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10 March, 2017

STARS at envEXPO2017

Following on from the STARS Innovation event in February, 3 STARS students: Lewis Rose, Dan Evans and Mihai Cimpoiasu, ventured to envEXPO in Norwich ready to put their networking skills into practice and further develop innovative skills around their PhD studies. Here Lewis offers his account of the event:

The recent envEXPO conference at the University of East Anglia saw researchers from several NERC-funded CDTs and DTPs – representing over 22 universities – come together with representatives of over 17 other organisations for three days of discussion surrounding environmental innovation, enterprise and research.

The launch evening comprised keynotes including a fantastic talk from Prof. Iain Stewart from Plymouth (as seen on TV!) on communicating contested science. We ended with the unveiling of the new Norfolk and Suffolk Coastal Network followed by an enthusiastic networking session.

The second day saw an evening of big data organised by the DREAM CDT preceded by NERC’s Harriet Jevon provide insight into how our research councils are thinking about the future, and how NERC are constantly gathering and acting on community feedback. The finals of the env.infohackit competition ended the day with some fantastic infographics – created by the teams in just 12 hours – being presented. Congratulations to the winners ‘Brain over Prawn’, who were both the audience choice and the judges’ decision!

The final day saw an innovation panel session where many of the early career researchers got to discuss how we can build ourselves and innovate as individuals in modern academia – great preparation for the upcoming conference season. Some impressive posters were on display throughout the conference. Congratulations to all the prizewinners, it was some tough competition!

I’d like to thank all those who made the conference possible, particularly NERC, Blue Ltd. and UEA, but also the delegates from all areas who came along and collaborated. As we have learnt: such communication is the way to tackling our ‘#bigsocietalchallenges’!

This event was tracked on the @envEXPO2017 account as well as by me @STARS_Lewis, or search #envEXPO2017.