Winter Networking event success with KESS 2 at Cardiff University

The 19th of December 2018 saw another successful delivery of a KESS 2 Winter Networking event, hosted by the team at Cardiff University. The event presented the opportunity for interaction and collaboration between KESS 2 participants and was well attended by students, academics and PGR administrators from the academic schools. 

The event opened with a fun session of ‘icebreaker’ questions which allowed delegates to get to know one another in their groups through the means of open discussion and knowledge sharing. It was encouraged to take note of any unexpected connections which arose between group members during discussion to help unlock future collaboration opportunities and form a stronger community of KESS 2 scholars in Cardiff University. 

One of the guest speakers at the event was Dr James Vafidis, KESS Alumnus and now a senior lecturer in the University of West England, Bristol. Dr Vafidis gave a talk on the transition into academia following his time as a PhD student during the first KESS project (KESS 1, which ran from 2009 – 2014). He also offered a valuable insight for current KESS 2 participants, speaking of the benefits of industrial collaboration that the programme offers and how this way of working has contributed positively to his career to date.  

Josh Davies, a current KESS 2 participant at Cardiff University, and his academic supervisor Prof Phil Davies (School of Chemistry) also spoke on the various engagements their research project has been involved in. Josh’s achievement as a result of taking up some of these opportunities provided a great example of the positive engagement that can be achieved; this included the chance to speak at a TEDx Talk, writing an article for The Conversation and co-organising a multidisciplinary Nanoscience Conference at Cardiff University. Prof Phil Davies encouraged academics to support their students whenever possible to make the most of showcasing their projects on these types of platforms. 

The event was ended with a presentation on career service and training opportunities available at Cardiff University by a Doctoral Academy delegate.