Material Production Research Oktoberfest – An Evaluation

By Sam Sudron

The event organised by the University of Birmingham (Chemical Engineering Department) was for businesses and students to show off research that has been completed or is currently being done.  It is also for master’s students to talk to company representatives to discuss what research they could perform to help the companies in their future projects. While this may sound like a formal event, where the dress code was for a formal event, the activities were meant to uniformalise the event. If I was to try to lay out a SMART for the event it would be like this;

S- Recruitment of master’s students that attended and to demonstrate the level of research achieved within the chemical engineering department so to attract new company money for the university.

M- The number of new projects and companies brought to the following the event.

A- Companies are being presented with the sales pitch by the postgraduate representative in chemical engineering, followed by discussions with professors at the university.

R- The goal to recruit new company money and projects has worked before for the university.

T- 2-day event and one on one meetings to follow.

The event started with a meet and great with tea and coffee where we were allocated to a table. These matched the year group that we are in and our experience so that we were sitting next to people of the same experience. Starting with an introduction of the day explain the activities that will be taking place. This started with five-minute presentations of the third year PhD students’ projects. These were then marked by a panel of judges to determine the winner gaining an award for that year’s Oktoberfest. The presentations into mark on how engaging and original the presentation was with the winner doing the whole presentation in rhyme. The students were then separated and taken to a different room where teambuilding exercises were completed while the professors and company representatives underwent a sales pitch and one-on-one meetings of future projects they hope to bring to the University of Birmingham. The teambuilding exercises included a building of the longest bridge using any spaghetti and tape that could support a potato and multiple quizzes including find the object. These were both engaging and helped us bond with our tables producing future contacts for the coming years in postgraduate research. I myself would have contacted multiple people that were on my table and surrounding tables for help and discussion. The teambuilding was followed by a presentation by a Cadbury representative about what’s Cadbury has a working on in the past years and will hope to work be working on in the coming years. Within influx of chocolate being given out this was an enjoyable presentation to be sure. Finishing up with a discussion of second year PhD student posters with alcohol was done between the students and the company representatives. Overall this event was a thoroughly enjoyable and profitable experience.