The second International Data and Information Management Conference (IDIMC) was held by the Centre for Information Management at Loughborough University on 12th and 13th January 2016.


The conference aimed to bring together researchers, managers and policy makers from academia, industry, government, commerce and the third sector. To follow on from the 2014 conference, ‘Making connections’, the overarching theme of this conference was ‘Exploring our digital shadow’.

The first day focussed on early career researchers, with a programme including a selection of workshops designed to hone skills in information management research. The second day comprised a series of invited and contributed papers and posters with a broad appeal across the sector. There were excellent networking opportunities throughout both days.

Melanie Zimmer, Cohort 2 student, was one of the CDT-EI students who attended the conference and had this to say;

"Even though the "International Data and Information Management Conference" was not directly targeted to my PhD topic, I - as a PhD student half way through my first year - gained a lot from attending it. During the first day of the conference I attended speakers would talk about "The digital transformation of defence operations in the 21st century", but also share their opinions on "8 ways to develop your research". Two workshop sessions were offered in each of which one out of four workshops could be chosen.  Especially "Writing journal and conference papers" and "Reflections on the 'how'. Reconsidering research methods in Information Systems", in which skillful researchers would share their experiences, were really helpful for me.  Also of interest was the "5 minutes madness" session I which other PhD students had to present their research within 5 minutes. Although the conference was aimed at a broad audience, I felt it perfectly focused on PhD students and early career researchers."

With thanks to IDIMC for the photograph.

The proceedings of the conference can be downloaded here.


The two days CDT HighWire writing retreat in Wyresdale Park Scorton provides a good environment to think and write. Normally an efficient writing requires a peaceful and calm place, and this retreat was structured and scheduled in such a way that researchers could have a better outcome of it. This is achieved in two ways:

  1. Setting goals for both days, as well as getting feedback from someone else on the realism of these goals. On the end of the day, reflect on what is a reasonable goal for yourself.
  2. Have scheduled breaks and stick to them. Instead of continuingly working until you ‘finished’ a section, write some keywords of what you will need to do to finish the section. This makes it easier to pick up writing and makes your day more fun (compared to writing by yourself non-stop). Furthermore, the absence of internet access allowed for more focussed writing periods.

We attended this writing session in order to work on our group project report. We felt the schedule of the writing retreat would be useful during writing-intensive periods, especially if you can team up with some other PhD students and have breaks together! This turned out to be one of the goals of the program; finding others that are willing to work according to a schedule and have breaks together. Therefore, it would be good to have some other students from our department at a writing retreat session. Furthermore, we believe that working on a group project in a structured way can be beneficial as well. The structured sessions allow group-members to keep each-other up to date on their progress.

Besides the writing sessions the retreat gave us the chance to meet some PhD student from another CDT programme. It was interesting to talk about their PhD topics and learn from their experiences. But most of all it is cool to meet people from various backgrounds and universities.

Last but not least, the location, food and hospitality in general was amazing. And Tish was amazing in sorting this out for us! We would recommend this writing retreat to any CDT student!

Written by Cohort 2 students Ruben Kruiper and Jamal Umer

For more information about Highwire CDT based at Lancaster University or the Digital Economy CDT Network please click the links.

On the 11th of November 2015, HSSMI Ltd hosted their first Leadership Forum at The ArcelorMittal Orbit in Stratford (London). The High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute (HSSMI) Ltd is a research institute closely working together with industrial companies and leading academic institutions to support manufacturing in the UK.

The subject ‘Manufacturing, the next five years; technology, knowledge building and political support; what is needed? How it is best delivered?’ was discussed on a panel with the following keynote speakers: Margaret Wood MBE ‐ Chairman, ICW (UK) Ltd; Professor Robert Allison ‐ Vice Chancellor and President, Loughborough University; Brian Holliday ‐ Managing Director, Siemens Digital Factory; Peter Domeney - ‎Manufacturing Engineering Director, Jaguar Land Rover. One of the main themes of the discussion involved the need of strengthening the manufacturing in the UK by making engineering more appealing to young people.

As part of the agenda, PhD students sponsored by HSSMI Ltd prepared posters outlining their PhD research. This was a great opportunity for networking and to communicate the research and also get valuable input from industry by representing HSSMI Ltd as well as the CDT-EI.

Loughborough University has been awarded £3.9 million to develop a totally new way of designing and fabricating high frequency communications circuitry.

The funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) will be used to establish the SYMETA – SYnthesizing 3D METAmaterials for RF, microwave and THz applications – research programme.

The SYMETA team will be led by Professor Yiannis Vardaxoglou from Loughborough University. The other research partners include the Universities of Exeter, Oxford, Sheffield and Queen Mary, University of London. Speaking about the consortium, Professor Vardaxoglou said: “Introducing these novel structures into the complex world of electronic design will offer a radical new way of designing and manufacturing electronics at low cost. We are grateful to EPSRC for supporting such an innovative and timely project.”

SYMETA’s research has the potential for significant academic, economic, societal and environmental impacts.  With rapid advancements in the development of metamaterials the possibilities for innovative applications across many sectors are significant.  Industries that could benefit from the research include aviation, space, healthcare and the military.  Employing the advanced manufacturing techniques that the consortium will develop will also remove the need for the harsh chemicals typically used in the manufacture of traditional circuit boards, thereby offering significant environmental benefits.

For more information visit Loughborough University new page.


Welcome Cohort 2

26 September 2015

The months of September and October see the start of the new academic years at Heriot–Watt University and Loughborough University and students in our second cohort have now started their PhD journeys.

Their journey kicked off earlier in September by attending our induction programme in Scotland. The weather was overcast but dry with rays of sunshine emerging for our field trip to a local castle. This did not matter though as most of the week was spent preparing for the coming four years by getting to know themselves better and each other. Members of cohort 1 joined the newbies to share their experiences of a year with CDT-EI and it made them realise how much they have achieved in just one year.

On 3rd September the CDT-EI attended The R2i Electronics Conference at the University of Sheffield. Following the success of the previous editions in 2012 and 2013 the conference provided the opportunity for the electronics manufacturing industry, research and development companies and institutional research centres to meet, review and discuss the best of the UK’s academic electronic research projects.The event was oraganised by the KTN and IMAPS UK.

The overall aim was to bridge the gap between industry and research and the conference was split into four sessions, Government support for collaborative research in industry, industrial fellowships, Spin-outs and Centres for Doctoral Training. Our new co-Director, Dr Keith Brown, gave an overview of the EPSRC CDT model and explained our innovative training programme. Following Keith’s presentation one of our 2nd year students, Ian Park, described his experience of the CDT programme and explained the aims of his PhD project, which is co-sponsored by Taylor Hobson Ltd.

Last month saw all EPSRC CDT Managers and Administrators meet in London for a one day conference. The conference was organised by Imperial College London and was an informal event aimed to provide an opportunity to meet and establish contacts with other CDT administrators to discuss good practice and challenges of centre administration and management. The day started with a number of talks, including Jim Fleming from EPSRC and Alison Mitchell from Vitae. Alison Mitchell presented the outcomes of a Vitae event held a few weeks earlier that focussed on the development of researchers across doctoral training cohorts. The afternoon sessions were facilitated workshops covering the different aspects of a cohort delivered PhD training programme.

The past few months have been extremely busy for our first cohort of students with preparing for their first year progress reviews, completing their 2nd group projects and finalising their assignments for the ILM qualification in Leadership and Management. To bring the first year to a close the CDT-EI Summer School 2015 was hosted by Loughborough University and involved a visit to Donington Park. The Summer School gave the cohort an opportunity to reflect on their first year of PhD study and celebrated the end of their combined year 1 and the camaraderie they have formed. They will now return to their home institutions to continue their studies.

2015 Summer School Collage

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