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Christiana Smyrilli at MIT

last modified Feb 02, 2018 12:09 PM

Christiana Smyrilli, final year PhD student from Cohort 1, spent 2 and a half months for her secondment at D-lab at MIT, Boston.  D-Lab stands for Development through Discovery, Design and Dissemination and is a group that focuses on projects targeted at the development sector. D-Lab challenges talented students to use their math, science, engineering, social science, and business skills to tackle a broad range of global poverty issues. During her secondment, Christiana worked on her PhD research and networked with fellow students at MIT.  She also had the opportunity to participate in a class around water and sanitation which was run by her MIT supervisor, Susan Murcott.

The most valuable input to my research was the people I met and the projects I saw that other people were working on, as it allowed me to return to Cambridge with a renewed motivation and increased inspiration. It also enabled me to redefine my research, as I got the opportunity to discuss with professors from various fields of research. Experiencing a different academic environment, and being in a research group where everybody worked on topics similar to mine, increased my breadth of awareness of issues around international development and highlighted the role that engineers play in improving people’s lives.”
                                                           – Christiana Smyrilli

At the end of her secondment, Christiana gave a presentation of her progress and her work in the PhD thus far. It was received with much enthusiasm and positive feedback from the audience. Christiana also presented a poster based on her research in Uganda at both the MIT Water Summit as well as at the D-Lab Students Showcase event. It was an opportunity to not only share her research with other students and academics but also people working in the development sector.

Christiana would like to thank Susan Murcott for giving her the opportunity to work with her at MIT and supervising her during the secondment. Without Susan’s interest and support, the secondment would not have been possible. She would also like to thank EPSRC for giving her the financial means to support her secondment  in Boston.