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Celebrating our Cookson Scholars

09 May 2024

Postgraduate researchers from Manchester and Melbourne showcase their wide-ranging, high-quality work

People watching presentations

The second annual Cookson Scholars Conference brought together postgraduate researchers (PGRs), supervisors and colleagues from the multidisciplinary Dual Award PhD Programme between the University of Manchester and the University of Melbourne to share and celebrate the breadth of research.

Presenters shared their research on topics as varied as ‘precipitation in the Arctic and Southern Ocean’ and ‘diagnosing listening difficulties in children,’ showcasing the excellent research and outstanding PGRs the programme has produced.

The judging panel had the difficult responsibility of identifying the best presentations among a consistently high-quality series of talks.

“The Cookson Scholars conference is an excellent opportunity for the students to present their work to their peers and all staff involved in the programme,” said Manchester Academic Lead Dr Michael Taylor.

“The quality of the presentations, highlighting the diversity of science being undertaken, was again outstanding. It was great to see the next generation of researchers tackling some of the biggest global challenges.”

Our Manchester-based award-winners were:

  • Winner Lucy McElhone for ‘Graphene and Nanoparticle Hybrid Materials for Energy Storage Applications’; supervisors Professors Aravind Vijayaraghavan and Amanda Ellis.
  • Runner-up Ajmal Roshan for ‘Distribution, types and efficiency of remediation units for improved water security in Biha’; supervisors Dr Laura Richards and Professor Meenakshi Arora.

The Melbourne-based award-winners were:

  • Winner: Ronald Leon for ‘Controlling Charging Events in TENGs via Contact Electrification, Charge Induction, and Electrostatic Discharge’; supervisors Professors Aravind Vijayaraghavan and Amanda Ellis.
  • Runner-up: Larry Ger Aragon for ‘Precipitation in the Arctic and Southern Ocean: New insights from Aircraft and Ship-borne Observations’; supervisors Drs Jonathan Crosier and Yi Huang.

Sheer variety of experience

“I was really thrilled to receive this award because there was a very high standard of presentations on a such a variety of topics from water purification to children’s learning,” Lucy commented.

“This really brought home to me the sheer variety of PhD experience that is possible, from students with senior colleagues on very large (and long-running) research programmes to PhD students working in a small group and sharing the same supervisor, to students doing a great deal of field work overseas, to students working in the laboratory like me.

“Another theme that emerged during the conference was just how the dual award leverages the complementary strengths of departments at each of the two universities.

“Overall, the conference was brilliant. The social events in Manchester and Melbourne were an excellent way to conclude the conference by bringing together dual award students, supervisors and program coordinators.”

“The conference gave me an opportunity to learn about the amazing research cutting across diverse disciplines that is being done by my peers as part of this dual-award Manchester-Melbourne PhD programme,” Ajmal added.

“The event also gave me an opportunity to present my work in front of a group of people, both experts and non, experts in the subject field I am working with and see how well I could make them relate to it.

“The social event was an important networking opportunity where I could meet the academics and professional staff responsible for the program and my peers, including Melbourne-based students who are currently in Manchester.

“I am thankful for my supervisors for supporting me and the organisers for making this event a success.”

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