Hi, my name is Helen and I have just completed my second
year of undergraduate study at the University of Manchester. The subject of my degree is English Language
for Education, which is a small course but is very specific and has allowed me to
combine my interests in both language and education. In my second year my
degree enabled me to conduct research within two schools that concerned the use
of languages other than English by bilingual and multilingual students in their
school and their education.
As part of my degree in my second year, we were required to
complete a research project. We were given the choice to do our own independent
research or to part take in a research project that the University was already
undertaking. I wanted to conduct my own research, however after much
deliberation on which subject and areas I would like to look into, I decided to
join a project called Multilingual Manchester. This project focuses on
promoting the awareness of language diversity in the Manchester area. After a
few meetings with the organisers of the project, I understood my role was to
take part in and conduct the School Language Surveys. This involved me and a
few other students on the project entering two schools in Manchester (a
secondary and primary school) and interviewing the students about their
language use. This project was great as it allowed me to do research on
language within education, which has always been a large interest of mine.
As I originally wanted to conduct my own research, I decided
to add some of my own questions into the surveys the Multilingual Manchester
project had already provided us. I was particularly interested in the
usefulness of speaking a language other than English in school, whether the
students used it much in school and if they enjoyed using their language. Using
both my own questions and those from the Multilingual Manchester team, I was
able to collect data that told me the range of languages that were spoken
amongst the students in those schools and their opinions on whether they used
languages other than English much and if they liked using languages other than
English. I was also interested in the teachers’ perspectives on the use of
languages other than English in the classroom, and so I emailed a survey to the
teachers at one of the schools.
All the way through completing the project, although I knew
my interests and what I wanted to get out of the research, I was unsure on what
specific question I would have to answer for my report. However, when all the
data I had collected was in front of me, my aims became much clearer and I was
able to analyse my data and produce a report on students’ and teachers’
perspectives on the use and usefulness of multilingualism.
Throughout my degree I have become increasingly interested
with language diversity, especially in the Manchester area, and I had wondered
how this had impacted education. I really enjoyed this project as it gave me
the opportunity to gain experience working in a school and to observe for
myself the impact that increased language diversity is having on education. I
found that the schools were really embracing language diversity, and were
beginning to change their curriculum in order to include and teach the
languages of their students across the school.
As I enter my third and final year of my degree, I have
decided to take this research further and work on it for my dissertation. As
this project progressed, I found myself becoming increasingly passionate about
the subject and the research that I was undertaking. I found it to be an
important piece of research as it displays the change in attitudes toward
language diversity in schools and where in education students find it useful to
speak a second language and where they don’t. I want to carry this on to
possibly see how schools could further integrate second language speaking into
education, or to see the impact that second language speakers are having on
teachers and the classroom.
For more information about the English Language for
Education course at the University of Manchester http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/2015/09173/english-language-for-education-ba-3-years-ba/
For further information about education courses at the
University of Manchester http://www.seed.manchester.ac.uk/subjects/education/
For further details about Multilingual Manchester http://mlm.humanities.manchester.ac.uk/
For further information on the
results of the School Language Surveys http://mlm.humanities.manchester.ac.uk/reports/schools-and-public-services/
My name is Bilal Kaddouh and I am currently in the third year of my PhD at the University of Manchester. I have completed my BEng (Hons) with distinction in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the American University of Beirut in 2010, and then decided to concentrate on Robotics and Control, hence I did a MSc (Hons) in Robotics Engineering at King’s College London where I graduated with distinction in 2011. I am currently a Doctorate Candidate at the University of Manchester in the field of Aerospace Engineering. My main research area is concerned with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), in particular system and mission management, resources allocation, collaborative control and efficient planning.
I have worked for a year with Cummins Power
Generation as a project application engineer which gave me an insight to real
life work problems as well as a practical experience in applying my engineering
knowledge to solve those problems. I was also responsible for delivering
technical training to distributors all over Europe and the Middle East, this
gave me a practical experience in teaching and conveying knowledge to
Through my research I aim to design a method for efficiently managing multi UAV resources in the civil airspace under temporal and dynamic constraints. In simple words, given a set of required tasks that needs to be completed within a certain time window, I am creating a system of rules which allows a group of UAVs to decide what each UAV is going to be doing at each point in time so that all the required tasks are completed in the most efficient way while the UAVs are flying in a safe condition all the time.
What is a UAV?
UAVs are airplanes without a pilot onboard. Their computational capabilities vary from simple remotely piloted airplanes to highly sophisticated autonomous flying platforms. They are essentially flying robots, and the aim of my research is to let the robots decide what to do to efficiently achieve various goals. UAVs can carry different sensors onboard, like cameras, infrared sensors, CO2 sensors, laser scanners, radars and so on. Due to current advancement in electronics UAVs possess an increasing level of computational power onboard for performing real time processing and decision making.
Why multiple UAVs?
UAVs are being used in various civilian
applications such as remote sensing, aerial photography, crop health
monitoring, emergency response, firefighting, atmospheric studies and many
more. Many applications in the civilian world involve multiple teams working on
the ground together in real time to accomplish a certain mission such as
disaster management and relief, large event management security protection and
crowd control, emergency services, firefighting ... A Multi User Multi UAV
system is important for real time data gathering, in particular for live aerial
imagery. When talking about a multi user application we are not considering
single task multi users we are focusing on multi task multi users which gives
users different task options to choose from.
Currently all commercial UAV operations models are built around one user flying one UAV. People are now slowly introducing UAVs into various applications for the added value it brings to any operation. Current trend of research has been focusing on moving from multiple operators managing one UAV to one operator managing many UAVs and therefore we find contributions in the operator situational awareness systems, in task allocation systems and in real time data processing. We will probably get to a point where UAVs are allowed to fly autonomous missions under certain rules and regulations enforced by the appropriate aviation authority. When we get to that stage, systems allowing one user to control multiple UAVs would be desirable.
What is the problem?
As a UAV operator, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made in terms of what sensors to install and how to plan and execute the required mission safely and efficiently. The problem gets complicated when multiple versatile UAVs are to be used especially when deciding on which ones to use and what factors to consider and so on. Therefore, the workload faced by the operator is overwhelming. With the flexibility and diversity available in a multi UAV system, it becomes impossible for an operator to take all those decisions in a timely manner and in an efficient way. Computerized automatic resource management systems are designed to answer those questions.
What is my approach?
Technology is developing fast and many advancements are not yet accessible to the public. Effective management systems of multiple UAVs will allow this cutting-edge technology to be utilized by everyone. Instead of having to own and learn how to control a UAV yourself and having limited resources on your particular machine, soon you will be able to benefit from the numerous services of a UAV simply by using an app on your mobile phone or by visiting a website. The key for succeeding in a UAV resource sharing system is an efficient resource allocation system, and that’s where my research comes in.
For more information about UoM UAV Research
For more information about aerospace system
For more information about studying
Some ted talks about UAVs:
A video indicating the simplicity and
important usages of UAVs:
name is Laura, and I am taking a year away from being a medical student to
complete a masters in Health Care Ethics and Law. Medical schools call this
year out an "intercalation year" and offers it to all medical
students interested in earning an extra science-related degree on top of their
current medical degree. In my fourth-year at medical school, I started a
research project to explore how medical students used social media to achieve
their learning goals. Is there a place for social media in an academic
institution at all? Can social media actually benefit students rather than be a
distraction? This was what I wanted to find out. Right now, the study has gone
international with medical schools as far as Australia, North America, Saudi
Arabia and many more taking part!
I think it is
safe to say that most of you are on some sort of social media website, whether
that is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. At the very least you will have heard
of them. Mostly they are used for leisure purposes, but could they also offer
some learning benefits?
For a while
now, higher education institutions have adopted social media technology as a
means of delivering curricula. Medicine is a discipline that has only just
started to look into this possibility. Our research study has identified
several ways in which social media is currently used to facilitate curricula
delivery and supplement independent learning:
Facebook groups with peers to extend small group seminar discussions to the
of academic resources and journals via social media
effective communication channels between peers and lecturers irrespective of
classroom hours and physical location
hastags on Twitter appropriate to the subject they are learning
YouTube videos for practical procedure demonstrations or tutorials
applications available to doctors and medical students where they can share and
discuss pictures of clinical examination findings, blood test results, chest
x-rays, electrocardiograms, MRI/CT scans etc.
interactive twitter feeds in classrooms to answer students' questions and
The list could go on. The body of research
literature available to date indicates there are positive outcomes to the
implementation of social media technology into the medical curriculum which
outweighs any drawbacks - increased motivation and engagement with study
material, increased likelihood of seeking academic support, improved exam
scores, improved confidence with the subject and better knowledge retention.
The study is still ongoing and the next phase will involve investigating
whether attitudes towards social media use in medical education differs between
countries or cultures.
To find out
more about studying medicine at undergraduate level or doing an intercalation
Medical School http://www.mms.manchester.ac.uk
Hello! My name is Asad and I’m a
PhD student at the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering at the
University of Manchester. Within my PhD, I work in the relatively recent field
of nuclear fusion. More specifically, I look at the effects of plasma damage
and neutron irradiation (both known phenomenon that occur within nuclear
fusion) on materials that could be used to build a potential fusion reactor.
A little bit about my background
first. Before I embarked on my PhD, I completed a Master of Engineering (MEng)
in Mechanical Engineering with a minor focus on Nuclear Engineering. I also did
some part time study in mathematics and research projects within fluid
mechanics. Of the latter, a noteworthy one is that I constructed a mathematical
model of the acoustics of a banjo!
Science has always intrigued
mankind. Some of the foremost questions we have been obsessed with are the
“Where did we come from?”
“Why are we here?”
“What do we do?”
No matter who you ask, you will
realise that we still don’t really know the answers to these; whether we look
for philosophical reasoning or scientific. We search high and low for answers.
Our universe is at the centre of such research. And at the centre of our
universe: the sun.
The sun can be considered a giant
ball of energy. The manner in which this energy is generated is referred to as
nuclear fusion. As the human species observed this, we felt the urge to exploit
the process to aid our need for energy, in order to survive on a world where
resources are rapidly depleting.
What exactly is nuclear fusion?
The answer is a result of work done by pioneering scientists such as Ernest
Rutherford, Pierre Curie and Marie Curie. We find that certain atoms of
elements undergo interesting transitions. We have been able to exploit these,
such as nuclear fission which is currently a dominant process to generate
electricity. Within fission, we find that under the right conditions, some of
the atoms will split and become smaller releasing energy in the process. Fusion
is the opposite; some atoms combine and through the process release energy. It
has been found that the energy released through fusion could potentially be
more sustainable, cleaner, and less fraught with the risks associated with the
energy generated through fission.
Thus we are now engaged in a
global technological race to be able to achieve the right conditions for fusion
on earth. Thus far we have managed to recreate the conditions. However, we
still haven’t managed to be able to maintain these for long enough, nor have we
been able to extract power from it. We have some ideas on how to achieve both.
One of the questions however is, do we have the materials to be able to do so?
This is where people like me come
in. Thus far I have spoken about how this is a relatively new process mingled
with a plethora of difficulties. Therefore, it will not be surprising when I
say that we don’t exactly have the appropriate facilities to be able to
entirely comprehend the extreme effects taking place. So how do we go about
solving the problem? Some people try and use proxies, alternative approaches
that in some way mimic certain effects we expect. Others try to use
computational techniques and our understanding of physics to paint a picture.
I’m involved in the latter. I use modelling and simulation to try and deduce what
we expect. It isn’t as simple as pushing a button however. One needs to be
aware of a lot of inter-related pieces of physics. Sometimes, we also find that
we don’t have the computational power to actually be able to process all of these
(surprising isn’t it given the progress in the field of IT). Sometimes my job is therefore to see which
processes are negligible. At other times, it is to check and draw conclusions
from the results of my simulations. To name a few of the techniques I use; I
use solvers for the neutron transport equation, binary collision approximation
and molecular dynamics. The last considers how atoms are likely to behave. This
generates some interesting perceptions of important chemical and atomic
I’ll stop here. I’ll end on a
note that the human race is currently engaged in very exciting things. But to
see this realised; we need young, ambitious and creative minds that are keen to
learn as well as try new things.
If you want any more information, please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
To find out more about the chemical and atomic processes generated in molecular dynamics: http://lammps.sandia.gov/movies.html
A more comprehensive yet elementary guide on nuclear physics can be found at (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/nuccon.html)
Here are also
some web links pertinent to what I have written:
Culham Center for Fusion Energy: http://www.ccfe.ac.uk/introduction.aspx
Nuclear Energy Agency: http://www.oecd-nea.org/workareas/
Fusion Center for Doctoral
My name is Joe and I’ve just begun the 2nd year
of my PhD in Medicine. I am researching how we can use physical exercise to
improve people’s mental health. Specifically, I work with young people (from 18
years onwards), who are experiencing serious mental health problems for the
first time in their lives – a condition which is referred to as “First Episode
Psychosis”. I am investigating whether specially designed physical exercise
routines can help people with First Episode Psychosis to feel healthier; in the
body, and also in the mind.
What is First Episode Psychosis
First Episode Psychosis is the first 5 years of any
‘psychotic disorder’, such as Schizophrenia. This affects around 1 in 100
people, and most often starts around the age of 18. The most recognisable
symptoms of first-episode psychosis are hearing voices, seeing things which
other people cannot see (hallucinations), delusional beliefs and paranoia.
Along with these, there are often less obvious symptoms of people severely
lacking in motivation, feeling depressed, withdrawing from society and becoming
The most common treatment for first-episode psychosis is
antipsychotic medications: There are tablets that sufferers can take which
greatly reduce the symptoms of hearing voices, delusions etc. However, people
taking these tablets often relapse within a few years, or need higher and
higher doses overtime for them to remain effective. Furthermore, antipsychotics
do not help with the symptoms of social withdrawal and inability to feel
motivated. Unfortunately, it is these unseen symptoms which can really prevent
people from living a happy and fulfilling life.
What do I Investigate?
I am investigating whether we can use physical exercise for
first-episode psychosis, as an extra treatment for all the different types of
symptoms so that they need fewer medications and feel better overall in life.
To do this, people with first-episode psychosis are sent to me from their
mental health service. I design them a special exercise routine and then take
them to the gym twice-per-week for 10 weeks to train with them. In the exercise
sessions, we do running, rowing and cycling to work on their fitness, and also
weight training to work on the muscles. Past research has shown that these
sorts of training can make people feel better, happier and more motivated –
even in normal healthy people. It has never been tried for First Episode
Psychosis (even though these are the people who may need it most!).
To see if it has worked, we score peoples’ mental health
using a psychiatric interview before they start the 10 weeks of training, and
then score them again after the 10 weeks to check if they have improved. I also
look at peoples’ physical health, fitness, social life and brain functioning, as
exercise is known to be able to help with these things too. If proven
effective, exercise may eventually become part of NHS treatment programs for
first-episode psychosis, and be available to any young person who is in need of
treatment, like a new form of therapy!
If you want to know more about first-episode psychosis in
general, such as what causes it, what it does, here is a great place to start: http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/health_information/a_z_mental_health_and_addiction_information/psychosis/first_episode_psychosis_information_guide/Pages/first_episode_psychosis_information_guide.aspx
For more information about my specific experiment, you can
find the full details of the clinical trial here: http://www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN09150095/
If you’re interested in which physical exercise can improve
mental health, this article goes through many different ways in which it may do