On 23 – 27 January 2017 Andrei Zvelindovsky was an invited participant of the discussion Lorentz workshop ‘Structured soft interfaces: caught between multi-scale simulation and application’ held at Lorentz International Center for scientific workshops in Leiden, the Netherlands.
From the workshop aim description:
The science of soft materials is slowly moving into the direction of predictive capability. Yet, as functional flexibility and programmability usually relies on compositional heterogeneity, these materials are naturally rich of various types of interfaces – between different constituents and between domains – that are often structured themselves and generally pose a challenge to scientific investigation, owing to the variation of length and time scales that they feature along different dimensions. Since these interfaces link domains with distinctly different structural and/or physical – electronic, chemical and/or mechanical – characteristics, they are of utmost importance for material performance and function. This is particularly apparent in biology, where structured membranes…
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Congratulations to Maneea for getting a fantastic new job at Keele University. This is a well deserved reward for all her hard work and dedication during the past few years doing excellent research for her PhD. We wish her great success in her new role at Keele University and in the future. She is a credit to the Institute of Nanotechnology and Bioengineering at UCLAN and her supervisor Dr Tapas Sen. I am proud of her achievements.
Every since I was a child I wanted to be successful, fulfilled and happy. I wanted all three and did not want to compromise.
Early in my career I thought that the only way to be happy was to be successful and do my work to a high standard. My approach to being more successful was to aim for excellence in the important things that matter. How could I excel in my field?
I had two ways to getting closer to this goal. I knew that excellence was something to strive for and no matter how good I become there is always a higher level.Yet the struggle for excellence seemed to be noble and worthwhile goal. I put mu heart and soul into being excellent in a few selected things. My strategy was simple and two pronged.
- Find a role model who is the best in the field and someone I would like to be like. For example, in boxing many young aspiring boxers want to be like Muhammed Ali. So they emulate his style, copy his training routine and watch films of his fights in the hope that they can be the next “the greatest”. I found role models in academia that I wanted to be like and tried to learn from them and work at developing my abilities.
- By watching and studying my role models I analysed the components of their skill and practice that made them the best in the field. Once I had identified the key areas in which I wanted to develop competence I scheduled regular practice into my routine. Each session had well defined standards and goals I wanted to achieve.
This approach enabled me enjoy a degree of success. Once I achieved I set another goal. I was happy for a while when I achieved a goal but immediately I set another one. I felt I needed to consistently focus on my goals so I spent all my time worrying that I was not at the standard that I wanted to achieve. Even though I had a degree of success people envied I was unhappy, dissatisfied and stressed. I resisted the temptation to relax because I thought that the key to success was focusing and worrying about my goals constantly.
As I become more successful, I wanted to achieve more and more and I became addicted to doing things well and being successful I felt that this was the purpose of my life so I set more and more goals. I worked longer and longer and harder and harder, My wife and children are wonderful and they always supported me. They made whatever sacrifice they had to support my ambitions. I didn’t spend much time with them. For many years I was blind to their emotional needs to be with me and for us to be together. In 30 years we never went on holiday together because I was always working. When I had Christmas or summer holidays I viewed these as uninterrupted periods in which I could focus more intensely on my work.
Having too many goals and ambitions made my life complicated, stressed and not very enjoyable. On one level I was happy with my achievement but did not feel fulfilled or really happy. I felt the need to reduce my commitments to success. I decided to make my life as simple as I could and reduce the number of goals I had and the number of people I was responding to via email and phone. I did an analysis and I was in regular contact with several hundred people from all over the world who wanted something from me. If I worked all the day answering emails then I had more emails by the end of the day which created more urgency and greater stress. In desperation I analysed my emails from the perspective of how resulted in productive output for me or my contact. Out over 1000 people in my contacts only 5 people had any impact on my goals. Perhaps I also only helped tangible 5 people on my list. Less than 0.01% of my emails yielded any benefits. A startling revelation. I realised I was doing a great dis service to those people with I was productive. I decided to give priority to these people and massively reduced my commitments to the other 99.99%. My work load reduce massively and my output increased massively.
Having less to do and focusing sensible on the most important gave me clarity in my work and renewed energy and enthusiasm which simultaneously increased the quality of my work. I decided to focus on less as a rule. My emails reduce in number and in length. I decided 3-5 lines would be my optimum in emails. I did the same thing with other aspects my life and simplified everything. This gave more time with my family without sacrificing any aspects of my work.
As I get older I have become more selfish and want to have more fun. For anything I am going to do I decided to ask myself. How can I get this done in an excellent way and in a simple manner and have as much fun as possible? When I answer this question then I know that I’ll be having fun doing something worthwhile and important.
My formula for success and happiness is:
SH = E x C x F
SH – success and happiness; E – excellence and F – Fun.
Great occasion for families getting together at the Nawab Restaurant in Manchester to celebrate Dr Mehr getting a new post a post at Blackburn Hospital. Wishing Dr Mehr and Qurban Ali and family great success in 2017.
I would like to congratulate Hamidreza for getting his PhD. When I first met Hamidreza I found him to be far too polite and figured that once he gets to know me better the politeness will wear off. However, after 4 years of working with him the politeness did wear off. Behind that niceness is a strong character with the will to succeed. He was meticulous in writing his PhD and exceedingly well prepared for his PhD viva which showed during the questions and answers exchange with the examiners. Whilst I was pleased with his performance, Hamidreza is a perfectionist and was not satisfied with himself. After the PhD viva Hamidreza and his examiners Prof Dermot Brabazon and Dr Monika Gamza were full of smiles.
Well done. I am proud of your success and I am confident this is the beginning of great things.
I would like to congratulate Dr Iftikhar Khan for getting an academic lecturer post at Liverpool John Moores University in the field of Pharmaceutics. I am happy and proud of your success. You were a hardworking, dedicated and talented member of the group. You deserve all the success in the world.
I have known Sakib Yousaf since he was a little kid. His outward polite, helpful and friendly demeanor hides a fierce determination to succeed. No one deserves a PhD more. His success makes me proud because I am acutely aware of the hard work and dedication that Sakib has put into his studies over the past few years. I am inspired because Sakib has demonstrated that with hard work and dedication anything is possible. I wish Dr Sakib Yousaf great success and happiness. I am looking forward to great things from him in the future.
With a new Star wars episode airing this week, it is an opportunity to reflect on what we understand about the force in Star Wars and elsewhere… http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/fabien-paillusson/star-wars_b_13623256.html
Wonderful achievement. Well done
R-L: Marco Pinna (supervisor), Roberta Dessi, Martin Greenall (internal examiner), Andrei Zvelindovsky (supervisor)
In a fantastic graduation ceremony on 5 September 2016 Roberta Dessi received her PhD degree. She is our first graduate in Lincoln, and she was also the first student in the graduation ceremony inside the magnificent Lincoln cathedral! Years of hard work were celebrated during this wonderful day!
Our old friends Andrei, Marco and Manuela are doing great things in the School of Maths and Physics at Lincoln. Have a look at and share this video with your friends.