Monday, 8 October 2012

An array of academic activities

The life of an Erasmus Mundus student brings a variety of social opportunities - festivals, holidays and more. However, this post, aims to highlight another opportunity handed to us: the breadth of academic insights we receive. Through differing teaching styles, course structures and even physical environments, we are given the opportunity to open our minds wider and wider, broadening our academic background.

In addition to the everyday academic diversity we encounter, we frequently experience even greater diversity through the numerous opportunities to attend conferences, seminars, PhD defences and more in the institutes in which we study. Our most recent  opportunity was to attend a research seminar at UPC only last week from Dr. Carlo Gregoretti, titled “Monitoring Debris Flow in North Eastern Italy”. With impressive visualisation of concepts, his talk acted as a useful introduction to a topic (Debris Flows) that we have newly encountered in Barcelona.

Similarly, whilst at UNESCO-IHE we had the opportunity to attend a PhD (Multi-Objective Optimization for Urban Drainage Rehabilitation by Wilmer Jose Barreto Cordero) and a Master (Flood Characteristics of the Haor Area in Bangladesh and the Potential Effects of Climate Change by Asadusjjaman Suman) defence. Talks such as these give us the opportunity to gain insight into the future for our studies!

At UNESCO-IHE a seminar was held discussing “How Flood risk can promote social justice”, highlighting the significance of social aspects of flood risk management. The seminar provided a differing perspective from much of our studies, raising our awareness of the fact that deeper social and philosophical considerations must be taken in order to formulate appropriate strategies for flood-related disasters globally. With the views of co-ordinator Zoran Vojinovic, honorary fellows of UNESCO-IHE Dr. Cunge, Professor Mike Abbott and Professor J.P O’Kane, the seminar proved a refreshing academic experience for all in attendance.

FRM students talking to Dr. Gopal at the Intecol Conference
As discussed previously, during our Florida fieldtrip we were given the opportunity to attend the INTECOL Wetlands Conference, the globes premier wetlands meeting. The opportunity to meet numerous academics and interact with a tight-knit academic community was a new experience for many of the course and gave the perfect introduction to the world of an academic. In fact, whilst at the Wetlands conference, I was able to meet a professor (Dr. Gopal) who had contributed the leading research in Ecology science and a frequently reoccurring name in my own personal research for my own ecology paper on tropical wetlands whilst at TU Dresden. As with most of the academics we were lucky enough to meet at the conference, Dr Gopal’s words and insights served as motivation for many of us to enter the world of research in the future.

As students under the course title of ‘Hydroinformatics’ at UNESCO-IHE, when the opportunity to attend a Hydroinformatics conference in Hamburg arose, a few of us (those most interested in the field) took the opportunity with welcome hands. The conference took a special focus on the impact of climate and environmental changes on aquatic environments and the development of suitable adaptation and mitigation measures. During our attendance, Prof. Dimitri Solomatine, the head of Hydroinformatics at UNESCO-IHE, helped us to appreciate the importance of attending such conferences to enhance our knowledge and become familiar with the latest research. And this, in fact, is true of all of the above seminars, conferences and talks – it is these opportunities that can really broaden our academic experiences. This will hopefully prove invaluable in developing ideas for our own masters research and beyond. So I guess we should probably be off for some literature reviewing!

Hydroinformatics participants with UNESCO staff: Professor Dimitri Solamatine (left) and Dr Popescu and Dr Jonoski
Special thanks must go to Dimitri for his help organising the attendance of the students at the conference.


  1. Excellent article. I think, the life of this college students are very enjoyfull with a different variety of social alternatives such as celebration, vacations and many more. The college daily provides additional educational variety to students. So student take frequently experience even greater variety through the several possibilities to be present at conventions, workshops, PhD defenses and more in the institutions in which they research. Industry Analysis

  2. flood risk management can be handled ver williy with a proffessional who have PMP Certification

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