Why Is The BEAR PGR Conference So Special?

Published: Posted on

I am finding two things hard to believe right now. Firstly that the BEAR PGR conference was held a short time ago on 12th April 2019 and secondly in less than one year time,  2020 will be the tenth anniversary of the event.

I thought it would be a good idea to have a look back over the 9th BEAR PGR Conference 2019.  The BEAR PGR Conference, what is it? It is an event for all Postgrads, MSc, Post-docs and project supervisors abandoning their research for a day to socialise, eat, drink and give out prizes to the best oral presenter and for the best poster presentation.  Perhaps this is not the best way to describe the event, because it is so much more than that. It is the best one day event in a researcher year, highly motivated, inspirational and all-round event to be part of.

It was a one day (10am -4:30pm) event with 3 keynote speakers and nine conference speakers. The talks were stimulating. I only got to hear some of the talks since; I was manning the event registration desk. I love the talks for different reasons:

Some were hugely practical and actionable like Muhammad Rabbani’s talk on Compact Multi-Functional Sensor Design for Remote Health Monitoring. And Shen Huo clarifying that flying debris can create the greatest damage from Tornados. Bowen Liu rationalise the impact of environmental policies on air pollution in China cities, stating that only 3 cities in China meet WHO pollution levels. George Parish talk (I love a brain challenge) – “How Brain Oscillations Facilitate human perception and memory” – got in the way of me asking him questions in the Q&A session – I love his cute dog images. Ms Zoe Osorio (IBM) gave us a whistle-stop tour of the tools needed to manage the PowerAI vision cluster (Installed in the Data Centre) together with assessing trust and transparency with Artificial Intelligent (AI).

University of Birmingham Power AI Vision Cluster
Ms Zoe Osorio: University of Birmingham Power AI Vision Cluster

It is often said that the real value of attending events is not necessarily in the speakers but the time you spend with other attendee. The conversations in the breaks, at coffee, over lunch and the drinks afterwards. These are the moments when you make friends, win prizes and build relationship that can accelerate your personal and professional growth.

Congratulations to the winners for best presentation (George Parish) and best poster (Abdullah Al-Qathani)
Prize winners: Congratulations to George Parish and Abdullah Al-Qathani

Should you attend the BEAR PGR conference?

If you are a researcher (Postgrad, MSc, Post-docs) or a principle investigator wishing to showcase your research work to the academic community, industrialists and, your desire is to perfect your presentation skills while enhancing your marketing and organising skills- you will benefit from attending or promoting the BEAR PGR Conference.

Why you should attend the BEAR PGR conference
Attendees at the 9th BEAR PGR Conference

If you are a junior researcher or an individual wanting to develop skills in time management, marketing, negotiation, public speaking or want to know how to face your fears and achieve your full potential – you should attend the next BEAR PGR Conference in 2020.

While I love leaning about ground breaking research, many have practically applications, my biggest take from the 9th BEAR PGR conference 2019 were more a mind shift in realisations:

It may be possible to combine the BEAR PGR conference event with another Conference (SIG) thereby maximising attendees.

It is probably better to have the conference in April (the 12th was a good day) which is a holiday period for most undergraduate and lecture theatres are available for bookings.

I am sure there will be insights over the coming weeks and months as I process the information. Moreover you can read Debbie Carter extracting the key themes from this year 9th BEAR PGR Conference.