First annual SWDTP conference

SWDTP studentsStudents discussing their posters

The first annual SWDTP conference took place over two days on Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th September at Bristol Zoo. Nearly forty students attended as well as Management Board, Steering Group and Implementation Group representatives across the partnership.

The conference was opened by Prof Leo Brady (Chair of the SWDTP Management Board) and Dr Andy Bailey (SWDTP Programme Coordinator). The first day consisted of a series of short talks delivered by the students on their research so far. Topics ranged from how camouflage patterns influence the confusion effect in moving target tracking to molecular modelling and protein folding. These sessions were chaired by SWDTP students, Alexander Johns from Exeter and Chris Wood from Bristol. In addition to talks given by the students, Prof Colin Kleanthous from the Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford was invited as a keynote speaker. Prof Kleanthous gave a very interesting talk on protein-protein interactions in bacterial cell signalling and protein import. A poster session took place following the talks, giving the opportunity for the students to discuss their research further with their colleagues.

SWDTP students building a bridgeStudents building a bridge

The second day of the conference centred on cohort building. This involved the students trying to make a bridge out of objects from the stationary cupboard that would hold a large Granny Smith apple as well as taking part in a Bristol Zoo based quiz which gave them the opportunity to see the delights that Bristol Zoo has to offer. The afternoon consisted of a range of workshops, including how to communicate your research to the public and how to start a PhD. A group of Post-docs and Research Fellows from the University of Bristol also spoke to the students about a career in academia.

On behalf of the SWDTP, we would like to thank everyone who participated in the conference, especially those who gave talks and presented posters.