Cumberland lodge is every bit as striking as its reputation implies. Just 15 minutes from Woking station, and situated in Windsor Park, it is both convenient and secluded. I felt very fortunate to be staying there for the GRADnet winter school 18-20 February 2019. It’s a comfortable and well catered venue, with good menus for all dietary requirements.
The winter school aims to cover leadership skills and discusses the current understanding of best practice and common problems. This year it was led by Dr. Trevor Long, who has an outstanding background in the field, as well as a perfectly tuned approach to a practical learning experience.
This is illustrated by a study of the NASA Columbia disaster of 2003. Accounts of the disaster are separated into the perspectives of four figures who were closely involved and the group is split into teams. Each team reports on the contribution of one of the four teams. The Columbia study was very engaging and effective, certainly the highlight of the workshop for many people there.
Many of the concepts and observations on leadership presented were very interesting and thoughtful. It signposted issues important to teamwork in both academia and industry. An additional feature of the workshop brought together five industry team leaders to aid our understanding of how to put our new leadership skills into practice. Some of the content did come across as a little enigmatic and it was certainly presented from the perspective of industry.
The trip to Windsor also deserves a mention. It was an excellent demonstration of the sensitivity of physicists to location based variance in the value of beer. The town is charming, of special interest to international students, and the castle is also pretty.
This workshop has a lot to recommend it.
Thank you to SEPnet PGRs from QMUL and Southampton for their contribution in writing this article.
Employer panel with ingenie, Ultra Electronics, Blue/Red Optima, Stifel and the UK Space Agency.
Students participating in the “Marshmallow Challenge”!