DEIS is always searching for ways to share how different types of members engage with the organization. Every so often, DEIS invites members to share their experiences participating in DEIS events and activities. Contributions may be published in the Electrical Insulation Magazine. These contributions help create an additional dialogue between members; in the hopes of sharing the more personable, fun aspects of DEIS events. If you have a story to share, please reach out to the EIM Editors.
I had heard it said that the world of High Voltage engineering is very small, but I didn’t quite believe it until I went to my first conference! I’m a second year PhD student at the University of Southampton and I am researching future Ultra High Voltage power supplies. I recently had the privilege of presenting a paper at the 2018 International Power Modulator and High Voltage Conference.
The first thing that became apparent, even as we arrived at the registration evening, was just how many people my supervisor knew! It certainly appears that most of the delegates, who attend the conference regularly, remain good friends and are up to date with each other’s research. Once I had been introduced to them, they were more than happy to inquire about my own work and offer advice based on their own experience.
Almost by accident, I bumped into someone who had produced a report that I had based a lot of my early work on. He was familiar with the scope of my project and how it can be applied; he kindly offered to discuss my work with me in detail. It was incredibly beneficial to chat informally with someone who had his breadth of experience and industry knowledge. He was able to provide a great insight into what technologies showed the most potential for my project.
Regarding the main conference itself, the technical talks given were very engaging, even if they did not all have an immediate application in my work. The opportunity to present my own research at the conference was also useful as it gave me a tangible demonstration of how many people are interested in my field. People engaged with my talk and asked a number of interesting questions about my results, including one that I wouldn’t even have thought about had it not already been brought up by another conference delegate.
Afterward, I was pleased to be approached by several people and asked to discuss my project in greater detail. Rather than merely taking a polite interest in the work of a young researcher, they demonstrated a genuine interest in my results. They treated me much more as a colleague than a newcomer, which was uplifting for such a tight-knit group.
As invaluable as the conference was, I cannot do justice to my experience without mentioning the beautiful surroundings in which it took place. The conference was held in the Grand Teton National park and the views were absolutely stunning. Before the main conference proceedings began we had a chance to visit the Yellowstone National Park and spend a day admiring the outstanding geography and wildlife there. Conferences, I’m told, are usually located in very interesting parts of the world and you would be ill-advised to not take a few moments of downtime, during any conference, to enjoy life whilst you are there.
University of Southampton