Mid-term meeting

The School of Computing and Digital Media was strongly represented at the mid-term review meeting of the EC Research Training Network in Analytical Glow Discharge Spectroscopy, GLADNET, held at the Swiss Federal Institute for Materials Science & Technology, EMPA, Thun, Switzerland, who are the Network Coordinators.

Emission Spectroscopy was introduced as a research topic in the Physics Department of the Northern Polytechnic (a forerunner of London Met) in the 1950s by Dr ME Pillow, the then head of the department. Professor Edward Steers continued to undertake research work in this field in collaboration with a number of European laboratories. The establishment of the GLADNET RTN at the beginning of 2007 greatly strengthened this activity; in total, the EC provides funding for ten Early Stage Researchers (ESR, postgraduates) and five experienced Researchers (ER, postdocs). Initially London Met had a two-year ER post, but later an ESR post was also allocated to it. Dr Petr Smid held the ER post for 14 months, but has now moved to AQura GmbH, Hanau, Germany to broaden his experience; Viktoria Weinstein was appointed to the ESR post in February 2008, and received her PhD in 2011 under the supervision of Edward Steers. All ESR and ER had to give oral and poster presentations at the mid-term meeting, which all "senior scientists" are required to attend.

In addition to acting as Coordinator for Work Package 2 on Fundamental Studies (which involves the Physics Departments of Imperial College and the University of Belgrade, as well as London Met), Professor Steers serves as the GLADNET Training Manager with overall responsibility for the six-monthly compulsory short training courses for the ESR and ER; another part of this role is the promotion of e-learning and discussion facilities within the network, and this has provided further links with the mainstream activity of the School. After a presentation on Second Life by Alan Hudson at a departmental research seminar early last term, discussions between Edward Steers and Alan led to two MSc students (Greg Ekhator and Khal Shamayleh) preparing GLADNET Second Life training facilities in their project work for particular courses.

By the end of the term, it was clear that this was a viable proposition; oral and poster presentations on Second Life were therefore included in the GLADNET mid-term programme, and provision was made for individual tutorial work and workshops on another day of the meeting. Greg and Khal attended the meeting and jointly gave oral and poster presentations; they also provided the individual tuition on Second Life, supported by Alan Hudson and Nigel Medhurst. Most of the ESR and ER and the senior scientists have registered for Second Life, and it is anticipated that scientific discussions and tutorials will be established once the present activity on the 24-month scientific and financial reports is complete.