Zoe Leonard, 19 Nov 2015
As part of the CDE ‘Student Led Events’ initiative, the Writing and Coding Retreats took place this year and judging by the photos here, it looks like a fun and productive time, was had by all.
The first Writing Retreat took place in 2014, very much in the pilot stages, the students were asked to give feedback and suggestions for future retreats. This year, Phil Wilkinson and Milto Miltiadou used the feedback to make a number of improvements, making the Writing Retreat 2015 a true success.
The aim of the retreat, which took place in early September, at Stonebarrow Manor, was to provide time and space for students to escape their day to day academic and industrial pressures and really focus on their own writing, whilst also having the support of fellow CDE students.
Stonebarrow Manor, located in the village of Charmouth on the Jurassic Coast, is a peaceful setting and it was perfect for the retreat. It gave the CDE Research Engineers the opportunity to get away from it all and really focus on their writing skills, with no interruptions. 15 CDE students attended the retreat this year.
One of the highlights of the retreat was a workshop hosted by Susan Mitchell, Academic and Scientific Writing Consultant. Susan specialises in courses and retreats which focus on essential writing skills for research purposes, and based on the feedback received, this was an extremely beneficial part of the retreat. The CDE RE’s welcomed the opportunity to really focus on their work with no distractions, whilst also appreciating and having their peers close by to discuss ideas and individual progression. Doctor Jake Hobbs, the first Doctor of Digital Media from the CDE Bournemouth University, took the lead in a discussion covering many common concerns for the Research Engineers and by setting a shining example, he has proved that it is indeed possible to survive the EngD.
Academic writing is a large part of the EngD experience, but it is still important to have a bit of time out and make sure that you also have fun. As you can see from the photos, it looks like the students managed to strike a great balance between work and play.
Early plans are already in place for the Writing Retreat 2016, so keep an eye on the CDE blog for more details.
The CDE coding retreat was a two and a half day event held in London at the Impact Hub, Westminster, for EngD students. Participants were asked to select a paper or technique they wanted to implement, either alone or in a group, and spend the weekend coding alongside their colleagues with access to the equipment they need.
The coding retreat gave the students the opportunity to explore new research avenues that they would otherwise not have time for during their industrial placement.
CDE RE Nicholas Swafford organised the retreat, firstly selecting the perfect venue which was centrally located with great facilities and incredibly helpful and friendly staff.
The feedback received from the retreat was good, students felt focused, enjoyed the environment (very conductive to a relaxed work atmosphere), and especially enjoyed the social aspect.
The event was attended by a mixture of our more experienced students and some of our new recruits. Some very interesting projects were started, with provisional plans for a couple of our enthusiastic 1st years to present their work during the Augmented & VR show in London 2016, so watch this space.