• 2nd IQS Doctoral Students Conference

Friday, 17 November, 2023
IQS Tech Transfer

On 14 November, the 2nd IQS Doctoral Students Conference was held, organized by the doctoral students themselves, which has been relaunched after a four-year hiatus. The objective of this conference is to give visibility to and share the research conducted by the different research groups at IQS. Currently, IQS is home to more than 80 doctoral students divided between the school's three doctoral programmes: Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Business and Territorial Competitiveness, Innovation and Sustainability (CETIS).

The conference was opened by Dr Salvador Borrós, director of IQS and coordinator of the Materials Engineering Group (GEMAT), who expressed the commitment of the school and its doctoral students to strengthening the role of innovation at IQS. "I am especially excited to welcome you to this event because of my involvement for many years now in educating and supervising students and researchers," said Dr Borrós. He added: "This day is a sign of IQS's commitment to doctoral programmes, which are clearly making us grow in the field of research."

Project and competition presentations

Throughout the day, pre-doctoral researchers were able to present their thesis projects in two formats:

First, there was a presentation of 35 posters that were exhibited throughout the day. This format also featured a 2-minute flash presentation by each of the doctoral students, and the best presentations were chosen by votes from the attendees at the end of the day.

Mar Losada Baranera, a PhD student in the Department of Analytical Chemistry, was the winner of this format, with her presentation of the poster "Mass Spectrometry Profiling of  T1 Cleaved ssRNA Oligonucleotides via Ion-Pair Reversed-Phase UHPLC-QTOF-MS."

Next, the "Explain your thesis in four minutes" contest was held. This represented the elimination phase of the "Present your thesis in four minutes" competition, which aimed to showcase the thesis projects being conducted across the twelve universities in Catalonia and was organized by the Catalan Foundation for Research and  Innovation (FCRI). Out of all the presentations, the public chose three, one for each of the doctoral programmes at IQS, which will represent the school in the contest that will be held by Ramon Llull University (URL), where the URL representative for the final contest must be chosen from among all the participants from the schools that form part of it.

The winning presentations that will represent IQS are: Enric Luján Pallarés, with the EQBA group for "Application of electrochemical sensors in the discrimination of hydrogen isotopes," in the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering programme; John Vara Prasad, with the CONHATIVE group for "Human interactions with Artificial Intelligence: the case of Voice Assistants," within the CETIS programme; and Gloria Nieva Esteve, with the GEMAT group for "Mimicking biological tissues," in the Bioengineering programme. The latter presentation ended up receiving the most votes.

The awards were presented by the Director of IQS, Dr Salvador Borrós, the Dean of the IQS School of Engineering, Dr Jordi Díaz, and the Dean of the IQS School of Management, Dr Flavio Comim, at the closing ceremony of the day.

Guest professionals

Another interesting aspect of the event was that it also featured participation by various professionals who shared their research experience with the students in attendance.

The event started out in the morning with a talk by Dr Miriam Corredor Sánchez, CEO of the company noctuRNA Therapeutics, who explained her personal journey from the completion of her doctoral thesis at IQS-CSIC to the present day, offering an open discussion at the end with the attendees to address their concerns and questions.

In the afternoon, a roundtable was held under the title "Life and career after doctoral studies," in which Dr Teresa Pellicer, Head of Biotechnological Projects with Health Tech BioActives (HBTA), Dr Josep Lluis Lliberia, Senior Application Specialist at SCIEX, Dr Anna Mas Vinyals, Quality & Manufacturing Manager at Ingenia-Novanta Precision Motion, and Dr Jerònim Farnós, President of the Chemical Industry Commission of the Industrial Engineers of Catalonia (EIC), participated. Dr Cristina Alonso Alija, SVP – Head of Sustainability, Safety, Health and Environment at Bayer, also participated in the video format.

Topics such as the advantages of doing a PhD and the professional opportunities that can arise were addressed. All the speakers shared the great experiences of their doctoral stage and subsequent experiences, recommending to the students and doctoral students present the importance of "learning to face challenges and solve problems, which will always help you regardless of whether you work in the academic or business world, where you will continue to learn, bring talent to the industrial sector with attitude as well as aptitude, and not forget to live and dedicate a little time to people."

The organizing committee of this conference consisted of doctoral students Javier Gómez, María José Sánchez, Víctor García, Júlia Goyenechea, Maite Molins, Mar Losada, Jordi Guixeras, Xavi Melero, Carles Bofill, and Antoni Torres.

The 2nd IQS Doctoral Students Conference was sponsored by IHT Iberhospitex SA, represented by its CEO Dr Mario López Moya, an IQS alumnus, and Damm, with the collaboration of AIQS Alumni, IQS Tech Factory, and IQS Student Life.