Second year student scoops presentation award


Dr Francesca Parmigiani,         Andrea Ravagli, Alex Jantzen     and Dr Collin Sones        

Second year Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) PhD student Alex Jantzen, member of the he Optical Engineering and Quantum Photonics group, fought off competition from his colleagues to win first place in the ORC’s annual Second Year Talks competition, winning £500 to be spent towards a conference, a summer school or laboratory components for his PhD, plus £ 50 for his personal use.

The competition has become a tradition within the ORC. Dr Francesca Parmigiani, co-organiser with Dr Collin Sones, explained, “The talks allow students to hone their technical presentation skills in front of an audience of their peers. This gives them practice for presenting at conferences or similar events and is great for building their confidence. I was really impressed by the quality of the talks this year and I would like to congratulate all the second year students that performed incredibly well.”

All second year students at the ORC are challenged to give a presentation on a scientific topic not aligned with their own particular research project. The audience votes for the student whom they feel best conducted their talk, including preparation, appeal of the topic, and rapport with the audience. If students feel strongly enough, they can persuade the organizers that theirs is a subject that the ORC should incorporate into their research portfolio.

This year PhD student Alex won for his talk, ‘Detecting the Impossible - Particle Detection’. Alex said: “I’m incredibly flattered by this recognition from my peers and academic staff. It gives me great pride to receive this prize given the strong competition. The overall quality of the talks was great with several going above and beyond expectations with truly interesting and engaging presentations.”

Runner up Andrea Ravagli, member of the Novel Glass group, received a Logitech R800 wireless presenter sponsored by the student-led Optics and Photonics Society (OPSoc). Andrea said: “I am very surprised to have been awarded of the second place. Everyone did a great job on their presentations and the delivery of the subject. I believe this activity was very helpful to improve our presenting skills as well as our communication as scientists.”

Andrea, also president of the OPSoc, said: “Supporting the competition once again has been a pleasure for the whole committee. From a student point of view, we believe it is essential to practice our presentation skills as they will be essential to our future success. The training session that Matthew Posner ran and the introduction of the new online marking scheme got the presenters really engaged. Every single person performed incredibly well and we were really impressed by the quality of the talks.”

For more information on the OPSoc, please email OPSoc@soton.ac.uk

Copyright University of Southampton 2006