Chemical Engineering 3MT and Poster Competition at UCL

Hi everyone! I am happy to get back to you to keep you posted on what is going on during my PhD. First of all a small recap: I’m Gema, PhD student and ESR 15 of the MCSA ITN InnovEOX project. My thesis is aimed to perform the Life Cycle Assessment and Cost analysis of the emerging technologies that are being developed within the InnovEOX consortium. The outcome of this study will give us, at the end of the project, the opportunity to devise what is the best and most sustainably strategy to implement eAOP to efficiently degrade resistant micropollutants from wastewater. Was that clear? (this is something I always wonder when talking about what I do).

For a PhD student, and for a researcher in general, it is always challenging to explain what you do in a few sentences, or to explain it to the general public, or people who, despite they are familiar with research, science or even your field, they are not experts in what you do. On the other side, we are so familiar and so self-focused in our work, that we forget that the message we deliver might not be as clear as we think it is.

Because of that, I think it is always a good opportunity to participate in dissemination and outreach activities and interact with non-experts in your field and let them know what you are doing. Personally, I think that being able to communicate effectively what you do is key, if you want to be a good researcher. As Einstein would say: “You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother”, and I could not agree more.

For this reason, I am really grateful to InnovEOX, because it encourages us to become excellent cutting-edge researchers, and keep up with our communications skills by participating in social media and outreach activities. This time, I took part in the 3MT (3 Minutes Thesis) and poster competition contest organized by the Chemical Engineering department at UCL (my hosting institution). Basically, all the PhD have the opportunity to explain in 3 minutes what their thesis is about, and/or can show it graphically in a poster. I did both. It was a great experience, very enriching, since it also gave me a first-hand view on how I shall communicate my research to my peers, it was a good training also for the upcoming conferences. And guess what? People loved my poster and I won one of the prices to the best poster presentation!

I am definitely going to keep up with the communication and dissemination activities, because I find them really rewarding, useful and even fun! So special thanks to InnovEOX for encouraging us!

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