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NSIRC PhD student uses YERUN grant for collaborative visit to Madrid

NSIRC PhD student uses YERUN grant for collaborative visit to Madrid

Written by Peggy Jones & Daisy Martlew

NSIRC PhD student Dimitrios Fakis has returned from Spain after seizing a unique opportunity to work with top engineers at one of the highest ranked universities in the world. As a result of winning one of only 35 YERUN (Young European Research Universities Network) Research and Mobility Awards, he was able to use the €1000 prize to travel to Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (UAM).

YERUN is a network which draws together young European universities. Since Dimitrios’ PhD is awarded by Brunel University London, a YERUN partner institution, he was eligible to apply for the prize. The competitive award enables researchers to work with other academics from across Europe, and promotes multi-disciplinary research.

At UAM, Dimitrios collaborated with Professor Juan Córcoles Ortega of the Radio Frequency: Circuits, Antennas and Systems (RFCAS) Group. Over the course of two weeks, he had the opportunity to present his research on ‘The Excitation and Propagation of Electromagnetic Surface Waves on Structural Composite Substrates’ to Professor Córcoles and his research group, including academic staff and other PhD candidates.

Mixing with other academics and professors from fields he may not have otherwise come into contact with also served to diversify Dimitrios’ approach to his own research. Experiencing other technologies available at different institutions with varied specialisms broadens students’ technical remit and aspirations.

He was also able to utilise the University’s facilities, setting up an experiment in the anechoic chamber of the antenna laboratory. This is a specialised, costly piece of scientific equipment that would not otherwise have had subsidised access. The results of the collected data have come to form an integral part of Dimitrios’ PhD, as well contributing towards future publications.

Dimitrios said: “The collaboration with Professor Córcoles is still ongoing, and a second visit in the near future is likely. The work will certainly continue until the completion of my PhD, and hopefully beyond, as we pursue further research in the field of electromagnetics.”

Dimitrios Fakis is a PhD student at Brunel University London, and is sponsored by BP and TWI.

Other NSIRC students have also been successful in applying for travel grants to enhance their studies:

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Dimitrios Fakis (centre left) speaking to other students at the NSIRC 2019 Annual Conference. Photograph: TWI Ltd
Dimitrios Fakis (centre left) speaking to other students at the NSIRC 2019 Annual Conference. Photograph: TWI Ltd