The University of Southampton

Second year student goes nuclear for competition

Published: 8 May 2015

Second year Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) student Callum Smith, member of the Advanced Solid State Sources group, fought off competition from his colleagues to win first place in the ORC’s annual Second Year Talks competition, winning £ 500 to be spent towards a conference, a summer school or lab components for his PhD.

The competition has become a tradition within the ORC. Dr Francesca Parmigiani,
co-organiser with Dr Collin Sones explained: “The talks allow students to hone their technical presentation skills in front of an audience of their peers. This gives them practice for presenting at conferences or
similar events and is great for building their confidence.”

All second year students at the ORC are challenged to give a presentation on a topic that falls within the broad remit of photonics, but is not aligned with their own particular project direction. The audience votes for the student they feel best conducted their research and presents their work. If students feel strongly enough, they try to persuade the organisers that theirs is a subject that the ORC should incorporate into their research portfolio. This year PhD student Callum won for his talk, ‘Nuclear Energy – Power source of the Future?’

Callum said: “The second year talks are a great event, allowing students to develop communication and presentations skills, which are extremely important for presenting research at conferences. The broad range of topics were exciting, and all of the talks were very interesting. I am very pleased to have won!”

Find out more about what a PhD at the Optoelectronics Research Centre involves.

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