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James Nevell gives his award-winning presentation
James Nevell gives his award-winning presentation

Internal News - 18 June 2008

Meeting of Minds conference a hit with research students

'Meeting of Minds', a recent conference organised by the Students’ Union for research students from across the University, has received very favourable feedback from postgraduates.

The event was not an academic conference in the conventional sense - it was completely interdisciplinary and the focus was not on the research itself, but on the ability to communicate that research to a non-specialist audience and to demonstrate its relevance and benefits to other disciplines and to society as a whole.

The event included guest talks from media skills consultant Dr Jon Copley, on communicating research to the wider public, and Cancer Research UK senior funding manager Dr Carol Symes, on producing an effective funding proposal.

In the morning session, there were presentations from seven postgraduates from a range of departments. The afternoon included an interactive workshop session, in which postgraduates were able to put into practice what they had heard from external speakers by developing a collaborative project capable of attracting research funding. Conference posters for current research were also displayed.

Speakers, posters and workshop groups were all assessed on factors such as accessibility, presentation skills and explanation of its wider significance to other disciplines and to society as a whole.

Prizes were awarded for the oral presentation, poster and workshop sessions, with the winning spoken presentation by James Nevell (PhD Chemical Engineering) on improving the oxygen generator. First prize for the conference poster was won by Pinunta Rojratsirikul (PhD Mechanical Engineering) on aerodynamics of flexible membranes.

The winning workshop team was Rhodri Lewis (PhD Mechanical Engineering), Zeeshan Quadar (MSc Accounting & Finance), Michael Ayers (PhD Mechanical Engineering), Jody Muelaner (PhD Mechanical Engineering) and Yunting Gao (MSc Accounting & Finance).

The event, which was also open to undergraduates, staff and the public, was organised by the Students' Union's Postgraduate Association in collaboration with the University and with financial support from Roberts funding, available for training and development for research staff.