Monthly Archives: April 2016

Lucia Quitadamo: H2020-MSCA-IF-2014 Individual Fellowship (IF)

Hello, I am Lucia Quitadamo from Italy, Rome. I started my fellowship in October 2015 at Aston University. I am a biomedical engineering and my research has been developed in the field of Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI), in particular in the detection of brain states associated to different mental activities produced by disables subjects to communicate with their surroundings. I gained significant experience in the development and application of signal processing tools applied to electromagnetic brain signal, during my PHD studies and my collaboration with different laboratories all over Europe, and this gave the way to a collaboration with Aston University, in particular with Aston Brain Center and Birmingham Children’s Hospital. In 2014 this collaboration emerged into a project proposal to the EU, in the H2020-MSCA-IF-2014 Individual Fellowship (IF) call. The project was named EPINET (Epileptic Networks) and aims at developing and validating innovative methods to localise and characterize non-invasively functional properties of the epileptogenic zone. Once validated, the analyses methods will add value to the existing analysis platforms and the development of a database of intra and extra-cranial data will facilitate the circulation of knowledge in the European epilepsy research community.

This project is really important for the development of my career as it will give me the possibility to extend my expertise in signal processing and clinical assessment of patients, developing new and complementary skills applied to specific clinical applications. Moreover it will allow me to live in a multidisciplinar environment and work in a fervent University, the Aston University, which is very close and devoted to the needs of its staff and very passionate in promoting all the research advancements produced by its memebers.

Finally some words on Birmingham: I come from Rome, Italy, the most beautiful city in the world, and at the beginning I was a little uncertain about UK cities and Birmingham in particular. You know, rain and clouds and cold and then cold and rain and clouds. But as soon as I came here, I changed my mind: the rain is real, but Birmingham is a lovely city, full of shops and restaurants and entertainment. Also, it’s in the middle of UK so you can easily reach all the beauties in the country with less than two hours.

I am very happy with this fellowship and with all the opportunities it will give me to  my future career.

Elena Patyukova: Carrier restart with Marie Curie Fellowship

Hello! My name is Elena Patyukova and I’m going to start my Marie Curie carrier restart project at the Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry (CEAC) Department in September.
My project is dedicated to combined theoretical and experimental study of influence of hydrogen bonds formation on microphase separation in block copolymers. The focus of this study is on development of the model describing formation of hydrogen bonds in block copolymers whose parameters are well experimentally defined and measurable values, which will be taken directly from experiment. At the second step this model will be verified by comparing experimental and theoretical behavior AB/A block copolymer mixture, where A monomer units are able to form hydrogen bonds with each other.

For me personally this is a very interesting project, aiming to find answers to questions on microphase separation which are remain unanswered now. I’ve devoted a lot of time to studies of microphase separation phenomenon and I love it. It is beautiful. But also I would like to mention that hydrogen bonding block copolymers are of interest because of their potential applications are really abundant and include drug delivery, self-healing materials and nanolithography and patterning for microelectronics.

Marie Curie Carrier Restart Fellowship is a really unique opportunity to return to active research after carrier break alone with obtaining new competences through additional training. In my case it looks the following way. Basically I was trained as a theoretician in the field of polymers physics. After getting PhD degree I continued my studies for a year and than left research. During my carrier break I worked in microelectronics industry as an engineer for three years, then I gave birth to my daughter and arrived in the UK following my husband who got a job at Aston University. And now thanks to Marie Curie Fellowship I am looking forward to return to research in the field of polymer science significantly expanding my experience, namely getting training in RAFT-synthesize and experimental techniques of block copolymer materials characterization under supervision of Dr. Paul Topham, and in new theoretical method under supervision of Dr. Martin Greenall from Lincoln University. So you can easily estimate how much this fellowship is going to give me, and it is difficult to find appropriate words to describe my inspiration about it. I am really thrilled to plunge into the work and see what it will lead me to in the future.

Of cause the chance I got would not be possible without kind attitude and wish to let me try to prepare grant application, and help with this application demonstrated by Prof. Misha Sumetsky, Prof. Sergey Turitsyn, Paul Knobbs, Dr. Paul Topham, Dr. Martin Greenall. I am very grateful to all of them. For me this is an exemplar of openness and goodwill towards people, which I hope to copy in my life.

As it is customary on this blog I promise to share my experience of working at Aston as my Marie Curie project progress with time. I hope that it will be interesting for those who is in the similar position as I was some time before, wishing to restart their research carriers.