Posts Tagged ‘Queen’s University Belfast’

School of Biotechnology Research Day and Belfast Visits

January 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Last Friday saw the return of the SoBT research day at DCU. I had been accepted for an oral presentation earlier on in December, and was looking forward to this first oral presentation of my research in a formal setting. Luckily I was scheduled first up, just after the keynote speaker, and so it meant I could get my presentation over and done with and enjoy the rest of the day, especially since I was part of the organising team on behalf of the Biological Research Society, so it turned out to be quite a hectic day.

However I must say I enjoyed my presentation. I was mostly scared of the questions people would ask, but I believe I managed to answer most of them quite well and some of the insights I got were quite good. Apart from my presentation, I also enjoyed talking to a couple of the academics about my research and also with members of the sponsoring companies (there were 10 sponsoring companies with stands there, representing most of our suppliers, and therefore it was good to have them all there to talk about your research and discuss new opportunities).

The past two weeks I have also been quite busy with two visits to Belfast. I was supposed to have a supervisor up in Queen’s University Belfast, however he has now left the University (although still in sporadic touch via email). Nevertheless, there is still work to be done there, and I have in fact been waiting for the instrument I am supposed to be using there to be fixed. Therefore when the specialist engineer was coming over, I took the opportunity to go up to Belfast and spend time with him to learn about the instrument and get trained, since the person who had used it before has now left and I will be the only person using it once it is fixed.

I had a very productive and interesting 2 days, and the instrument was up and running, so I came back to Dublin for the weekend and planned to go up the next Tuesday, to analyse my actual samples. Unfortunately, when I went back on Tuesday I found out that another part of the instrument has now broken down, as a circuit board has stopped working, meaning the mass spec magnet is no longer operating. Therefore back to Dublin I came after a day of trouble shooting, and we are now awaiting confirmation for fixing the instrument (or not) depending on what the powers that be decide.

Nevertheless, my PhD is now getting into the swing of things, and I am getting busy. I look forward to what the coming weeks and months bring up, and hopefully it will be mainly good news 🙂


Meeting my Supervisor at QUB

October 21, 2010 2 comments

Yesterday the long awaited day came. I made the trek (Ok 2 bus rides and a walk) to Belfast from Dublin to meet my supervisor at Queen’s University Belfast. His name is Dr. Luc Rock and his expertise lies in stable isotope measurements and the use of nitrogen and oxygen isotopes  for nitrate source determination.

The meeting went quite well. We discussed quite a number of factors related to my project. We discussed what has been done in the area, where the gaps of knowledge are and his vision for the project. He is quite open to what I would want to do and he seems to be willing to take the project wherever my vision takes it (hmmm…do I have a vision?). I also got a chance to discuss with him some aspects of nitrate isotopes, which I found to be quite helpful. After our meeting we went to the lab where he showed me the different equipment they have available and their specific uses.

I am glad I made the effort to go and visit him and had the opportunity to discuss with him aspects of my project. Although he did not give any concrete answers to what I should or should not do, I now know what his vision is, and what his expectations of the project are. I can see that he is a truly nice person and he is interested in this subject.

I will now meet him again in about 1 months time. So I will see how that goes. However I am still excited about the project. Cannot wait to figure out what I will exactly be doing. However experienced sources in the area said that I will probably never have an answer to that.