Roshni Paul PhD Engineering
Roshni was attracted to Birmingham City University by a PhD project which applied theoretical scientific principles in a practical context. She has made the most of her time at the University, making the most of the social and academic opportunities available.
“My PhD is exploring the anaerobic digestion of algae biomass. I chose BCU because the project seemed to have been designed for me! My undergraduate degree was in chemistry, and I did a Master’s in Nano technology, so I had knowledge of both pure and applied science. This project combines the two. It also has both industrial and academic aspects, which broadens my career prospects.
“The University has given me a really good platform to enhance my skills. I have always enjoyed learning, and my supervisor, pushes me to do better. I was able to do a Master’s in Education alongside my PhD, which was a fantastic opportunity. I’ve also contributed to academic publications, and had opportunities to attend conferences, as well as working as a Visiting Lecturer for Mechanical Engineering.
“It has taken me a little more than four years to complete because of various issues along the way. My lab was hit by floods, so I lost all my data lost and six months of work, which was very upsetting. The Faculty was really considerate and gave me every opportunity to finish.
“As well as my research, I have taken a full part in the social life of the Faculty, and built a community with other postgraduate students. I would definitely recommend getting involved with the University community as well as the wider Birmingham community. Research is not about spending 3 years in your personal silo, and I think it’s important to bring researchers together.
Undertaking a research degree can be a difficult experience, especially for international students who are far from home, and I had lots of ideas to bring people together. Ian McDonald, the Research Development Support Officer, was really helpful, and supported all of my ideas. We celebrated every researchers’ birthday and to celebrate Mothers’ Day, we gave flowers to women in the Faculty who we knew were mothers. Ian also organises regular ‘Researcher Spotlight’ sessions where postgraduates can introduce themselves and their research.
“On completing my PhD, I have been offered a one year job as a Research Associate working with Lynsey. I am really looking forward to the opportunity to continue working with her. In the future, I plan to stay in environmental science, and would like to have one foot in academia and one in industrial collaboration.”