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Getting the Research to the Real World

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If a researcher speaks and no one hears it, does their work still make an impact? 

Making sure that you can be understood, and getting others to pay attention, is something that can be the difference between a career in science and months of frustration and declined job applications.  

To hone skills that would foster success outside of the academy, Future Energy Systems partnered with the Energy Systems Signature Area, the Land Reclamation International Graduate School, and the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research to host Research to the Real World. Over two days from February 19-20, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows from the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary participated in eight different sessions and workshops to train students in a variety of critical professional skills.

Expertise came from all areas. Micheala Mann, USchool Director, helped teach critical outreach skills, while Matt Gurney, an editor at the National Post, offered his perspective on how media interacts with research. 

Noor Al-Zanoon, representing the Career Centre, took the lead on showing how resume structure matters for job hunting, and Vivian Giang, Communications & Grant Strategist at the UofA Geotechnical Centre, covered how to improve your writing and get that grant accepted. Dr. David Antoniuk, CEO of Applied Quamtum Materials Inc., gave critical insight on how to turn your research into a successful business. 

The closing career panel featured professionals whose career paths demonstrated the potential diversity of post-grad careers: Eric Flaim, Director of nanoFab and Program Manager of GreenSTEM; Tara Narwani, Director of the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute; Jonathan Lacasse, Manager of Transaction Services at Grant Thornton; Mahendra Samaroo, Senior Engineer in the Alberta Department of Energy; and George Sutherland, Science Reporting Manager in the Office of the Chief Scientist, Alberta Environment and Parks. 

A special Industry Mixer capped the event, bringing dozens of industry and government personnel to the University of Alberta’s Dinwoodie Lounge to see short-form Lightning Posters from more than 70 Future Energy Systems graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.  

This event showcased the breadth and sophistication of Future Energy Systems research and researchers, and initiated new relationships that may lead to future industry and government collaborations.

The Future Energy Systems administrative team is already beginning to plan its next professional development offerings for researchers, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows. Stay tuned to this website or subscribe for information about future opportunities to help push research into the real world!


For more stories about Future Energy Systems graduate students, click here.

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