January 16, 2015, by Matt Neville

Finding our feet

I’m Matt Neville and I have been secretary to the PGR Engineering Community ever since its inaugural meeting back in May 2011.

Since those early days, I’ve seen a gradual development in what we do as we’ve all learnt together what it means to be a part of a wider community within Engineering and what exactly our PGR Engineering Community could represent and what we could achieve together. That’s why I’ve called this first blog “Finding Our Feet”, because it feels like that’s what we have been doing up until now. We are leading the way for all PGR students across Nottingham University, not just in Engineering. I have been told that we are quickly developing into one of the leading PhD Community Forums in the UK.
We’ve achieved a lot too of course. We’ve answered queries and issues as best we can. We’ve had a major input into what goes in the content of student handbooks for new PGR starters and also passed on ideas for improving the welcome event for new starters and the Engineering Annual Conference. We have also raised issues regarding such diverse things as a lack of cycling parking around the Coates Building to sports memberships for PGR students up at the sports centre on University Park Campus.
Moving forward into the new academic year 2014/15 – we have a new chair for our community; Alfonso Garcia Hernandez, new student representatives for each division to be announced soon, this blog page (which is brand new for us) and a new method for raising the big issues that affect PGR Engineering students.
We also now want to really focus on the “Community” element of what we do; to build a better working and social environment for PhD students within Engineering. We already hold a curry night for new PGR starters and we are hoping to coordinate more social events in the coming year.
If you have an issue, question or suggestion, we  have our own email account which is ez-pgr-community@nottingham.ac.uk I respond to these emails personally and rest assured that your messages will be treated confidentially.