Category Archives: Training

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

19Feb/18

Team from Royal Holloway wins SEPnet Enterprising Ideas Competition

In early 2017 SEPnet invited students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, from the network to submit teams for the SEPnet Enterprising Ideas competition. We were  looking for teams who bring fresh ideas, innovative thinking and who have great team working skills that businesses increasingly need.

The idea of the programme was to engender new skills in the students: a fresh perspective on how their skills and knowledge can be applied; understanding more about entrepreneurship and what it means to have an entrepreneurial mindset; and to develop real insights into business, innovation, enterprise and team workings.

The programme would last throughout 2017 with teams undertaking training in June led by Elaine Hickmott of EH-Enterprises who tailored the programme specifically for Physics students in SEPnet. They were then asked to submit their ideas via a short video by September. This was followed by submitting detailed market research and their business case, leading up to a “Dragon’s Den” format presentation to a panel of Business people at the GRADnet Winter School in February.

Unfortunately along the way, some teams dropped out due to research and studying commitments. However they gained valuable experience from the intensive training provided.

Three teams made it through the grueling process and reached the finals:

  • VR-Teach – a Physics VR Simulator from a team from the University of Kent
  • MQMobile – monitoring lab equipment, from the University of Southampton
  • “Conker” monitoring for concussion in sporting and other accidents, from Royal Holloway
The team from Kent The team from RHUL The team from Southampton

The panel of judges (Bob Pickles of Canon UK, Simon Bland of Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and Phil Edwards of Weald Technology) was extremely impressed with all three finalists and by the quality, credibility and potential of the ideas being showcased. It was a tough call. However, they chose “Conker” from RHUL as the winning entry.

The winners collect their certificates The runners up collect theirs.

Congratulations to all the teams for not just demonstrating great technical ideas, but also how to ensure they solved real problems and what was needed for commercial success. Congratulations to the team from RHUL for winning.

 

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.

10Jul/17

GRADnet Summer School at NPL 3-6 July 2017

ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL GRADNET SUMMER SCHOOL AT NPL!!!

The fourth GRADnet Summer school took place on 3-6 July 2017 at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, Middlesex. The school comprised a broad menu of workshops and challenges led by different employers designed to offer students an insight into opportunities beyond their PhD.  A consultancy challenge took place on the last day and students worked in teams to create solutions using the skills they have learnt in their PhD.

AN EMPLOYER-LED PROGRAMME: Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Fourth State Medicine; IBM; Magnox; National Physical Laboratory; Oxford Instruments; RBA Acoustics; Things We Don’t Know; Surrey Satellite Technology Limited and WP Thompson.

SPEAKERS: Dr Paul Stevenson, Reader, University of Surrey; Jane Burston, Head of Climate and Environment, NPL and Dr Michael de Podesta, Principal Research Scientist, NPL.

Thank you to NPL staff in particular Richard Burguete and Gill Coggins from the Postgraduate Institute, Dr Julie Reeves, University of Southampton, Dr Laura Christie, Royal Holloway, University of London and Kay Pearson, SEPnet Employer Liaison Officer, University of Surrey and last but not least, Cristobel Soares-Smith, GRADnet Network Administrator for making this such a successful event!

WHAT THE STUDENTS SAID:

  • “This was a fantastic opportunity to work on a real problem. Getting to talk to a real employer about their project of choice and thinking how to solve this problem was very valuable.”
  • The most valuable thing they would take away from this year’s summer school was “knowledge and the value of careers outside the PhD. The number of interesting fields is limitless”.
  • “This has been a very good summer school, pitched at the appropriate level and a good base to meet fellow students!”.

WINNERS OF THE CONSULTANCY CHALLENGE: 

Centre for Integrated Photonics (Huawei)

Team 1:  William Evans, University of Sussex, Timothy Eales, University of Surrey, Tong Liu, Queen Mary University of London and Erika Cortese, University of Southampton with Michael Roberts, Research and Collaboration Manager, Centre for Integrated Photonics (Huawei).

Fourth State Medicine:

Team 2:  Miroslav Mlejnek, University of Sussex, Katie Ley, Laila Gurgi, University of Surrey and Giulio Violino, University of Hertfordshire with Tom Harle, Chief Technology Officer, Fourth State Medicine.

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd:

Team 3:  Joseph Allen, University of Surrey, Sam Rowley, James Richings and Azaria Coupe, University of Southampton.

People’s Choice: Nicola Abraham, University of Sussex, Filippo Contenta, Tom Coates, University of Surrey and Kerri Loughney, St Mary’s Twickenham with Peter Shaw, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited.

Congratulations to all the winners!

The Students also had great fun building water rockets after the barbecue:

Photographs from the Summer School are available here:

 

 

25Apr/17

New On-line Learning Modules produced by GRADnet PGRs

Two new on-line learning modules have been created by GRADnet PGR students: Shaun Geaney of RHUL and Justyn Campbell-White of the University of Kent. This brings the total number of modules now available to fourteen. These were all created by GRADnet PGRs in response to the phrase “I wish I’d known that when I started my PhD”. The new modules are:

Designed to help new PhD students embarking on their research, the presentation style of the courses is very varied. Clean code is about creating organised, readable and terse programming code and  is delivered as an online presentation. The Virtual Observatory Tools is a video which will show you how to use the Virtual Observatory (VO) tools: Aladin, Simbad, Vizier, and Topcat.

The creators of these and the other modules received prizes. If any PGRs across SEPnet have any ideas for additional training modules, please contact gradnetadmin@sepnet.ac.uk

Note: you will need to sign on to the GRADnet VRE to access these modules. If you are having problems logging on you can find help here.