Faculty of Technology, Design & Environment Research Student Conference

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Research Student Conference

The Faculty of Technology, Design & Environment (TDE) Research Student Conference took place on 16 May 2019. PhD students presented their research, displayed posters and gave performances. The event included participants from the School of Engineering, Computing & Mathematics, School of Arts, School of Architecture and School of Built Environment.

The conference is an annual, student-led initiative and was organised by five student volunteers, namely Margo Socha (Co-Chair, School of Architecture), Catalina Morales Maya (Co-Chair, School of Architecture), Rebecca Raper (School of Engineering, Computing & Mathematics), Sara Abdelbaki Mahmoudhamza (School of Built Environment) and Oscar Natividad Puig (School of Built Environment. Staff support included the Chair of the Doctoral Training Programme (Dr Sue Brownill) and the Research Administrator (Allison Stevens).

The Associate Dean for Strategy and Development (Professor Joe Tah) and the Chair of the DTP (Dr Sue Brownill) welcomed participants to the conference.

The programme had multidisciplinary parallel sessions throughout the day with mixed theme presentations to an audience of disparate disciplines. This opened up a useful space for the question and answer time at the end of each session, where it was not unusual for an artist giving a presentation to receive a question from, for example, a computer scientist. Most of the sessions were chaired by Early Career Researchers.

The committee also invited Research Groups in the Faculty of TDE to present an overview of their research areas and research projects. The networking area included ‘Postcards from the Future’ posters which briefly captured where a few alumni are currently working and some of their tips for getting through a PhD.

it was truly a team effort and we are very proud of how it all turned out, particularly the Research Groups presentations and messages from alumni, both of which were a new element to this year’s conference. Personally, I found the whole process of organising the conference incredibly rewarding and it was a great networking opportunity, which brought together PhD students, Early Career Researchers as well as accomplished academics at our university.

Margo Socha (Co-Chair, School of Architecture)

The academic poster display was judged by a team of academics with first prize going to Saddam Zourob (School of Engineering, Computing & Mathematics) and tying in second places were Thomas Baker (School of Engineering, Computing & Mathematics) and Sheila Isabel Irigoyen Zozaya (School of Built Environment).

Prof. Nigel Crook (Associate Dean of Research and Knowledge Exchange) gave the closing remarks at the conference, noting in particular, the impressive depth of research being conducted by research students and staff.

The presentations will be published in a forthcoming, peer-reviewed conference proceeding publication and will be available online via RADAR, the institutional repository of Oxford Brookes University.

As PhD students, being part of the committee was a great learning opportunity, not only because it allowed us to gain some experience in the process of peer-reviewing, which is a common task in academic life, but also by exposing us to such a diverse group of topics and research approaches. We are all part of the same Faculty, but we have so many disciplines within it. It was incredible interesting to read and hear what our PhD colleagues from other departments and schools are working on.

Catalina Morales Maya (Co-Chair of the Publications Committee)