Category Archives: Professional Development

College of Science and Engineering Sandpit

Judging by my recent blog posts, the last couple of months seem to have been focused on professional development and networking activities to the exclusion of everything else. This isn’t entirely true as there’s an obvious selection bias at work in what I am writing about. These events have been interesting asides to the daily life of junior faculty (the staff meetings, teaching, people management, outreach, and the fleeting moments I actually get to spend in the lab doing science), which isn’t hugely interesting stuff to blog about. Continue reading

Heriot-Watt Crucible V Session 3: Day 2

The closing session of the H-W crucible and culmination of the days over the last three months I have spent with my fellow cruciblists and facilitators was held in the Millenium Dome-like Dynamic Earth centre next to the Scottish Parliament. It’s an attractive building in a beautiful location, next to my new favourite piece of modern architecture, but it has the strong imprint of being a Millennium project about it. Saying that, due in part to the excellent stewardship of the scientific director Dr Stuart Monro, it has been extremely successful and gives a wonderful sense of the role that geology plays in shaping life on Earth and in particular Scotland, the centre being nestled at the foot of the Salisbury crags with magnificent views of the landscape. Continue reading

Heriot-Watt Crucible V Session 3: Day 1

The third and final session of the Heriot-Watt crucible followed the same format as the previous two with two venues, a half-day of talks and the rest of the day focused on facilitated group activities. I think by now it is clear that I am gaining more from the activities than the talks, but to someone who hasn’t heard them before and is interested in the institution specific content I am sure they would be very useful and informative.

Day one was held at Selex-ES, one Edinburgh’s biggest tech employers and suppliers of some fantastic RADAR and LASER systems to some of the world’s biggest civilian and military users of these systems. Given the products the company makes, security was more stringent than some of the other venues, and we were ushered into a suite of conference rooms separate from the main rooms in their facility in Edinburgh. Continue reading

Heriot-Watt Crucible V Session 2

The second session of the Heriot-Watt crucible was to be held at two venues across the two days. I couldn’t make it to day one at The School of Textiles and Design in Galashiels due to a lack of a sensible way to get there and back to Newcastle in a day by public transport.  Day two was held at the Moredun Institute. The Moredun is well hidden in the middle of a science park south of Edinburgh, just down the road from the lovely new Vet School. Continue reading

Heriot-Watt Crucible V Session 1

My invitation to participate in the Heriot-Watt Crucible V came only a couple of days before the event, so I had to put together a poster advertising my career and interests in an evening and find someone who would print it the next day. Newcastle University Print Services came through with a really smart canvas print in spite of it taking a few attempts to get a file to them that they could open. Powerpoint is really quick and makes putting a poster together simple, but it is not ideal for high-resolution prints; next time it is Illustrator all the way. Continue reading