On 10th November 2020, Bangor University hosted the Universities Technology Forum (UNTF) in conjunction with the Nuclear Institute through the Nuclear Academic Liaison Subcommittee (NAILS). The following article describes the experience of two of our research students (Corey Bevan and Christopher Moore) as they attended the meeting. This year we hosted the meeting online but we hope to be able to meet you all in person next year (Covid allowing). See https://bangor-untf.org for more details.
Completely new to the world of research, attending conferences is something that is still new and somewhat strange for a first year PhD student and an aspiring MRes student starting out on their journey as researchers. Considering the current situation with the global pandemic, with everything being moved online, one might expect various technical difficulties. On the contrary, this was not the case, the conference was free of any IT problems associated with the current necessity for online learning. The Universities nuclear technology forum, UNTF, was hosted this year by Bangor University’s’ Dr. Lee Evitts and Dr. Iuliia Ipatova. This was a pleasant, well paced experience that was as enjoyable as it was informative. While there are many advantages to an in-person conference, the ability to view such an important event from the comforts of home was quite pleasant.
The various presenters covered a range of topics in the context of both nuclear fission and fusion technology. The speakers performed brilliantly, delivering well-structured presentations depicting a bright future for nuclear technology. With the guidance of the hosts, the conference was well structured with ample time for questions and comments after each presentation. One interesting feature of the online conference that stood out was that questions could be submitted using Microsoft Teams’ chat feature at any time, this allowed attendees to submit their questions preemptively. The poster presentations were particularly impressive, these offered a wonderful insight into current research projects being conducted across the UK in various universities and were carefully moderated in terms of presentation time to ensure sufficient time for questions at the end.
Conclusively, we both thoroughly enjoyed the conference overall and have taken away a rich learning experience, as well as great inspiration for our own work. We would like to thank Dr. Lee Evitts and Dr. Iuliia Ipatova kindly for an excellent first experience of the world of nuclear research.
Corey Bevan And Christopher Moore