I thought I would just put up a quick post about the recent December workshop hosted and run by the Micro & Nano Flows group, this was held in North Yorkshire in Ripon (chosen as a uniquely central location for all of the members of the MNF group) on the 12th and 13th of December.
This meeting had multiple purposes and took place over 2 (very) full days! The first day was an EPSRC Creativity@Home day, which was designed to bring together all of the members of the MNF group and to encourage team working/building/thinking. It's easy to dismiss this sort of thing as laughable or useless but in reality companies spend huge amounts because it actually works! The MNF group didn't have a corporate budget but nonetheless a genuinely useful day was arranged by the team from Warwick University.
We started with a team based excercise looking at how to create a successful bid for academic funding. This was done in small teams of 3 or 4 and spanned over 3 hour long sessions, puncutated with appropriate lectures from experienced members of the group. The first hour was spent coming up with good ideas, the second fleshing them out and the third preparing a 5 minute presentation. The general standard was fantastic with a real range of projects proposed. To make things interesting two winners were selected and those will go on to write a full proposal in the New Year to bid for actual funding! For those early in their research career the event provided genuine insight into what makes a good proposal and more importantly how a little flair when presenting can make all the difference.
Later in the day we all attended a local events company based at a farm! I was sceptical… but in fact it was a fantastic event, split into 4 teams we each did 6 tasks that required varying levels of team work but were still fun. Everything from racing two tractors along a course to herding some sheep around a field (without a dog!) It was genuinely fun and got everybody talking and working together.
The second day was a more traditional conference which saw 21 presentations given over 3 sessions with the event named "Multiscale Fluid Dynamics: Simulation, Experiments and Applications". These were mostly from members of the MNF group about their current work but there were also a few invited talks from different outside groups of relavence. This is something that the MNF group traditionally does at the end of each year and is always a great way to get an insight into the work done across the group. We were also lucky to be joined by a number of great keynote speakers including Prof. Yonghao Zhang from the University of Strathclyde who talked about "Modelling gas transport in shales" and also the first of our visiting scientists Prof. Joël De Coninck from the Université de Mons who gave a reslly great talk on "Heat transfer and wettability".
As is traditional, we finished up with a great Christmas meal, for some it was their first experience of such a thing in the UK, hopefully it was a good one!
Events like this are imperative to keeping everybody within the MNF group talking and not locked away in their office and this was probably the most successful that I have attended in my short time as part of the group. Bring on 2018!