The first Energy Demand in Practice seminar was held on Monday 19th February and attracted a wide range of participants to grill our three speakers on aspects of their careers in industry after research. These sessions bring together PhD or EngD graduates and current students to discuss how to develop their research interests into a career in Energy Demand.
First up was Paula Morgenstern, a LoLo PhD graduate whose career as a Building Performance Manager is very much an extension of her research work on the interface between technology and society. The outputs of her research have meant that prospective employers have been able to fit jobs to her area of expertise rather than simply being expected to come in and fit a pre-ordained job description. While it was clear that the subject matter of her PhD was directly relevant to her career, there are many skills such as moving from academic style writing to industry reporting and adapting to working in different male-dominated work environments that she has been able to pick up since.
Paul May provided an excellent contrast to Paula, demonstrating that it is possible to take the mindset behind research work in one field such as astrophysics and apply it to many different areas from kidney dialysis to his current career in data science in the energy industry. What was particularly instructive was demonstrating how his ability to teach himself independently in his PhD has allowed him to pick up new skills such as programming when they have been required in his desired line of work.
Dane Virk from Atkins was our last speaker and demonstrated the value of being able to contribute through one’s own PhD or EngD research to industry standards and protocols. It was clear from his presentation that building a name and future career for yourself does not just come when the PhD thesis is handed in but through the collaborations and contributions made during it.
Our students from various MRes and PhD programmes incorporating Energy, Environmental Design and even system dynamic modelling were able to find out more about our speakers both through a Q&A session but through also networking afterwards with cheese and wine. It was good to see a range of participants – from students moving into research to those in their final year of their PhDs. We would like to thank our speakers and students who made it such a collaborative, fun evening and look forward to setting up the next session in April!
Follow @LoLoCDT on Twitter