The research achievements of undergraduate students over the summer were celebrated at the UROS (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Scheme) poster session in February. The 10 students, who had each undertaken an independent research project within UCL Engineering, exhibited the results of their findings. Aydan Gasimova won the poster competition for her work on simulating quantum spin transitions, with two joint runners up in Tom Heenan and Thomas Gilgan.
Work was judged by the Dean, Professor Anthony Finkelstein, and the Chair of the UROS Committee, Professor Polina Bayvel, along with several Faculty academics including Prof Nick Donaldson, Dr Vanessa Diaz and Dr Philip Watts. The research posters exhibited included topics such as communicating with a hydrogen fuel cell powering a festival stage, modeling atherosclerotic plaques and optimizing the scheduling of freight trains.
The joint runners up received £125 each, and the winner £250, for the rigour of the research, the clarity of their presentation and their ability to explain the significance of their work. Tom Heenan’s project “Fuel Cell”, supervised by Dr Paul Shearing (UCL Chemical Engineering) and Thomas Gilgan’s project “Research & Implementation of Digital Signal Processing Algorithms for optical signal generation”, supervised by Dr Robert Killey (UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering) jointly received the second prize.
First prize was awarded to Aydan Gasimova (UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering) for her project “Simulation of IQ Modulation”, supervised by Dr John Morton (UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering and the London Centre for Nnotechnology). Commenting on her UROS work, which addressed simulating the evolution of properties relevant to quantum computing, she said:
“I’m grateful for having received the opportunity to work on a real world project, especially one on quantum computing. The vast and unfamiliar complexity of quantum spin manipulation was quite daunting at first, but familiarity was slowly established and now I’m happily continuing research on quantum computing for my final year. I would definitely recommend applying for the UROS, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of having achieved something you thought was beyond you.”
Professor Polina Bayvel, Chair of the UROS committee, said:
“UROS gives students a unique opportunity to experience both the excitement and challenges of research, working on a ground-breaking research project in an internationally-leading laboratory. The quality of the research carried out by UROS students is very high and we are looking forward to the new round of research proposals for this summer.”
The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Scheme is run within the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at UCL. It aims to give students the opportunity to gain research experience by working with an academic on a project of their own choosing, with financial support, over the summer break. The scheme, along with two other summer schemes, the Teaching and Learning Summer Studentships and the EPSRC Vacation Bursaries, will be running again in 2014 and current students can find details of applications and eligibility for all summer studentships here.