The GRADnet Winter School took place on 18-20 February 2019 at Cumberland Lodge, Great Park, Windsor. Dr Trevor Long, consultant, led the workshop for over 30 delegates.
This workshop was an integrated learning event where delegates developed insights into the importance and nature of leadership and effective team working. These are skills they will require in any career in academia, government or the private sector.
Formed around a multi-media case simulation of the ill-fated Columbia Space Shuttle mission NASA engineers and leaders seek to understand the nature and threat associated with a technical problem that occurred on launch. Over the course of the mission, they analyse the damage, assess the risks, and decide 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.
A panel of employers shared their experiences and the challenges they have faced when leading a team in a senior role on the second day: Selim Cavanagh, ingenie; Rikki Douglas, Ultra Electronics ; Jason Rolles, Blue Optima; Sheela Sharma, Stifel (Europe) and Alex Shepherd, UK Space Agency
Thank you to the employers for their participation and to Trevor for making this workshop a success.
SEPnet PGRs who attended the workshop said:
- This simulation provided “an important skillset for postgraduate students”;
- The event was packed, enjoyable and provided a thought-provoking simulation and talks (especially on the importance of communication). There was also an informative careers panel;
- The best aspects for me are that it has motivated a lot of thoughts and has challenged me to think about myself. The employer panel was extremely productive. A lot of good insight was shared.
Marshmallow Challenge winning team:
Kent: Emerald Taylor, Alex Paul, Luke Cornwell and Akiko Sato (Kent). QMUL: Jesse Coburn.
L-R: Emerald, Alex, Jesse, Luke and Akiko
Well done for constructing a 22″ tower! Amazing feat of engineering with spaghetti and tape!