Kat Lovell

Kat LovellName: Kat Lovell

Nationality: British

Undergraduate degree: MEng/BA Engineering, University of Cambridge

Employment prior to studying at the Business School: Research Assistant, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London

Employment after studying at the Business School and what is your current position: Research Fellow in the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex

Why did you choose to study your programme and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
I was looking for research training. I came across the work of my supervisor whilst in my previous role and that inspired me to apply to study in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group within the Business School.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying the same programme as you?
Make the most of your peers and colleagues in the department. There is much to learn from the experiences and viewpoints of others. And, by the same token, don’t be intimidated by them – PhD students bring fresh perspectives and can bring to life to debates and ideas. Get involved.

How did you find living in London?
London’s a fun place to be. Both for work and non-work, there’s so much going on and it is nice to live at the centre of things for a while.

What was the Business School community like?
It is a busy place. There are opportunities to see and learn from many different approaches to and examples of excellent research and teaching work.

What was a typical day the Business School like?
There isn’t one. As a PhD student, to a large extent, you determine your own work patterns and activities. My work patterns changed over time – particularly after having my son – and learning about (and to reflect upon) my own research strengths and patterns is one of the things I’ve taken on to my post-doctoral work.

What do you enjoy most about your study and where are the main challenges that you face?
The research training with fellow PhD students was a period of discovery for me. I enjoyed learning about the field and approaches within it. My cohort of PhD students brought a wide range of backgrounds and interests that generated wonderful discussions. I got to combine this structured programme with learning from the outstanding researchers and kind teachers that supervised my research and my learning.

The hardest part of PhD studies for me was the psychological challenge of wanting to produce excellent and original work whilst knowing that, despite opportunities to get advice, the final decisions, choices and insights were all down to me. (This is, of course, also part of the power and value of the experience.)

The PhD programme and my research experience within the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group gave me a research grounding and the starting points for understanding the power of interdisciplinary work that I hope will prove the foundations for my continuing research within the innovation studies field and community.