Posts Tagged ‘poster’


April 10, 2011 1 comment

From the 6th – 8th April, the 21st Irish Environmental Researchers’ Colloquium, ENVIRON 2011, was being held at University College Cork. This is organised by ESAI (Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland) and is a conference which our whole lab attends each year. During the first day of the conference, a number of relevant workshops were held, and since two of my lab mates and myself were interested in that on Geospatial Technologies, we made our way down to Cork a bit earlier. I had used GIS during my fourth year project, however I only had a basic understanding of this tool. However I hope to be able to make use of GIS further during my PhD, as I believe it will significantly help my research. The workshop consisted of 1.5hours on GIS and 1.5hours on remote sensing, and therefore we did not really get an in-depth knowledge of the software. However, it was a good refresher course to remember what I had done before. I really liked that the workshop was mainly practical based, in that during each session, we had a short introduction, followed by hands-on experience of carrying out a tutorial.

That evening, a wine reception followed by the opening speeches were held. I was particularly interested in the keynote speech by Professor Michael Depledge. He touched upon a million and one things during his presentation, but he managed to make it accessible to all, yes still scientific enough. The next morning, the ‘conference proper’ was to start. After an initial plenary session, the various sessions of presentations were held. 4 different sessions were held at the same time, and one chooses which session he attends. Such sessions were to be held over the last 1.5 days, since the conference ended at lunch on Friday.

During the first session of ‘Water Quality’ I was to present a 1 minute oral presentation on my poster. I am glad I got to present my work and my slot was at the start, since a number of people came up to talk to me after that. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of students coming up to me to ask about my research and that they would be interested in my findings, since it could add something to what they are already doing. Therefore it is encouraging to see that IF my method works, it will find some use. Alas, it is an IF. It was also slightly unsettling, that some people are doing quite similar work to what I am doing. But that is research, and hopefully the work they will be doing will not be too similar.

I was particularly excited when my supervisor told me that a person from the EPA was interested in my work. I had been trying to contact people at the EPA, but it seems as if my messages were not going through. However I now have his contact details, and I will get back to him next week. If I can get the support of the EPA, it will certainly add some essential backing in relation to the relevance of my research.

As with the other conferences/meetings I have been at, I have found that it is not the actual presentations which are most useful, but rather the discussions held during the other activities, such as poster sessions, lunch or dinner. ENVIRON 2011 is over, and I look forward to ENVIRON 2012.



As I have said previously, although my PhD is funded by the EU, through the FP7 Marie Curie people project, the QUESTOR centre is the coordinating body. Apart from the 5 ATWARM students at DCU, there are a couple of other QUESTOR funded (these are actually funded by QUESTOR) students within DCU, and yesterday (Friday 4th March), we had the annual QUESTOR@DCU meeting. It was the first time, I think, that all QUESTOR funded students at DCU met since I have started my PhD, although most of us met in Belfast for the QUESTOR/ATWARM meeting in November. The director of the QUESTOR centre was also present, as were a couple of people from industry, who are either part of QUESTOR or are thinking of joining.

After introductory presentations form the QUESTOR@DCU coordinator, Prof Fiona Regan and the director of QUESTOR, the student presentations were next. We were 12 students in all. In order to limit the length of the day, we only had poster presentations. So the way it worked out was that we all got to stand in front of our poster and speak for around 5 minutes about our project. After this, questions were asked by the people present. I think I did quite well in my presentation and I got a couple of questions I could answer and a couple of suggestions etc. However the problem which always comes up in my presentations cropped up again, where I start talking and halfway through the presentation my mind wanders and then my brain notices that my mouth is talking but I have no idea what I am saying. People say that they do not notice it (although my sister has commented on it before, in that my eyes start to wander), and so think it was overall successful.

After lunch, we had two presentations from the Industrial partners. The presentation by Mark Bowkett from T.E. Laboratories was particularly interesting, as it showed me how companies look at research, and how academic and industrial partners can come together and make it work for them. After that was a presentation by Dr Conor Tonra from PatelTonra Ltd. who gave us a case study on the application of scientific and environmental knowledge to the business mindset. Although this last presentation was interesting overall, I think it was too focused on what the company does, rather than how we can get into such an area or make it work for us.

The day had come to an end, however before we left we had some important discussions to make. The next QUESTOR/ATWARM meeting, will happen in May in Germany, and we all got together to discuss how to organise the trip. We will probably all go together, get the same flights and stay at the same hotels etc. We should be getting further details in the coming weeks, however by next week we will probably know what flights we will be getting. Germany here we come.

The QUESTOR@DCU students with Prof Regan and the director of QUESTOR

The QUESTOR@DCU students with Prof Regan and the director of QUESTOR

Research Days, Conference etc.

January 27, 2011 2 comments

Tomorrow start my first ‘public appearance’ of me and my PhD. The School of Biotechnology at DCU is having its annual research day. I had been accepted to present a poster, which has now been prepared (thank you Bernard 🙂 ) and printed, and I am excited to be able to present it tomorrow.

My Poster: School of Biotechnology Research Day

After that, I have just heard at the end of last week that I have been accepted to give a poster presentation at the Conference of Analytical Science in Ireland which will be held at DCU at the end of February. So after I see how things go with the poster  tomorrow, I will amend and make the necessary changes for the CASi conference.

Today I also heard that I should try and participate in another conference to be held in Cork in Ireland concerning the Irish Environment in April. I still need to prepare an abstract and see whether I will be accepted. I hope I will, as I will get to go to Cork.

Hope all goes well tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Lab Work Started

January 5, 2011 1 comment

Today has been a momentous day. Just prior to leaving for my Christmas holidays in Malta I had ordered my chemicals and had everything ready to start lab work. Today I made my way for my first day back in the lab after my Christmas holidays and after settling back in and getting some minor issues out of the way, I got ready to start my lab work. I managed to obtain the UV spectra for all the chemicals I have received to date. One of the spectra is a bit worrying as it seems to be a bit displaced relative to the others. I might redo it, depending upon the spectra obtained for the remaining 2 chemicals I still have to receive. Once all the UV spectra are in (or perhaps before), I will start working on HPLC method development.

Apart from lab work I am also currently working on a poster for the DCU School of Biotechnology Research Day and on my literature review. So things are going well I guess. However no problems have been envisaged for the work I have achieved to date. HPLC method development is the place where I expect the first hurdles to be reached. Will see how it goes.

PhD: 1/12 over

December 19, 2010 1 comment

The first 3 months of my PhD are over it seems. That means that 1/12 of my PhD is (hopefully) over. Hopefully as I would not like that my studies take longer than the 3 years for which I am funded.  I think I achieved quite a lot during these 3 months, and I am happy with the progress I am making. In my last week in Dublin I managed to order the first analytes I selected and will be analysing for. Hopefully these will be received soon, so that as soon as I go back to Dublin in January I can start working on my method development. I am really excited about that, because if I manage to achieve that with minimal problems (I am being very optimistic here) it will mean that my PhD life will be easier. However I am not looking at less than 3 months (if everything goes well that is) for this portion of my project.

The day before I left DCU I also had a meeting with my supervisor. This time instead of a lab meeting we had 1 to 1 meetings, where we discussed progress and the way forward. They seemed happy enough with my progress and told me to go ahead. One of the supervisors also suggested that I start working on my literature review. I have already read a lot of papers and have a number of separate documents from which I can pull the details. So I will hopefully organise what I have and add more to it as necessary. On the last day I also got word that I got accepted to give a poster presentation to the DCU School of Biotechnology Research Day in January. Therefore I now need to prepare a poster…have started working on it somewhat since I arrived in Malta, and hope to have most of it ready by the time I go back, since I would definitely need Bernard’s help with the design aspect.

The next months will probably be really hectic as regards to my PhD. I have to work on method development and my literature review, Graduate training elements (I actually have 2 scheduled for the same week…will probably have to drop one), I will give my poster presentation at the Biotech Research Day in January and sent my abstract for another conference at the end of February, I start practical session demonstrations in February too etc. I look forward to this however. It will be hectic, definitely…but hopefully I will actually start seeing some progress (reading papers all day long gets a bit monotonous at times).

So bring it on (and think of me so that hopefully things work out well 🙂 ).