PhD Summer Showcase
Wednesday 10 July 2024 | 11:00-16:00 | Queens Tower Rooms

This annual event is organised by the Graduate School to celebrate the research being carried out by our PhD community. Further information about the 2024 competition will be confirmed in due course. In the meantime, please save the date in your diary and read on to find out more about last year's Showcase.

2023 Competition Information

The challenge for last year's competition was for students to communicate their research to a lay audience. This was assessed across two stages – firstly a video presentation or poster to be submitted in advance and then via a three-minute presentation at our in-person Showcase event.

Our team of official judges assessed each video presentation or poster for its visual impact and content. Then at the in-person Showcase event, competitors were assessed on their ability to explain their research in a way that can be shared with the general public. 

Prizes were awarded for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place based on the judges scores and a People's Choice Prize was also awarded to the contestant receiving the most votes from visitors to the Showcase event.

Prize Winners 2023

We are delighted to announce the results of the PhD Summer Showcase 2023 are as follows:

1st Prize

Hendrik Beck, Department of Bioengineering - A planar omnidirectional treadmill to study insect locomotion (Entry No: BIO 4)

2nd Prize

Theo Glashier, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering - Smart Infrastructure: How can structural data help minimise downtime? (Entry No: CIV ENG 16)

3rd Prize

Adam Whitehouse, Department of Aeronautics - Learning from Nature to Transform Composite Structures into Tough Boxing Champions of the World (Entry No: AERO 1)

People's Choice Prize

Hsuan-Yi Li, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering - Unsupervised winter wheat mapping based on multi-spectral and synthetic aperture radar observations [pdf]  (Entry No: CIV ENG 15)

We would like to extend our thanks to all of the contestants, the judges and to everyone who voted for their favourite entry via the People's Choice award.

Competition info

Judging Criteria

Video Presentations and Posters were judged on the ‘Visual Impact’ and ‘Content’ categories below. The in-person Showcase presentations were judged only against the 'Public Engagement' category. 

Category Considerations Maximum Score


(Videos & Posters only) 

  • Clarity - presentation of content is clear, organised and has an appropriate amount of information that highlights key points. 
  • Use of images, graphics & text – do they enhance or detract from the video or poster? 
  • Visual appeal is the poster/video eye catching? Good use of colour etc to highlight key messages? 
  • Originality - Does the poster/video stand out? Is it creative with its use of visual aids? 
 5 pts


(Videos & Posters only)

  • Organisation - does the poster or video follow a clear and logical sequence? e.g. introduction, aims & conclusion
  • Narrative - Is the research communicated in a language appropriate to a lay audience?
 5 pts


(In-Person Showcase Presentations only) 

  • Ability to explain clearly & concisely - Was the presentation easy to follow and understand? Did the presenter explain any jargon? e.g. technical/non-technical terms? 
  • Pitched appropriately - Was the research communicated in a language appropriate to a lay audience? 
  • Important points coveredDid you understand what the important parts of the research are? Did the presentation emphasise the main points? 
  • Engaging – Did the presenter convey enthusiasm/passion for their research? Did the presentation hold your attention for the duration? Were you curious to find out more? 
 10 pts

Prize Information

The following prizes were awarded:

  • 1st Prize - £500
  • 2nd Prize - £250
  • 3rd Prize - £150
  • People's Choice - £100