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Centre for Doctoral Training in Photonic Integration and Advance Data Storage

The PIADS Journey

Dr Jade Scott


I was one of the first four students to start with PIADS CDT in June 2015 and I spent my PhD based in Queen’s University Belfast researching synthetic ferrimagnets, potential materials for all optical switching. My work was primarily experimental but a large part of my PhD was working with atomistic simulations to model real world materials, straight from the lab. I had the opportunity to collaborate with groups in the University of York and the University of Exeter and also to take my research to international conferences in Singapore and Washington DC. I eventually completed my viva in December 2019 and I am now continuing as a postdoc in QUB. 

Having been with the CDT from very early on, it’s been fantastic to watch the program evolve and grow into what it is today. During my time as a student, I had the opportunity with the rest of my cohort to complete our PGC in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Innovation Academy in Dublin, as well as the chance to accept industrial placements, to volunteer at outreach events and to sit as representatives on the program committees.

On top of that, and the access to two universities and their facilities, I personally found the cohort aspect one of the best things about PIADS. A PhD has highs and lows, and having others there to experience them with you, even if they are researching something completely different, is invaluable, and the friends I made in the first year of the CDT made the experience all the more worthwhile.  

PHOTO: Dr Jade Scott
A PhD was once described to me as a cake; the sponge, filling and the main body of the cake are your research, and the sprinkles and decorations on the outside, that make your cake more desirable and you more employable, are everything else you can achieve during it. It’s very difficult to describe four years in a couple of hundred words but I think the easiest way (and cheesiest) is to say that PIADS is a great opportunity to bake something brilliant. Dr Jade Scott
PIADS PhD Graduate
Ms Ayse Atar
First Year PIADS PhD Student

I am at the beginning of my PhD journey at the CDT-PIADS program. My PhD work is mainly based on the dopant profile in MOVPE grown III-V materials. I am conducting my research at the Irish Photonic Integration Centre in Cork, which is a new partner of the CDT-PIADS program. So far, I have had an amazing experience and I have already seen the benefits of this program in many ways.   The program is rich with training in entrepreneurship, leadership, management and personal effectiveness, and also visits to industrial companies and research centres. The CDT-PIADS program started with a one-week induction program in the University of Glasgow, where we were introduced to the program and met with the program administrators and the other CDT PhD students. Learning the details of the PIADS program, visiting the facilities of a partner university and getting to know the other students and their research environment have been a great experience. I think some of us have already discovered quite a few future collaboration opportunities.  The way I see it, this program both gives the opportunity to conduct high level scientific research for an academic career, and also prepares the students to discover the many other pathways best suited for their skills and interests. I feel very privileged to be a part of this program.