Industry collaborative funded PhDs in Applied Photonics

CDT Photonics | Centre for Doctoral Training in Applied Photonics
Meeting industry’s need for highly skilled engineers in the photonics-electronics interface

The CDT in Applied Photonics works with companies developing photonics-enabled products and services, from consumer technology and mobile computing devices to healthcare and security. Each of their collaborations is built around an EngD or PhD student, providing them with masters-level technical and business qualifications, along with an industrially-connected doctoral research project.

What is an EngD?
The EngD is an alternative to a traditional PhD aimed at students wanting a career in industry.

Students spend about 75% of their time working directly with a company in addition to receiving advanced-level training from a broad portfolio of technical and business courses. On completion students are awarded the PhD-equivalent Engineering Doctorate.
The Centre for Doctoral Training in Applied Photonics has a number of FULLY FUNDED VACANCIES for Engineering Doctorate (EngD) and PhD positions in Applied Photonics. An EngD combines PhD level research, technical courses & research based in industry. EngD stipend in the region of £21,000 are available for UK students and EU students who are resident in the UK. PhD stipends are in the region of £15,000.

Visit www.cdtphotonics.hw.ac.uk for further information about the CDT in Applied Photonics,  twitter feed @CDTAP or contact EngD@hw.ac.uk

Featured employers: Edinburgh Graduate Recruitment Fair

Physicists fit really well into what we do. They seem to have the right skill set of scientific thinking, problem solving and data interpretation.

Jonny Press, Director, AquaQ Analytics

AquaQ Analytics logo   semefab logo

I am just back from the EGRF where I met Lorraine Carr from Semefab and Jonny Press from AquaQ Analytics. Both employers are really keen to recruit our physicists.

You can find them and their vacancies on MyCareerHub

One of current students, Jacob Smith is just about to start a summer placement with Semefab. I will be asking Jacob to do a couple of guest blogs over the summer.

Physics degrees and the Physics of trees

TreeHug

Hi, I’m Sam Henderson. I graduated with an MPhys from the University of Edinburgh about six months ago. In this career orientated post, I’m going to let you know about my EngD. Importantly, I’ll let you know how I got the job, as well as what I see as the pros and cons.

So, I graduated, hoorah. Like many people, I didn’t manage (nor did I want to) jump straight into a graduate scheme or PhD. As a reaction to five years I had spent hunched over a desk solving differential equations, I initially spent just looked for jobs that would get me outside. After a few discussions, I settled on criterion for the jobs I would look for.

Primarily, I wanted sensible hours. I know who I am, and there are too many books, films, games, mountains, valleys and people to read, see, play, explore and meet working entrepreneurial hours. Additionally, I didn’t want to spend the next few years of my life in front of a screen. So, I applied, and applied and applied and… nothing, until I saw a position in Forest Research (Forestry Commission’s research division) on the civil service jobs website.

I applied for it even though I wasn’t confident I met the criteria (I was right, I didn’t get the job or even an interview). However, my application was seen, spotted by the person who would become my boss. A few days later, I got an invitation to come to an interview, which turned into an offer, which turned into my job.

My EngD is a collaboration between the University of Surrey and Forest Research (the research division of the Forestry Commission). For those who don’t know, an EngD is a doctorate, but one where you primarily work in industry. This means that you get an amazing qualification, experience working for an employer, and, you get generally get paid more (roughly £18-24K tax free).

For those interested, in my project, I’m studying if and how changing water conditions can cause cracking inside living trees. To do this I’m using a combined experimental and computational approach. Experimentally, I’m using a custom-built MRI machine to look at the water distribution inside living trees. I’ll use the data from experiments to help me develop a computer model of the tree cells, which will incorporate realistic fluid dynamics.

I’ll admit I have had to make some compromises. Truthfully, a large amount of my work is desk-bound, and I have had some long days writing reports for deadlines.

On the other hand, I get to work in a scenic location on a project I care about, I get to cycle to work, I get to grow/perform experiments on real trees, and I generally have a regular 38 hour working week.

Something that is important to remember about EngDs, is that each project, and each company is different. Do your research, and, if you have the luxury, think about what is important to you.

My experience of reading a stranger’s words on the internet has been that I can only take one point away. If you feel the same, take with you the comforting fact that with some time and planning, and a bit of work, physics can probably get you where you want to go.

I’m totally happy to be contacted by email, if anyone wants any advice from a student who was in a similar place to them.  Sam Henderson j.s.henderson@surrey.ac.uk

Big win for the School of Physics – 3rd place out of 300 UK university teams

IBM UBC final all 5The IBM Universities Business Challenge (UBC) Worldwide is the world’s longest established undergraduate simulation-based competition designed to develop employability and enterprise skills and starts with 300 teams across the UK.

Facilitated by Susan Bird (Careers Consultant, School of Physics & Astronomy), the School submitted two teams, one team making the semi-final in Edinburgh. After a keynote introduction from Shelagh Green, (Director, Careers Service), the teams did a series of intensive, timed business simulations culminating in a 60 second innovation pitch.

The Physics undergraduate team – students Imran Marwat (team leader), Fidel Elie, Ziyi Zhang, Adamos Spanashis and Brandon Christman – not only won 2nd place at the semi-final – but also won Best Business Idea on the day, beating 19 teams from other UK universities.

The School funded the team’s travel & accommodation expenses to the London final, the team was mentored by Mike Ross from Standard Life Investments & supported by the Careers Service – a good example of how we work with Schools & industry partners to support the employability and professional development of our science students.

The UoE team of physicists went on to win third place in the final gaining a prize of £250 and beating a number of business teams from universities across the UK.  A real coup for the School of Physics & the University of Edinburgh.

Here’s how team member Ziyi Zhang reflected on the Challenge:

“Thank you for being at the competition and supporting us throughout this experience. I realized studying physics not only made us “book smart” but also taught us critical and logical thinking which can be applied beyond academics.

Combined with creativity and hard work, physicists can be successful in any field of our interest. We should all branch out to areas outside of our textbook, and explore our hidden potential.”

Success for UoE Undergrad Physics team

IBM UBC Physics team cropped

The IBM Universities Business Challenge (UBC) Worldwide is the world’s longest established and leading undergraduate simulation-based competition designed to develop employability and enterprise skills. Supported by the UK’s leading universities and graduate employers, over 25,000 students have benefited from taking part in the UBC Worldwide Challenge since 1998.

Brokered by the Careers Service and facilitated by Susan Bird, link Careers Consultant for the School of Physics, the School submitted two teams, one team making it through to the IBM UBC semi-final in Edinburgh on 3rd March.  After a keynote introduction from Shelagh Green, Director of the Careers Service, the teams did a series of intensive, timed business simulations culminating in a 60 second innovation pitch.

I am proud to announce huge congratulations to the Physics team – students Imran Marwat, Fidel Elie, Ziyi Zhang, Adamos Spanashis and Brandon Christman – who not only won 2nd place at the semi-final – and a guaranteed place in the final in London on March 24th – but also won Best Business Idea on the day – beating 19 other teams from other UK universities.  The Physics team were also the only team on time with their 60 second pitch.

In recognition of the achievement, the School is funding the team’s travel and accommodation expenses to the final in London. The team is being mentored by Mike Ross from Standard Life Investments and supported by Susan Bird, the link Careers Consultant for the School of Physics – a good example of how the Careers Service works with Schools & industry partners to support the employability and professional development of our science students.

Here’s how team member Ziyi Zhang reflected on the Challenge:

 “Thank you for being at the competition and supporting us throughout this experience. I realized studying physics not only made us “book smart” but also taught us critical and logical thinking which can be applied beyond academics. Combined with creativity and hard work, physicists can be successful in any field of our interest. I have met some of the most talented people in physics, and we should all branch out to areas outside of our textbook, and explore our hidden potential.”

We wish them luck for the final in London!

http://www.ubcworldwide.com/

SCI Day of Science and Careers

Organised by  School of Physics academic Dr Tiffany Wood, Director of Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership and Chair, SCI Scotland Group

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Calling UG and PG students across all scientific disciplines

SCI’s Day of Science & Careers , University of Edinburgh, 5 April 2017

Explore a wide range of careers in science-based industries. Speakers from industrial, academic and independent backgrounds will present their career pathway and offer insights in to what to look out for, and what to consider when choosing your next steps. Plus sessions on interview skills and CV writing, with opportunities to network with speakers and fellow delegates.

Talks will include the following areas:

  • Working in Analytical Chemistry
  • Intellectual Property & Patents
  • Life in an SME
  • Scientific Publishing
  • Academic Careers
  • Regulatory Affairs
  • Academic/Industrial Partnerships
  • Scientific Marketing

For the full timed programme and to book online please visit: http://bit.ly/DOSCS17

Day of Science and Careers Scotland 2017 flyer_final

Physics in business: from swimwear to Game of Thrones

physicsworks-sport    physics-works-touchscreen    physics-work-vfx

“In the future, there is the possibility of using new 2D materials where once there was carbon-fibre, using sensors and magnetic fields to improve goal-line technology, and employing laser scanning to improve swimming techniques.”
“The speed & simplicity of supermarket checkouts can mean that it’s easy to forget that they depend on the application of sophisticated laser equipment & high-tech optics.”
“For visual effects company BlueBolt – whose film and TV credits include Game of Thrones and Skyfall – knowledge of real-world physics informs a lot of decisions about how things look.”
If you want to know about how physics relates to different business sectors, the Institute of Physics (IOP) has a great series of resources to introduce you.  From areas as diverse as:
  • visual special effects (VFX) to sports equipment & technology
  • transport to touchscreens
  • supermarkets to computer games

the PhysicsWorks series is an easy and interesting read to understand how physics is applied in these very different areas.

To explore these sectors more, use the Occupations links on the Careers Service website.

Success story: Callum & the Unipol Graduate Internship Programme

Callum Munro, a final year physics student has been successful in getting on to the six-month graduate internship programme with Unipol, the Italian insurance company in Bologna.

The programme runs twice a year, with start dates in February and September. Work is carried out in English so no prior knowledge of Italian is required.

 I asked him to give a bit of background to why he chose it  – and the application process.

Being in my final year of uni I have been looking for employment in finance. It’s something I’ve been interested in and I had an internship last summer. I found the role on MyCareerHub via the University of Edinburgh Careers Service website which is really great and gave some really clear information on what exactly the role was, where it was, a bit of background on the company, remuneration and so on.

 I sent off my CV and cover letter and they got back saying they would like to further my application and organised a telephone interview. The interview started with them asking about which part of the business I would like to work in and my experience of insurance and finance in general. 

 During the call they said that they would like to offer me the post and started talking about when I would be able to come, having an introductory week in July and whether I would be prepared to do some training. It starts properly in September but they said they will have me over for a week in July to get an idea of what I’ll be doing. Thanks again for the discussion we had at the Careers Service, it helped me out a lot.

The archived vacancy on MyCareerHub

The six-month programme consists of two three-month rotations in the corporate finance division. Interns may choose to work in any two of the following areas:

• M&A
• Debt Capital Markets
• Strategic Planning
• Investor Relations

Daily tasks will vary based on the needs of the management and department. They could include:

• Market analysis on the financials and business models of our Italian and European competitors within both the insurance and banking market;
• Conducting financial and economic valuations of potential investments, disinvestments and partnerships;
• Scouting and studying new M&A and Business Development opportunities to raise with senior management;
• Tracking the international financial media and producing daily reports;
• Monitoring and updating financial models, tables and balance sheets;
• Attending meetings with senior management and external stakeholders including investment banks;
• A personal research project tailored to the interests of the intern.

The requirements are as follows:

• Candidates must have achieved, or are on course to achieve, a minimum 2:1 in Economics, Finance, Mathematics, or a similar degree;
• Basic knowledge of finance;
• Strong analytical, organisational, communication and time management skills;
• Candidates must be self-starters, able to work well individually and as part of a team;
• Experience using Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint;
• Knowledge of financial databases (Bloomberg, Datastream, SNL) would be a benefit.

Work will be carried out in English so no prior knowledge of Italian is required.

The programme runs twice a year, with start dates in February and September.