22nd February 2016: Geological Disposal Facilities, Metamaterials, Schizophrenia

Tonight, at an alternative venue (again), we have speakers on Building Biology, Cloaking Devices, and Schizophrenia.  Confused?  You might be now but read on, and hear the speakers’ stories for yourself at The Crown & Kettle, crowned (see what we did there?) one of Britain’s best pubs.

The set-up is the same as always:

Three local researchers. One whiteboard. Ten minutes each to explain what they do to anyone who wants to listen. This month, lots and lots of science!

Haydn Haynes is a PhD student in the School of Earth, Atmospheric, and Environmental Sciences, at the University of Manchester. He is working on the microbiology of construction materials intended for use in a Geological Disposal Facility, for the disposal of nuclear waste

Philip Thomas works in the Condensed Matter Physics group in the School of Physics & Astronomy and is also part of the NowNano CDT. People have dreamed up all sorts of wild futuristic inventions – invisibility cloaks, biosensors, perfect lenses – the list goes on. A problem with realising these ideas is that they all rely on optical phenomena that aren’t found in nature. The solution is simple: invent a new class of materials – metamaterials – with weird properties unlike any found in the natural world…

Lisa Heaney is a first year PhD student at the University of Manchester, in the department of Brain, Behaviour, and Mental Health. She is half psychologist, half neuroscientist, but luckily has yet to be called a “psycho-scientist”. Her PhD is to do with exercise and schizophrenia, specifically whether exercise helps to alleviate some of the symptoms of schizophrenia and how it works. Her research is translational, so she works in the clinic with people and with animal models of the disease. She also does a bit of science-related stand-up comedy, but won’t be subjecting you to that at PubhD. She is on Twitter as @lisaneuro

The event is free but there will be a voluntary collection on the night to pay for speakers’ drinks and to cover running costs.

We do have some of the future speaking slots booked already, but we’re always on the lookout for anyone with something interesting to say about their post-doctoral research.  If you’d like to join us either as a speaker or audience member, or if you just fancy a chat (are we going to regret saying this?), let us know at pubhdmanchester@gmail.com.

Monday 16th November 2015: Quantum Dots, Mix-Engineering, Face Transplantation

Due to thesis writing, illness, pub-hunting, and a variety of other obstructions, there was no October event (blub!).  But we were back for November, at a different venue (one which is reliably open).  The Old Monkey on Portland Street is central, friendly, and has lots of beers for every taste.  Not only that, but it has a large function room upstairs, which easily accommodated the 40 or so people who came along to hear some illuminating talks.

Manchester has a reputation for all sorts of eclectic and remarkable research, and tonight gave us a flavour of this: how many of us can say we went to the pub and learned about the applications of quantum dots, perception of sound quality, and face transplantation?

The evening’s line-up:

Ruben Ahumada-Lazo is a first-year PhD student in Physics at the University of Manchester. He is working on understanding the behaviour of quantum dots under light irradiation, for its application as light harvesters in cheaper and more efficient solar cells.

Alex Wilson is a PhD student at the University of Salford. He is investigating the perception of quality in sound recordings, focussing on music productions and mix-engineering.

Dr. Anne-Marie Martindale is an applied health anthropologist and post-doctoral researcher at the University of Manchester. Her PhD explored the relationship between faces, facial disfigurement, transplantation and identity.

Monday 21st September 2015: Heat and Light

Or, “The One Without A Pub” – Part 2.

We had a great time frantically searching for a last minute venue for you awesome PubhD-ers, and it was another sojourn at The Salutation.  Once again, social media was our friend, and we managed to let those who mattered (speakers and audience, of course!) know about the impromptu move with enough time for beer and food as well.

The three speakers for this event made an all-science line-up: Monique Henson discussed galaxy clusters, Tom Bourne presented on thermodynamics & statistical mechanics, and Melody Obeng spoke on polymer chemistry.

Fingers crossed that nothing gets in the way of the next PubhD Manchester!