Alumni News: Josh Miller
Josh Miller (BEng Materials Science and Technology, 2015) tells us how he's adjusting to PhD life at Birmingham.
Since my graduation in July 2015 I have been able to experience some new and exciting things both within the University (as I’ve stayed on to do a PhD) and outside. During the summer holidays before starting my PhD I planned to cycle threw Europe but unfortunately on day one, from Doncaster to Birmingham, I had a mechanical failure which caused me to fall off my bike breaking my arm! As unfortunate as this was, it gave me time to lick my wounds and prepare for September when I started a PhD back at the University of Birmingham in conjunction with the European Space Agency (ESA).
My PhD has so far allowed me to travel to Aachen University, Germany and Cologne for meetings with my sponsors and also gave me the chance to travel somewhere I had never been before. One of the best parts of this trip, and my PhD so far, was travelling to the German Space Agency (DLR) and ESA headquarters in Cologne. I managed to have a look at the work they are undertaking and even play with some rather exotic materials such as aerogels whilst I was there. However this trip was mainly about getting access to the large diameter centrifuge based in the Netherlands in order to run some rather novel solidification experiments under hypergravity conditions. As this was a success I continued my jet-setting by flying there in again March 2016 in order to see the machinery in action and obtain information about its technical aspects so that we can eventually run our own campaign on the machinery.
During my time back at Birmingham, and when I’m not flying across Europe, I have continued my involvement with the Materials Society BUMS putting on careers fairs for both postgraduate and undergraduate) students within the School of Metallurgy & Materials. We managed to get 14 businesses involved both local SMEs and multinational corporations including Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Steel and Morgan Advanced Materials to name a few. The fair was a great success and lead to many of our students achieving good places on internships and/or graduate schemes.
Also at the end of February the Materials Society ran our annual Materials Ball at the Great Hall on campus. This was a brilliant event which saw students, staff and even alumni gather to celebrate another fantastic year for the School. It was a lot of hard work to put on and involved a lot of different people and a lot of new skills were acquired during this, including flower arranging—although I’m not sure where to include this on my CV!
All in all it has been an exciting and stimulating 8 months back at the University and I am looking forward to the next 2 years which I’m sure will just be as interesting if not more so.
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