March 5, 2015, by Alfonso Garcia
Research Showcasing at UNMC by Samuel Jackson
Each year the faculty of engineering hosts several research showcases, both divisional and faculty wide, where participants from the early stages of postgraduate research are invited to present their work. These showcases help students to communicate their ideas to the general public and academics, reaching a much larger audience than usually possible whilst working in a small research group. Cross – division collaboration is encouraged and the opportunity to network with academics who share similar interests is invaluable.
After participating in these showcases in early 2014, I was fortunate to be invited to attend the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus Engineering Faculty Research showcase, held in September 2014. As a 1st year Mechanical Engineering PhD student, the trip offered a chance to liaise with academics and students, whilst exploring the culture and experiences that Malaysia has to offer.
Stepping off the plane in Kuala Lumpur after a long 13hr flight, my thoughts immediately turned to the intense heat and humidity. In late September, the temperatures across Malaysia are consistently 30°C, with humidity to boot, making any kind of outside venture an uncomfortable experience. Luckily, the university campus is a modern, air-conned collection of sophisticated buildings that fit perfectly into the local area, providing a hub for research in the jungle like surroundings.
I was visiting Malaysia for a week, and throughout this time I was shown around by several PhD students, who went out of their way to introduce me to the local cuisine and culture. Their friendliness and enthusiasm towards their local heritage was outstanding; a trait shared by every Malaysian I met. The showcase itself was a huge success. There was a broad variety of high quality research being presented, with topics ranging from combating Asian air pollution to the ecological post processing of palm oil. The diverse topics differed hugely to those presented in the UK, with a greater focus on local issues and industry collaboration.
My time in Malaysia ended with a short stay in Kuala Lumpur, visiting the ‘must-see’ sights and attractions, further emphasising the brilliantly distinct and welcoming culture. The research showcases provided a gateway for this experience, helping me gain confidence in presenting my research and meeting some great people along the way. If you are an early stage postgraduate researcher, I urge you to participate in these events and gain a host of new skills, experiences and academic collaborators.
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