As part of International Women in Engineering Day 2017, Dr Mary Geary, research fellow in our school, shares her experience of a career in STEMM research and the support she received from the University of Brighton on returning to STEMM research after a career break.
Open days are a great way to find out about the local area and the campus where you will be studying. You will also be able to hear more about your chosen subject and talk to our staff and current students.
Take a well earned break from end of semester revision and join us for some fun outdoor games, a BBQ and a some drinks on Friday 19 May. Open to all students and staff in our school. Let Daisy Kyle in the school office know if you are coming along.
See you there!
Dr Cyprian Njue , Student Support and Guidance Tutor
Dr Geary travelled to Barcelona last month as part of an EU ‘Co-operation in Science and Technology’ initiative called the INTREPID training school. Here is her diary of the trip.
In the famous Catalan fairy story ‚‘The Water of Life‘, also known by its original name ‘El agua de la vida’, only the deliverance of the water of life, sourced from a magic spring in the hills, can save a family from being turned to stone by an evil giant. It is the daughter of the family who outsmarts the ogre and restores life with the water. The life of her own family, of her petrified neighbours and of her surroundings are all rejuvanated as the water she spills on the return from the mountain turns everything green and fecund and frees the people from the giant’s curse. That water is still seen as the very essence of Catalan life is clear throughout the urban fabric of its capital city.
Wedged between the Mediterranean Sea and the estuaries of the Llobregat and Besos rivers and with the Serra de Collserola mountain range as its backdrop, Barcelona is a water-centric city fiercely proud of its heritage. As the economic powerhouse of Catalonia, its historic wealth was built around its port, driving its shipping, mercantile, leather and textile industries. The evidence of that financial prowess – Barcelona’s architectural splendour – attracts millions of tourists every year. Power, water, wealth have historically connected together to forge a city of almost 2 million residents; whose population rises threefold every year with almost 6 million visitors per annum.
As one of those 6 million visitors I travelled to Barcelona in early February this year as part of an EU ‘Co-operation in Science and Technology’ initiative called the INTREPID training school. My fellow Sustainable Futures researchers and I were collaborating to work together in a four day workshop, sharing experiences and learning together how interdisciplinary collaboration is at the heart of undertaking sustainability research. Working across disciplines – we were a disparate group of ecologists, urban planners, civil engineers, environmental lawyers, social scientists amongst others –we discussed how it is possible to try to make connections amidst and outside of our own scientific perspectives to find holistic pragmatic solutions to urgent, real world problems. As a Research Fellow based in SET, understanding how communities understand, articulate and action changes in their local water environments is crucial. It helps me contextualise how macro influences are interpreted and responded to, and what steps and strategies policy makers and governance bodies need to undertake to make sustainability science comprehensible and relevant. Read More →
Final year MEng student Scarlett, talks about her experience of life as a Civil Engineering student at Brighton.
I visited Brighton on my 18th birthday and I just knew I had to live here! It’s such a fun, vibrant city, there’s something for everyone. I chose Civil Engineering as I have always had an interest in building, structure and architecture. Although architecture really appeals to me, I wanted to understand how structures stood up, how they worked, and why.
I would recommend this course to anyone who wants a rewarding degree. I also wanted to choose a degree that would have a good chance of a job at the end of the course and Civil Engineers are in high demand. In the Masters year, your modules are completely optional. This year I am recreating Roman Concrete for my final year project and it is very interesting and I am enjoying managing my own time and getting messy in the labs. In the second year, we had a Civil Engineering and Built Environment trip to Berlin which was a lot of fun!
For my placement year, I used the careers service who were particularly helpful, they suggested improvements for my CV and interview techniques. My placement was with a structural engineering company called Hockley and Dawson, working as a Student Structural Engineer/ CAD technician.
For the first few months I was mainly creating drawings on AutoCAD for the engineers, which were then sent on to architects or the contractors. As my confidence grew, I began to attend site visits and monitor old, often listed buildings, taking photographs and measurements to use back in the office. I also carried out a few small extension and pile load calculations. The site visits were really beneficial as they made all the theory I had learnt at university make a lot more sense, being able to see it in “real-life”.
I would say that Brighton is a fabulous place to be and you will not regret it! As for Civil Engineering, it is a very interesting and stimulating course that keeps you on your toes. The world is always developing and changing and that’s what Civil Engineers are for.
Head down to the seafront between 1-4pm on Saturday 29 July and celebrate women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) with Soapbox Science.
Soapbox Science hosts events across the UK and the world raising the profile of women in science – breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes about who a researcher is. And they are coming to Brighton for the first time this summer.
Chantal Nobs, a PhD student at the University of Brighton, was one of 12 women selected to participate in the Soapbox Science London event on London’s Southbank in 2016.
A team of our Technical Engineering instructors joined students at Midhurst Rother College and engineers from the infrastructure group Balfour Beatty took on the challenge to help solve potholes on our roads.
Part of an Engineering Education Scheme (EES) co-ordinated by our STEM Sussex team, the scheme is a six-month partnership and involved a two-day residential workshop here.
The scheme encourages Year 12 students to recognise the importance of science and engineering by providing an opportunity to gain useful skills and experience by working on a challenging project in partnership with industry.
Midhurst Rother is one of ten schools and colleges which came to the university with engineers from different companies to work on projects including improving security systems, improving ways to monitor phosphates in waste water and creating models to display at science fairs including the Big Bang Fair South East.
Midhurst Rother students are working with engineers to look for more efficient materials and ways of filling road holes. The project follows a report from Local Government Association which estimates the pothole repair bill could reach £14 billion by 2020.
After their two-day workshop, Dominic Ryan, one of our Technical Instructors, said: “The students managed the project from start to finish – they were able to plan and be hands-on, utilising their scientific, innovative and creative skills.”
James Baldwin, science teacher at Midhurst Rother College, said: “The students enjoyed the opportunity to use the university’s concrete lab and equipment. They are all looking to study a subject linked with science or engineering at university and the scheme allowed them to see what this would entail.”
Students studying subjects including Architecture, Civil Engineering, Construction Management, Building Surveying, Urban Planning, are invited to the Built Environment and Civil Engineering careers fair on Friday 2 December. Come along to Cockcroft Hall between 1-3 and find out about placements, part-time work graduate opportunities and more.
It’s a great opportunity to talk to recruiters, academics, Brighton graduates and careers advisors all in one place. Dozens of employers will be there – you’ll find the full list here.
The recent, multi-million pound project transforming the Cockcroft building into a state-of-the-art research, teaching and information building has been recognised in the prestigious Green Gown Awards for 2016.
Our university and the architects we worked with Fraser Brown MacKenna were named Finalist in the Built Environment category for what was one of the largest retrofits of an occupied academic building in the UK.
The transformation was described by judges as “an innovative approach integrating architectural, building services and structure design” which unlocked the environmental potential of the 10,500m2 building using the latest technology.
Innovations include an aquifer thermal energy store, potentially reducing energy demand, CO2 emissions and fuel savings. The system stores and recovers thermal energy beneath the ground and provides heating and cooling.
A spokesperson for the awards told the university: “On behalf of the Green Gown Awards Team we wanted to congratulate you on your achievement. Being a Green Gown Awards Finalist is something to be extremely proud of.”
Earlier this year the Cockcroft project won in the Higher Education category of the Architects’ Journal Retrofit Awards 2016. Judges called it a bold project and a model for future similar projects. Read More →