SEPnet studentship at Royal Holloway
Project Title: Development of a Microwave Laboratory at Royal Holloway
Supervisor: Dr Pavel Karataev
"I am a student from Sussex University and I took an eight week placement at the Physics Department at Royal Holloway in the summer between my second and third year. My project was revolved around designing, from scratch, a Microwave Laboratory. I had to design a support structure which required me to learn some engineering software and liaise with the engineering department for it to be commissioned. I particularly enjoyed this part of the project as I was able to design it whatever way I saw fit. Therefore, when made, it felt like a personal accomplishment.
The next phase of the project was to setup and program various pieces of equipment in order for the mm wave emitter to function effectively. I had to learn a program called Labview which I had never come across before. I went through an intensive Labview course to get me to a sufficient level to effectively program. It enabled me to think more logically about the setup and how things had to fit into place. I encountered a number of hardware and software obstacles that had to be overcome for the emitter to work. Despite these initial frustrations, I tend now to find troubleshooting an easier task. I was eventually able to conduct a number of experiments on the lab which I set up.
Another aspect of the placement was getting to understand how PhD students work on a day to day basis. Talking to them and finding out what they were doing gave me a great insight into that career path.
To conclude, I think that I have learnt a tremendous amount in such a short space of time and while my final year is approaching, I know I will have an advantage going into that."