As seen on the welcome page of the MEGS website ‘’the Midlands Energy Graduate School (MEGS) is an exciting collaboration between the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University and the University of Nottingham”. What this means to a LoLo CDT student based in Loughborough University is that MEGS provides the ideal arena for an early stage researcher to flex his/her muscles in other various aspects of a researcher’s career, besides lab work, monitoring/analysing data and writing reports/papers. MEGS gives postgraduate students of the above three universities the opportunity to hone their skills in showcasing their work by: giving presentations, answering questions, composing scientific posters and networking with possible future collaborators.
Having attended the two-day “MEGS III Annual Conference: Systems Thinking in Energy” last September in the University of Birmingham I was looking forward to another well organised event with stimulating talks by guest speakers, engaging student presentations, lively discussions over the workshop and networking sessions, and the opportunity to catch up with the friends I made there. The MEGS III Christmas Conference on December 14 held in the University of Nottingham far exceeded my expectations.
The day began with James Luger’s presentation of OFGEM’s goals and work regarding the protection of current and future gas and electricity consumers in the UK. A young entrepreneur and a University of Nottingham alumnus, Dr Kevin Hard, gave an inspiring talk sharing the valuable lessons he got out of his PhD experience, which led him to set up EvoEnergy, a 5-year old company with a current £35Million turnover. The well thought-out and delivered students’ presentations and Q&A sessions that followed were grouped under the themes of renewable energy, energy materials, fossil energy and finally energy demand, where a presentation on my MRes dissertation project was given entitled “Can Indoor Air Quality in Victorian classrooms satisfy BB101 requirements? A case study analysis using Computational Fluid Dynamics”. Toward the end of the day the delegates had a chance to join a tour of the new Energy Technology Building and its numerous laboratories.
The National College Building with the prominent wood and glass design on the edge of the impressive builtscape of the Jubilee Campus, the poster display, as well as the festive lunch and Christmas Dinner provided the ideal backdrop for the exchange of views on research experiences, plans and obstacles. They also contributed towards building professional and personal communication bridges amongst the individuals who make up the future generation of Midlands-bred energy specialists, laying the foundation for more collaborative interdisciplinary work, in both a quantitative and qualitative sense, aimed at tackling the UK’s energy problem.
Article written by Nafsika Drosou, LoLo MRes student