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Doctorate Student Profiles

Efthymios
Rouvalis

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"State-of-the-art equipment and high quality facilities that are offered by the department allowed me to perform my research without any compromise"

After I finished my degree in Electrical Engineering in Athens, Greece I started a PhD in the Photonics Group under the supervision of Dr. C. C. Renaud and Prof. A. J. Seeds. My PhD topic combines Photonics and Microwaves, two research areas that UCL’s E&EE department has a long tradition in. At UCL I carried out theoretical, modelling and experimental work on generating Terahertz signals from ultra-fast photodetectors. For this work I received funding from the EPSRC and the EU. I was also involved in teaching and demonstrating to undergraduate students.

The transition from a taught course into cutting-edge research would not be possible without the inspired guidance of my supervisors. Fruitful discussions with other academics, researchers and students from the department introduced me to other emerging research topics. State-of-the-art equipment and high quality facilities that are offered by the department allowed me to perform my research without any compromise. But a PhD degree is not only about generating new knowledge. Being able to communicate your work to the scientific community and building relations with the industry are essential skills. This is facilitated by the department’s academic excellence, strong industrial collaborations and the numerous courses and funding opportunities offered by UCL’s Graduate School.

Everyone knows that a PhD degree is a major investment in the future and demands commitment and hard work. However, the appropriate support from a high standard academic environment, such as the one I found at UCL’s E&EE, can make the PhD experience stimulating and rewarding.

Dominik
Cirmirakis

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"I decided to study for a PhD degree because of the opportunity it would give to be part of such an innovative research project which can 'change the world'."

As a child I was already interested in Mathematics, Physics and Information Technology. It was natural that I chose the area of Electronics for my professional life. I graduated with first-class honours from UCL Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering in 2009 where I was impressed by the modernity of teaching and the international scale of research.

At the moment I am working towards a PhD degree in Biomedical Electronics focusing on telemetry for implanted devices. I am involved in a European Project -- CLONS (CLOsed-loop Neural prostheses for vestibular disorderS). The CLONS project aims to develop suitable technological solutions to increase the quality of life of people affected by vestibular disorders. I decided to study for a PhD degree because of the opportunity it would give to be part of such an innovative research project which can "change the world". It would not have been possible if I had not chosen UCL which allows me to work with top class engineers and researchers. I am part of the research team led by Professor Andreas Demosthenous.

I am designing a telemetry system which uses one inductive link for both power and data transfer in an implant. By the end of my PhD I should have delivered the complete system in the form of two ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuit), one as a transmitter unit and another as a receiver (implant).

Joe
Welch

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"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with UCL, and at PhD level even more so. A research doctorate is a unique opportunity for academic endeavour with, arguably, the most freedom you will ever encounter, particularly the freedom to solve problems in your own manner"

Having been an undergraduate in the department with the MEng programme I had become familiar with UCL’s atmosphere of cutting edge research combined with an environment of support and care from staff. Other excellent aspects of UCL include: a central London location, huge diversity of peoples from around the world, and a globally respected reputation – particularly for its research.

As an undergraduate at the department I was fortunate to receive a Nuffield Science research bursary, which enabled me to stay over the 2nd year summer for an internship with the Diamond Electronics group looking into delta-doped diamond structures for high performance electronics. I then competed both the 3rd year individual project and the 4th year group project with the Diamond Electronics group. During this time I had become certain that this was the career path I wanted to follow. I was then awarded the Doctoral Training Account at the London Centre for Nanotechnology (the Diamond Electronics group’s physical home) and have been studying here since October 2009. During this period I have been working on several projects ranging from using nanodiamond as a platform for neuron growth, to measuring photoemission from NEA diamond surfaces. These studies have resulted in a publication in the Journal of Applied physics and two in Applied Physics Letters.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with UCL, and at PhD level even more so. A research doctorate is a unique opportunity for academic endeavour with, arguably, the most freedom you will ever encounter, particularly the freedom to solve problems in your own manner. This combined with the new friends, new knowledge, and a range of travel opportunities have made my first year of my PhD by far the best years of my educational life.