1st YP Postgraduate STEM Research Symposium, Chester – November 2018

The YP Postgraduate STEM Research Symposium was a single day event that gave the opportunity to early STEM researchers, especially PGRs (PhD and MPhil), to present their research, receive feedback and explore the possibilities of turning research to enterprise. The symposium was open to professionals and students and accepted submissions of posters, papers and research to enterprise pitches.

The inaugural symposium was organised by the IEEE UK & Ireland Young Professionals and hosted by the Department of Computer Science, University of Chester. During the day, the attendees (both IEEE and non-IEEE members) participated in interactive workshops, paper & poster presentations and an open-panel discussion. It was a great networking opportunity for participants and young professionals.

The morning session of the event began with a talk on how researchers are applying digital technologies to revive the history of Chester. Thereafter, the keynote speaker of the Symposium (Prof Mike Hinchey, Chair of IEEE UK & Ireland Section) gave a talk on ubiquitous use of software in today’s world that elicited several interactive discussions.

Dr Helen Southall Prof Mike Hinchey

The morning session of the event concluded with paper presentations by the first group of postgraduate STEM researchers. Attendees also engaged other postgraduate STEM researchers during a poster presentation session that held as participant helped themselves with lunch.

There was a poster session over lunch with participants actively engaging with poster presenters who were keen to explain their work.

The afternoon session of the symposium began with concurrent workshop sessions facilitated by experienced resourced persons from academia and industry alike. The topics covered in the workshops included “Research Methods and Tools” by Dr Shirley John, “Securing Funds and Publishing” by Professor Nigel John, “Research to Enterprise” by Dr Cyril Onwubiko and “Introduction to LaTeX” by Thomas Day.

A knowledge sharing open-panel discussion followed the workshop sessions. The panellists comprise of a mix of young and experienced professionals from industry and academia. Each panellist briefly discussed and shared their experiences and perspectives related to their career journeys and outlined focus area. Panellists also responded to questions elicited from the audience in the interactive panel discussion.

The panel discussion session resonated with participants. The focus areas discussed include pathways to industry by Dr Patryk Kot, pathways to academia by Dr Magomed Muradov, Professional Registration by Mike Horne, benefits of professional body membership by Dr Cyril Onwubiko, and starting an MPhil/PhD by Opeyemi Ajibola.

After a tea & coffee break, a second group of postgraduate STEM researchers presented their papers (pictures 16-19) before the symposium closed with awards ceremony for “Best Paper Presentation” and “Best Poster Presentation” at the STEM Symposium. A post-symposium dinner provided a further networking opportunity between symposium attendees, speakers and the organising committee.

The profiles of all the speakers and other participants of the symposium can be found here.

The Role of IEEE UK and Ireland Young Professionals (YP)

The Young Professionals Affinity Group was the main sponsor and organiser of the event reinforcing its priority of helping Postgraduate STEM Researchers to develop necessary research and presentation skills. This symposium is one of such events that promotes interaction between young professionals, postgraduate students/researchers, experienced academia and industrial professionals to help the younger professionals develop skills and strategies to excel in their research degrees and future careers.

IEEE YP UK & Ireland will continue to deliver to the community of young people with similar events, while building diverse professional networks.  The YP’s effort was led by the Vice Chair, Dr Thaddeus Eze with active support from the chair, Mr Noel Gomes and other YP volunteers; Dr Keyur Joshi, and Mr Opeyemi Ajibola).

The YP were also supported by Dr Cyril Onwubiko IEEE UK & Ireland Section Secretary who participated as a workshop facilitator and a panellist and Prof Mike Hinchey Section Chair who gave the keynote talk.

The Impact of the Event

The feedback from the event attendees were encouraging. Some of the participants hadn’t heard about the IEEE and the IEEE YP affinity group before and we seized the opportunity to introduce IEEE and its benefits to a good number of them. We also received positive feedback and suggestions from the speakers as well. We will reflect these feedback in our next event.

With events like this, we are hoping that more enthusiasts will join our team, as members and volunteers, to further our goals and commitment to our members. We hope to continue the Postgraduate STEM Research Symposium in the coming years in other parts of the Section.


The event was approved and supported by the IEEE UK and Ireland Section and IEEE YP Seed Funding was also secured for the event. The University of Chester provided material support, including free venue and volunteer staff. We would like to thank everyone who supported the event.

Full event details: Here
Event photos: https://bit.ly/2IP23Xk
Promotion video: https://vimeo.com/319918764/033f17387f
Panel discussion video: https://vimeo.com/311409373/7da9762816
Keynote video: https://vimeo.com/311408289/d88cc6db55
Interviews: https://vimeo.com/320782640/a3402dcbbf

Report prepared by:

Opeyemi Ajibola (IEEE UK & Ireland YP Rep for North England)
Dr Thaddeus Eze (IEEE UK & Ireland YP Vice Chair)