Now in its 4th consecutive year of life, the annual Engineering Postgraduate Research Symposium is an event that we can all look forward to being a part of. Whether you are studying for a postgraduate research degree, a member of the academic and support staff in engineering, perhaps contemplating study for a higher degree in engineering, or simply a visitor to our School, welcome! 

Study for the Degree of PhD is an established, time-honoured tradition that pre-dates even the creation of Aberdeen University in 1495. The granting of a doctorate (Latin: doceo, I teach) by a University was first gifted by the Pope to the University of Paris in 1231. In those days, doctoral training was a form of apprenticeship to a guild that lasted 7 years. Today, the Degree of PhD is no longer an apprenticeship, but an opportunity to explore and advance the frontiers of knowledge, and the duration of study is typically 3 years.

So, why a Symposium and why is this only the 4th year that the event has been run?

The primary purpose of the Symposium is for postgraduate students to showcase and tell others about their research. The value of presenting your work in an ordered and organised format, to a mixed audience of expert and non-expert-but-informed people, is constructive feedback and new ideas – for example, finding out that there is a better, more effective measurement or analysis tool, or forming new discipline-spanning connections with others that extend the scope of your work.

On the question of why this is only the 4th year for having the Symposium, the answer is probably that it’s been on the go in some form, informally, for much longer, within single disciplines research themes. We are at the point where exponential growth in the depth and breadth of engineering science and practice is such that a formal approach is required to support the cross- and multi-disciplinary world that we live in.

Finally, the 4th Engineering Postgraduate Research Symposium is also meant to be a fun and enjoyable event.  The postgraduate organisers of the Symposium have excelled and been successful in attracting 40 of the best post graduate research projects for a mix of oral and poster presentations. With an excellent venue and, for the first time having the generous support of 3 major industry sponsors, this promises to be the best ever Symposium.

Dr Mohammed Salah-Eldin Imbabi
Postgraduate Research Coordinator