So welcome to the first big post (barring of course Jon’s research update) of 2017 which will begin a new trend of hopefully semi-regular posts starting soon with an introduction to the new members of NGN, AKA Cohort 3, very soon.
Before that though, winter school! Our yearly Joint Nuclear Centre meet-up between the cohorts of Nuclear FiRST, our sister Nuclear Energy CDT from down south ICO (Imperial, Cambridge and Open University) and of course the best of the lot, Next Generation Nuclear. It’s a yearly get together, located in the exotic town of Solihull this time, of the above universities and groups in order to present our research to each other and to expand our contact networks with people that work in a similar area. Of course it’s not just all fun and presentations, there are also guest speakers from places such as AWE and Horizon Nuclear (hopefully building the new ABWR in Anglesey) and a panel discussion.
The talks were as interesting as last year and while it may have been predominantly material science and chemistry based I still managed to find some talks that were relevant to me, even if one of those talks was carried out by Kevin Tree who’s in my research group. My favourite part though was the panel discussion which really delved into some interesting questions. It was decided on though to use Chatham house rule in order to foster some more candid opinions so I’ll just gloss over what was said and just say that the only improvement would have been if it was more similar to least year’s panel. The previous panel contained some differing opinions on the topic of a nuclear future in this country which spawned some interesting debate.
The poster competition on the second day was our contribution. Along with our peers in ICO we got to stand by an A0 sheet for two hours while being quizzed about our work. It wasn’t as boring as it sounds though, there was beer. And wine. The prize for first place was won by Dham-sham Rana from ICO and it probably wasn’t even rigged. At least the two runners up were of our very own NGN. Connaugh presented her work on Nuclear forensics and Rosie her work on Contamination Assay. There was some questionability about whether or not we could post images of the posters on this site so instead here’s a shot with details hopefully too low-res to make out.
Overall it was a good few days, let down perhaps slightly by the food at the hotel. Aside from the presentations it was of course also a good chance to meet with the new members of Cohort 3 who as we speak are being thrust into the research setting of their universities as they begin their first research projects and skill training.