reset. You will need to know your username (OUCU) and may be asked to confirm your date of birth. If you are unable to call the helpdesk then you can email ou-scdhd@open.ac.uk but please note that it can take longer to reset your password by email. DO NOT use the “password reset” link on the OU sign on screen. 
  • If you have forgotten your username (OUCU) then please contact the GRADnet administrator at your university. Before doing so please check historical emails and other sources that may include your OUCU.
  • Expired access: in some instances it is possible that access has expired (depending on when the account was created and last accessed). If you are using your username and password and unable to log in or not seeing what you expect then you should email vre-webmaster@open.ac.uk  to investigate. This process will always take longer to investigate than a password reset so if there is any chance that you are using the wrong password then you should take the password reset option first.
  • Non-SEPnet accounts: some students have created accounts from the main OU website. If this is the case then you won’t have a username made up of your initials followed by some numbers. Depending on the information that you provide it can take a while to get to investigate these so it would be important to include this in any communication so that you can be instructed to register using the SEPnet VRE registration.

Having validated that your account works and that you can sign in, please ensure that you keep your account information with you so that it does not become necessary to reset the passwords because of infrequent use. Web-browsers often enable the automatic storage of passwords and account details and help make logging in much easier but you may find this gets lost in some circumstances.

As we anticipate that the new cohort of students joining this term will be registering for the VRE over the next few weeks we would urge you to act now.

15Aug/16

GRADnet 2016/17 Training Programme announced

Outline of 2016-17 Training Programme

GRADnet is pleased to announce its programme of Physics PGR training for the coming academic year. We have developed our biggest programme yet for 2016/17 comprising a mix of  academic Physics workshops and student-led conferences; Residential schools with real life industrial content, leadership and professional skills training; targeted professional skills modules and more peer-learning opportunities.

This year, GRADnet is focussing more strongly on residential workshops in the big research themes of its partner Physics Departments. For 2016/17 we are offering:

For some of these events we will return to the Old Thorns Country Club which offers impressive facilities in the middle of our region. Others will be held at NPL.

 

Teamwork: the marshmallow challenge at the 2016 GRADnet Winter School

Teamwork: the marshmallow challenge at the 2016 GRADnet Winter School

For First Year PGRs

The whole programme kicks off with an Induction Day on 26th October in central London. New this year, Induction  will include a choice of workshops for new PhD students:

  • Introduction to LaTeX
  • Introduction to Python
  • Introduction to MATlab
  • Getting your research published and
  • Organising meetings and conferences.

For all PGRS

The Winter School in 2017 (Feb  13-15) focuses entirely on the 2003 NASA Columbia disaster:  a popular case-study element of last year’s school. It takes students through exercises in leadership and team-working, skills rated highly by employers.

The 2017 Summer School (July 3-6) follows the established pattern of  “What can I do with my PhD?”– a mix of employer workshops and consultancy challenges. In 2017 it will be hosted once more by NPL.

There will be a Student led conference covering Astronomy and Scanning Probe Microscopy Techniques at the University of Southampton on March 30-31 2017; a Professional Skills Day on May 18th; a module on Public Engagement on February 21st; and Effective Researcher, kicking it off, on Nov 1st and  29th 2016.

The programme for the year can be downloaded here: GRADnet Brochure 2016-17 Final

For more information on these course and to register, logon to the GRADnet VRE.

08Jul/16
2016 Summer School

SEPnet Physics PGRs invade Herstmonceux Castle

“Where might my Physics Take me?” – GRADnet 2016 Summer School – Herstmonceux

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The Observatory Science Centre, formerly the Royal Greenwich Observatory

During the week of 4th July 2016, nearly 50 SEPnet Physics PGRs from around the region attended the GRADnet 2106 Summer School. This was the fifth of our series of residential schools in the GRADnet programme and it was held in the historic setting of Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex.  The castle is of 15th Century origin and is located by the former Royal Greenwich Observatory, now a public Science Centre.

The purpose of the GRADnet residential schools is to give Physics Postgraduate Researchers in the SEPnet region the opportunity to experience opportunities and challenges outside of academia. They give them the chance to interact with employers from leading organisations through interactive workshops, presentations and poster sessions. They explore how the skills developed by Physics PGRs can be applied to solve problems encountered in the commercial world.

The programme consisted of the “Consultancy Challenge”, a competition where students take on the role of consultants to propose solutions to problems encountered by companies. Amec Foster Wheeler, Chomko & Rosier, Observatory Science Centre, and InSync Technology presented the students with a set of problems they need help solving, and the students formed teams to propose solutions. The posters with their solutions from the teams are here.

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Dr Becky Parker

There were modules on Public Engagement, led by Rowena Fletcher-Wood of Things We Don’t Know, followed  by a “Pub Quiz” to push the problem solving skills to the limit and think about how to communicate science in new ways. The next day Dr Becky Parker, Director of the Institute for Research in Schools, gave a stimulating talk on how Physics researchers could work with schools to engage them in their research, to inspire school students to become involved in cutting edge research.

 

Workshops from Airbus, NPL, CAST, AkzoNobel, the Met Office, and MR Solutions gave insights into challenges faced in the commercial world and how Physics skills can be applied to address them.

Dr Julian Potter of JW Thompson

Dr Julian Potter of JW Thompson

Key topics covered by other speakers included Intellectual Property by Julian Potter of JW Thompson, and Ethics in Research by Paul Stephenson of the University of Surrey, explored via case studies of ethical issues researchers are likely to encounter.

All in all, a packed programme that our students thoroughly enjoyed and valued.

Prizes for Posters and the Consultancy Challenge

Research Posters:

  • 1st:  Sarah Bentley, University of Reading
  • 2nd:  Lotfi Achiri, University of Surrey
  • Joint 3rd:  Andrew Lawson, University of Southampton and Tomas Navickas, University of Sussex
Sarah Bentley, Winner

Sarah Bentley, Winner

Lotfi Achiri, Runner Up

Lotfi Achiri, Runner Up

Andrew Lawson and Tomas Navickas, joint 3rd

Andrew Lawson and Tomas Navickas, joint 3rd

Consultancy Challenges:

Amec Foster Wheeler:

Team Green 1

  • Gemma Chapman, University of Surrey
  • Michael Everson, University of Kent
  • Heather McAslan, University of Sussex
  • Shaun Read, University of Hertfordshire
Chomko & Rosier:

Team Blue 2:

  • Chris Hayes, University of Hertfordshire
  • Tom Vaughan, Royal Holloway University of London
  • Oliver Winston, University of Sussex
  • Tingting Zhang, Queen Mary University of London
InSync Technology:

Team Red 1:

  • Andrea Fortini, University of Surrey
  • Anthony Preston, University of Southampton
  • Gabriel Secheli, University of Surrey
Observatory Science Centre:

Team Yellow 1:

  • Jesus Rubio-Jimenez, University of Sussex
  • Sarah Bentley, University of Reading
  • Ryan Perera, University of Surrey
People’s Choice:

Team Red 3:

  • Tugba Buyukbese, University of Sussex
  • Ryan Cheale, University of Hertfordshire
  • James Kneller, Queen Mary University of London
  • Tom Peach, University of Surrey 

 

 

Photographs of the week are available below:

 

01Jul/16

Southampton Quantum Light and Matter Summer School

For GRADnet Postgraduate Research Students

Southampton Quantum Light and matter PGR students are holding a Summer School in Winchester on August 30 – September 1st. In the interests of encouraging greater collaboration within SEPnet we have agreed to fund upto 10 PGRs from other SEPnet partners to participate, including their reasonable travel cost. If the numbers are oversubscribed we will work with the organisers to ensure a reasonable distribution across the SEPnet members and sub-disciplines, otherwise places will be filled  first come first served. The deadline for registration has been extended to Friday August 5th 2016.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Professor Mark Fox, The University of Sheffield
  • Professor Marika Taylor, University of Southampton
  • Professor Ifan Hughes,  Durham University
  • Professor Shinichi Saito, University of Southampton

Visit www.qlmsummerschool.co.uk to register

02Mar/16

GRADnet Strong Correlations Workshop 17-19 April 2016

Date:  17-19 April 2016 (arrival at 12:00 on Sunday afternoon)

Venue and Accommodation:  Old Thorns Manor Hotel, Longmoor Rd, Griggs Green, Liphook, Hampshire GU30 7PE. For directions see here. All accommodation and meals are prepaid and covered by SEPnet.  Reasonable travel expenses will be covered by SEPnet and can be claimed through your GRADnet Administrator at your institution.

To register: here , deadline Friday, 26 March 2016 (Logon to the VRE first)

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 with question sheets relating to the lectures, which is also 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.

For any more information, please contact Sam Carr (s.t.carr@kent.ac.uk).

Lecture Courses:

1. The unstable Fermi Gas — Jorge Quintanilla (Kent)
This course will introduce the concepts and formalism central to many body physics, covering topics such as second quantisation, the Fermi liquid, mean field theories, and correlations.

2. Non-Fermi liquids — Anna Posazhennikova (RHUL)
This course will continue on from the first, and demonstrate some of the fascinating states that may occur when Fermi-liquid theory breaks down but without forming an ordered state; examples include the Kondo-effect, quantum criticality, and heavy Fermion materials.

3. Probes of Condensed Matter — Silvia Ramos (Kent)
This course will cover a few of the common techniques used to experimentally probe condensed matter systems; and show how these techniques reveal the correlations and other theoretical aspects discussed in the other two courses.

This workshop contributes 10 hours towards physics skills training.

The full agenda is here: 2016 GRADnet Strongly Correlated Workshop Timetable