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Evaluation of 4TU.Energy PhD course 2023

Friday, 8 December 2023

On 20 and 21 November 2023, the first edition of PhD course organized by 4TU.Energy was well received by the 40 attending PhD candidates.

Among these participants the majority was from the University of Eindhoven with a delegation of 19 candidates, 8 were from WUR, 7 from TU Delft, 3 from UTwente, and we welcomed 3 PhD candidates from the University of Groningen!  

We like to share the findings of the feedback we received in more detail.

Pitch Training Workshop

All participants who answered the question about the PhD pitch training, indicating that they attended this pitch training, agreed that the training was helpful to their research pitch skills.

Balance Between Technical Content and Societal Discussions

We find it important to find a good balance between technical content and societal discussion within the PhD course. The feedback we received indicates that for the great majority this balance worked well. We also asked for feedback on the accessibility of the sessions for participants with a background other than engineering and natural sciences. From what we could see is that the participants with backgrounds in social sciences found the sessions readily accessible.

Likelihood of Future Collaboration

We understand that not all PhD candidates might see possibilities for collaborations right away, this understandably depends on the nature of the projects. However, a slight majority of the voters indicated that they consider it likely and very likely that they would collaborate in the future. We are happy that the majority indicated that this PhD course served the goal of strengthening the community by making new connections.

Understanding the energy transition

Overall a large majority indicated that their understanding of the energy transition improved. A variety of presentations were named as topics that struck with the audience, indicating that all contributions were valuable during the PhD course. We also asked for feedback on future topics to be discussed in future editions of this course, these suggestions will be handed over to the next committee tasked to propose a programme in the next year.

Technical aspects and societal issues go hand-in-hand

To summarize the topics and ideas that the participants of the course took with them, we can say that the event provided a holistic perspective on the energy transition. Both technical and societal topics were mentioned, such as hydrogen, congestion, infrastructure, etc. What stood out was that participants recognized the need for multidisciplinary collaboration to deal with the complexities of the energy transition.

We look back on a fruitful PhD course, recognized by the participants who are willing to recommend this course to their peers. We look forward to organizing the next edition in 2024!