No smoke without fire…fire engineering opportunities for MPhys finalists

Interesting opportunity on MyCareerHub:

JGA Fire Engineering are actively looking for fire engineers – final years and recent graduates – and targeting physics students. You should have a minimum 2.1 BSc + MSc OR on be on track for a minimum 2.1 MPhys.

“Considerable advances in the understanding of fire and smoke movement, and the effects of fire on buildings, has led to a fire engineering approach to building fire safety that has allowed more efficient design of highly complex buildings. A successful fire engineering approach requires the application of scientific principles to engineering problems.

JGA are looking for graduates who can apply their education and knowledge to developing solutions to those problems. As a Design Engineer you would be responsible for the fire engineering analysis of buildings including shopping centres, airport terminals and large office buildings. This would include modelling of fire growth, smoke movement, structural fire resistance and occupant behaviour, using software packages including Computational Fluid Dynamics, and the production of technical reports.

JGA are a specialist fire consultancy with offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Dublin, Belfast and Galway. One of their current projects is the fire engineering for the St. James Centre redevelopment in Edinburgh, but they also undertake much smaller projects – so quite a range.

They encourage early responsibility in engineers and you will be given the opportunity to progress rapidly. Working with experienced engineers you would rapidly gain experience and knowledge. JGA actively encourage engineers to achieve chartered status and offer any help they can with the process.”

More info on MCH


The physics of beer

beer soc

Dr Anne Pawsey is from the Institute for Condensed Matter and Complex Systems (research area Soft Matters Physics). She will be presenting with The Beer Society to show the science in your pint.

Interested? Sign up here

To tie in with this event next week, I thought you’d enjoy a few more stories about the physics of beer tapping, beer and physics, 5 physics facts you didn’t know about beer and the science behind the perfect pint. If your taste runs to champagne, see my earlier blog post

There are many opportunities for physicists in research & development in the food and drink industries.

Our very own Dr Tiffany Wood, Director of the Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership works with companies from a wide range of industries including the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food and drink and agrochemical sectors. Dr Wood is also on the Member’s Advisory Group of the Society of Chemical Industries (SCI) which brings together physicists, chemists, engineers, biologists and other disciplines working in a range of academic and industry contexts

The SCI has a number of Technical Interest Groups, providing opportunities to exchange ideas and gain new perspectives on markets, technologies, strategies and people. The Food group is one of the largest and it:

actively encourages university-level students to take up careers in food related subjects through competitions and through our programme of topical, challenging and interesting meetings”.


Career Development Summer Scholarships and application support

career scholarship programme

The School of Physics & Astronomy is currently offering their Career Development Summer Scholarship. This is a Scholarship that provides a stipend of £1,500 to 48 undergraduate students so they can undertake industry or academic projects. It’s directed to students in a Physics and Astronomy programme who are currently in year 3 BSc (Hons), or years 3/4  if enrolled on an MPhys programme.

The Wiki page for the Scholarships is here.

They are still receiving applications, as the deadline to submit is 5 March 2018.

I am happy to give feedback on CVs/applications for these. Catch me at my Magnet Cafe drop-in Thursdays 12 -1.30  or book an appointment with me or my colleagues through MyCareerHub

I ran a couple of sessions last year with Ross Galloway to prepare students for the projects and answer questions they had.  I also offered a session towards the end of the placements to help students reflect on what they had gained as a result of their projects and feel more confident presenting it (on applications, interviews, at conferences….)

I will be doing the same this year and we’ll let you know dates as soon as they School arranges them.

Astrophysics & success with the Hyperloop Team HYPED

Elisha Jhoti, 4th Year Astrophysics student, describes how studying physics helped her technical work with The University of Edinburgh Hyperloop Team.

Hot on the heels of Elon Musk sending one of his Tesla cars into space, the (rather successful) UoE student Hyperloop team are running an event next week around designing a hyperloop track.  More here

HYPED social media:

I am a 4th year Astrophysics student and I joined The University of Edinburgh Hyperloop Team, HYPED, this semester. Even though I have only been in the society for one semester, I am already consumed by all things Hyperloop.
As a physicist I was unsure how I could be of much help when I first joined HYPED. On the contrary, physics is the foundation of every engineering decision we have to make. How much force can this material take? What is the pressure force exerted on this vessel? How thin can this part be? All of these questions require basic physical principles to be answered.

My knowledge of physics has helped me provide a different angle to tackle problems from, in addition to conventional engineering methods. Rewind four years and if you told me I would be involved in an engineering focused society at university I would have never believed it. Before university I wasn’t really sure what engineering was. However, I knew that I wanted to learn everything I could about astrophysics.

From the age of 14 I was obsessed with all things space; and so I applied to study Astrophysics at Edinburgh. I chose Edinburgh because I knew they had a lot of flexibility in their degree program; allowing you to pick and choose from a wide range of courses, and I knew that studying at a prestigious, research-led university would give me opportunities that would not be available to me at other universities, for example, studying abroad. Last year I was studying abroad on the international exchange program.

When I came back I realised I wanted to get more involved in societies at my university which I had previously overlooked. I discovered HYPED at the Societies Fair at the beginning of my first semester of my fourth year. After attending the first meeting, I realised how passionate HYPED members were; it was unlike anything I had ever seen at any other university society; they actually cared
about what they were working on. I decided I wanted to be a part of the team.

After attending the first technical meeting, I decided to join the static team; their responsibility is to design the static components of the pod, including the structure and body. This seemed the most relevant team for my skill set at the time, and getting to design the structural components of the pod sounded like a welcome challenge. I joined the Pressure sub-team within Static; we design the pressure vessel that will house the dummy, and eventually passengers. I was very interested in this component, as the team had not tried to design a livable environment in the pod last year, so we were starting from scratch. The inside of the pressure vessel will be at atmospheric pressure; whilst outside the pod it will be close to a vacuum. I was interested in how our design ideas could be applied to other applications, such as space travel and
hyperbaric chambers; the possibilities could be endless.

Over the course of the  semester I became more involved in HYPED; after presenting on behalf of the Pressure team at our first society-wide meeting I was given the opportunity to attend the InnovateUK 2017 conference to which HYPED had been invited. This was an invaluable experience and allowed me to gain insight into the overview of the whole project and what the future plans for HYPED were.

Whilst speaking to engineering experts and industry delegates at the conference I realised the effect the idea of Hyperloop had on other people outside of our society. Many were excited and impressed at the prospect of Hyperloop becoming a reality, some did not even believe we were only university students. The reaction from these delegates made me realise the importance of the society; if we could already make industry experts begin to question their ideas about the future of transport then we were already beginning to change the game.

Being a part of the technical team in HYPED has made me realise how physics can be applied to a wide range of problems, and how the problem solving skills perfected during the physics degree can be used in any number of situations; from modelling completely abstract concepts to designing parts in an engineering project, such as HYPED. This is the reason I love physics; it can be used as a tool to solve almost any problem, as long as you have the physical laws in place, you can predict and model behaviours of particles, materials and forces.

When I chose to study astrophysics I did consider that perhaps I was choosing a very specialised field, which I knew I would enjoy studying, but that it may limit me. However, I have found this is not the case; concepts and skills I have learnt during my degree I have realised are applicable anywhere and everywhere, from solving engineering problems, to carrying out astrobiology experiments. I am looking forward to what new projects HYPED will bring my way and I hope that reading this blog has shown you how studying physics can allow you to use it as an interdisciplinary tool, helping you solve a wide range of problems that can help make the world a better place

Getting started with LinkedIn plus summer opportunity in China for UK science undergrads

I am running an online session for you TODAY Wednesday 21 Feb at 2pm on “Using LinkedIn – the benefits, the basics and getting the most out of LinkedIn ”

This online session is to introduce you to:

  • why LinkedIn is a good thing (and not cheesy, nosey or creepy)
  • some key features to build your profile
  • how you can use it flexibly to the extent you need or want to

It’s also to chance to ask questions.  Connect to the session with this url

I also wanted to flag this up as its such an interesting opportunity to gain technical experience abroad.

Broaden your horizons! Exciting opportunity to travel to China on a 4-week programme in August 2018. Undergraduate STEM students can apply now for the Huawei ‘Seeds for the Future’ Programme 2018. Closing date 28 Feb.

Chance for UK undergraduates studying Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Computing the opportunity to travel to China on a 4-week programme in August 2018. Includes:

  • Mandarin language training
  • group tours to the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall of China and the 2008 Olympic Park
  • trip to Guangdong Province to learn about Huawei’s international business culture, products and solutions
  • .visits to Huawei’s F1 Exhibition Centre; Enterprise Exhibition Hall, Logistics Centre, R&D labs and one of Huawei’s state-of-the-art factory facilities.
  • technical training from some of the finest professionals in the industry.

More information on MyCareerHub

Find out about Space engineering – event on Feb 13th

Lewis Lappin, physics student and Space_Ed rep has highlighted this coming next week:
“We have a talk from an engineer at Spire. It will be a great chance to hear about a career in the Space industry in Scotland.  The event will also be relevant to other subjects such as engineering and computer science  as well as Physics, as the industry is very multidisciplinary!
The event with some more information can be found here.”

Great opportunity to boldly go…….(sorry couldn’t resist!)

Data Science careers – an introduction

Great post on data science from my colleague Tom Robinson. Date for your diary – Our Careers in Tech Fair on 14th February is open to students of all disciplines (not just IT!) and year groups: more information here.

The Careers Service Blog

Modern business is driven more and more by digital activity and as a result data is playing a larger role in business decisions. In recent years, this data-driven activity has brought about the creation of the ‘Data Scientist’.

“The key responsibilities of a data scientist involve helping people make good decisions with data and to build smart tools which are powered by data. It’s a blend of computer science, statistics and business knowledge.”     Harrison Gilmore, data scientist with Skyscanner.

So what is data science?
Data science involves using automated methods to analyse massive amounts of data and to extract knowledge from them. With such automated methods turning up everywhere from marketing to finance, social media to scientific research, data science is helping to create new branches of science, and influencing areas of social science and the humanities. The trend is expected to accelerate in the coming years as…

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NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP) now open

applications for STP in England are now open until 12th Feb, with 23 specialisms recruiting in different locations. For information about applications to Wales, please contact Christine Love.

She provided the following excellent advice:

  • “Competition ratios for last year’s specialisms: microbiology, clinical immunology and histopathology & transfusion science headed the league table last year. Don’t forget that high levels of competition in a specialism last year don’t necessarily indicate high competition this year – the link gives ratios back to 2014 for comparison.
  • There is lots of guidance available, including advice on applying, FAQs, and important dates.
  • Don’t forget that, whilst applicants aren’t expected to have work experience in the NHS, it’s very helpful to go to an open day for their specialism.

And just to pick up on some questions that I am frequently asked…

Relevant degrees

The NSHCS does not offer a list of relevant degrees for the STP, but have made a list of suggestions depending on the specialism. Candidates need to do their very best to prove how their degree discipline relates to the specialism that they’re applying to. Students wanting to apply in future recruitment rounds might therefore want to choose research projects or work experience that will demonstrate their interest and experience in this area.

Worth noting that it’s particularly important for students applying to physiology and genetic counselling to have good people skills – physiologists are usually running tests on a person rather than on a sample, so anything they can do to prove their people skills will be really beneficial. Caring experience is essential for genetic counselling, and should be equivalent to 6 months’ full-time work. Any counselling experience or training should definitely be highlighted on the application.

MRes vs MSc

MRes and MSci degrees do not hold as much weight as a taught masters in the entry criteria, even though they are assessed at M-level in the same way as a taught masters.  If you are a student who has a 2:2 and wants to do the STP, you are best applying for an MSc, not an MRes. And for students doing a BSc with the option to extend to an MSci – the MSci is unlikely to put you in a better position than the BSc, and you may wish to try an MSc instead “

So, what do employers really want and what do they think of our grads?

  • The future labour market will favour employees with advanced skills in creativity, innovation, imagination, design- and system-thinking.
  • Whilst discipline knowledge counts, employers place at least equal weight on long-term and varied extra-curricular activities.
  • Work experience is one of the most important factors in recruiting and relevant work experience is highly valued. For some organisations, it can mitigate lower academic attainment.
  • How students learn is as important as what they learn.

In with the new…

Happy New Year! Start it well with some great advice from the Careers Service #Do1Thing

The Careers Service Blog

It’s the beginning of January and time, as they say, for “out with the old and in with the new”.

Introducing some new good habits can certainly be beneficial. There’s no need to overhaul every aspect of your life – although if you want to, you can get some ideas by reading these fifty (yes 50!) suggestions.   But taking just one small step can be the start of something significant. (That’s why we want you to watch out for the #Do1Thing posts on Facebook and Twitter next week. Get some ideas. Not much commitment required! )

So how will you identify your New Year’s Resolution for 2018? Why not look beyond the usual “eat less chocolate” and “do more sport”. Can’t decide whether you’re assertive enough? Need a nudge towards more consistent decision-making? These short online quizzes will help you to pinpoint areas you may want to develop, while…

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