Careers Scholarship Summer Programme 2017

It was great to work with some of the students doing project placements as part of this programme.  It’s a competitive programme open to students in later years of their BSc or MPhys.

This year I offered two sessions. The first one was co-delivered with Ross Galloway, the academic in the School whose remits includes this programme. This was to prepare students for their placements (academic & industry), address any questions and concerns and help them move confidently into their project placements.

The second one today was to help students  reflect on what they did, what went well, what went less well, how they coped with the challenges and how it might influence future career plans.

Importantly, it was also about  how to present what they gained from doing the project. There was lots of animated discussion, constructive peer feedback and hopefully everyone felt a lot more confident  about how to talk about their project and what it means they can do.

I also think those in the group today will do a much better job at the end-of-placement presentation event as well as in future applications, interviews and networking events.

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.

Glasgow Science Festival: Physics Phrenzy

Physics frenzy

This is run as part of SUPA Graduate School “Hanging your research out in public” course and promises to be entertaining.

In this fast-paced ‘speed science’ social, Scotland’s up-and-coming physicists will compete to enthral and inspire you with their fascinating research stories. Prizes and pride are at stake in this informal and friendly event! Hosted by the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance.

  • Venue: DRAM!, Woodlands Rd
  • Date: Thurs 8 June
  •  Time: 18:30-20:00
  •  Cost: Free
  •  Details and booking: Online

This is just one of a plethora of events to celebrate Glasgow Science Festival 2017. From 8-18 June, venues across the city will be a-buzz with a huge range of activities.

All is revealed at http://www.glasgowsciencefestival.org.uk

You can join the mailing list for the latest news and updates.

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

Featured employer: M Squared & opportunities in photonics & quantum technology

Meet award-winning photonics technology company M Squared at this exclusive careers event at its Glasgow headquarters on Thursday 30 March 2017, 5–8 pm.

Working with a company such as M Squared presents a unique opportunity to draw upon your knowledge as a scientist.

  • Collaborate with world-leading researchers as a scientific specialist, create world-class laser systems with its manufacturing team, or develop new applications within M Squared’s Innovation Group.
  • Learn about the advances the company is making in quantum technology, biophotonics and chemical sensing.
  • Develop a broader understanding of what it’s like working with one of the UK’s most innovative companies

This event is being held at M Squared’s headquarters in Glasgow: M Squared, Venture Building, 1 Kelvin Campus, West of Scotland Science Park, Glasgow G20 0SP.//

This event is free to attend.  Book Now https://www.iopconferences.org/iop/1082/home

HIGHLIGHTS*

  • Take a tour of M Squared’s headquarters in Glasgow
  • Talk one-to-one with M Squared staff
  • Gain insight into the wealth of career opportunities available with the company worldwide
  • Discover the skills you’ll need to include on your application form/CV
  • Get practical advice and information to help you with interviews or assessment days

*ABOUT M SQUARED*

Recognised as one of the UK’s fastest growing technology companies, M Squared is a leading developer of photonics and quantum technology.

The company designs and manufactures advanced laser platforms that underpin the groundbreaking work being carried out by Nobel Prize-winning scientists, the world’s leading universities and innovative businesses. Its pioneering R&D work is also making a direct impact in sectors as diverse as healthcare, food and drink, security and defence, with new applications aimed at diagnosing Alzheimer’s, searching for cures for cancer and detecting chemical weapons.

M Squared’s contribution to scientific discovery has been recognised with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation and the Institute of Physics Innovation Award. M Squared’s excellence in innovation has also been recognised by Deloitte Technology Fast 50, The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 and Export Track 100, The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards (Innovation) and the Amazon Growing Business Awards (Innovation).

Founded in Glasgow, M Squared has offices throughout the UK, Europe and the USA, serving its international customer base. The company’s talented team includes more than 85 scientists, engineers and software developers as well as commercial experts; over 90% of its staff are educated to degree level or above.

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/

The best Data Scientists know how to tell stories

The Careers Service Blog

Many thanks to my colleague Ruth Donnelly for this post on careers in data science and if you’re interested look our for the Data Talent Scotland event happening later in March – Rebecca

There has been an exponential explosion in number of jobs relating to data science and this is only likely to continue growing, so it may be worth a closer look.

What roles are involved in big data?

Data analyst – understands demands of business and able to integrate that with data

Data engineer – software development skills, builds and maintains systems

Data scientist – high powered maths and statistical skills

Ideally data scientists combine all 3 roles. You need to be able to (or be able to quickly learn how to) program, be comfortable with the software used in data analytics (3 most common are Python, R and MATLAB) and, importantly be able to understand…

View original post 149 more words

Love Theoretical Physics?

One of graduates, Tomáš Gonda,  shares his personal experience  of this interesting and alternative Masters programme.  If you want to apply, closing date is coming up fast. Deadline date of February 1, 2017

Perimeter Scholars International (PSI) is a fairly new Masters programme offered by the Perimeter Institute (PI), one of the leading research centres in theoretical physics. It was created with an idea to offer an alternative to other similar programmes by avoiding grade-chasing aspect of these. This would enable students to focus on learning whatever they are most interested in without being forced to compete with the rest of the class.

Despite the fact that there are no official grades, there is an interview after each of the six core courses. It takes form of an informal discussion on the subject which can take many directions. A certain standard is required to pass each of these courses, but it is very rare that someone would fail the programme because of this.

The courses are often being taught by guest lecturers from other institutions apart from PI faculty members. This can be a bit of a hit and miss. Most of them are very good, but from time to time a lecturer who is not familiar with the context and style of courses can have issues adapting. Courses follow slightly different structure, being only 3 weeks long with a lecture every day, which might be one of the reasons for that.

One of the most important aspects of PSI is that it gives students a unique opportunity to interact with world-class researchers and this is very much encouraged. Thanks to the generally very open atmosphere at PI and the fact that the class is quite small, it is easy to get in touch with any of the faculty members or numerous interesting visitors throughout the year. The research aspect of PSI is also reflected in a sort of thesis carried out together with anyone from PI, Institute for Quantum Computing or University of Waterloo.

And last but not least, everything that one needs during the year is provided (meals, accommodation, laptop, etc.)