2019 Young Researchers’ Conference: report
Date published

29 May 2019

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2019 Young Researchers’ Conference: report

Date published
Date published

29 May 2019

Our conference took place on 13 March at Institution HQ - a unique event that offers young researchers feedback from academics and industry leaders.


Jon Shave, Technical Director, Civil, Bridge and Ground Engineering at WSP was our keynote speaker this year. The event also featured a presentation by the winner of the Australian Young Researchers Conference, Junwei Lyu: "Optimal Design of an Efficient Floating Windbreak".

First poster presentation via skype: 

Xiaoyi Lan, of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, presented from the USA - eventually winning joint third prize.

Importance of supervisors:

Asked why he decided to present his work at the Conference, Adam Bekele said:
“It was a joint decision made by my supervisors and myself. We have been exploring new areas within the research the past few months and saw this as a very good opportunity to showcase the work. The main aim was to get feedback from a panel of highly esteemed research academics and industry leaders.”
The input of supervisors appears to be paramount to guiding students to the conference with confidence. 

Laura Bellamy, winner of the poster presentations, agreed. She said the event is a great opportunity to gain experience in presentation skills, present her work to practicing engineers, academics and peers, and see what other young researchers are doing.

Overseas contributions:

Several students flew in from overseas to present research at the conference this year. 

Pierre Van der Spuy, from South Africa, won second prize in the poster category. He became aware of the conference through the South African Institution of Civil Engineering Joint Structural Division (JSD). He saw the conference as a golden opportunity to meet students from some of the world’s best universities and to build relationships for future research:
“The conference is a great way to build your network, and also to get in touch with some eminent engineers from industry.”

Benefits of attending:

Adam Bekele said: “I have gained some confidence in my work from being awarded a prize for my presentation. More importantly, it was a great chance to talk to other researchers in the same position, facing similar challenges - as research can often be quite solitary.”
Valentina Macchiarulo added: “By presenting my work, I was asked interesting questions and received useful advice for future developments.”
Congratulations to our winners and thanks to all who attended and made it such a successful event once again.

Oral Winners:

1st - Adam Bekele of Imperial College London - Modelling the mechanical behaviour of cellular materials for energy absorption application.

2nd - Fiona Walport of Imperial College London - Stability and design of stainless-steel structures.

3rd - Hikmatullah Akhundzada of Kingston University - Strengthening of flat slabs with near surface-mounted CFRP bars against punching shear failure.

Poster Winners:

1st - Laura Bellamy of Imperial College London - Optimisation tools to assist efficient and sustainable design of tall buildings.

2nd - Pierre van der Spuy of Stellenbosch University, South Africa - A new bridge live load model for South Africa

Joint 3rd - Xiaoyi Lan of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University - Structural design of chord plastification in high strength steel CHS X-joints.

Joint 3rd - Valentina Macchiarulo of University of Bath - Satellite-based assessment of tunnelling-induced building deformations.

2017/18 MSc Research Grant Poster Winner: 

Emily Pepper of Imperial College London.

2017/18 Undergraduate Research Grant Poster Winner: 

Ranny Bedran of Brighton University.

People’s Vote Winner:

Adam Bekele of Imperial College London - Modelling the mechanical behaviour of cellular materials for energy absorption application.

View all the pictures from the 2019 Young Researchers' Conference.

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