Workshop for early career researchers hosted at Imperial College London

On 23rd November, the SECTG cluster joined together at Imperial College London for a transformative event designed for aspiring researchers. The one-day workshop was focused on bringing the cluster together to foster collaboration, innovate, provide a platform to present work, exchange ideas, and network with fellow scholars from diverse fields.

The SECTG cluster is an alliance of five European sister projects funded under the Horizon 2020 FET PROACT-EIC-07-2020 call and subtopic “Artificial Intelligence for Extended Social Interaction”. The cluster includes SONICOM, EXPERIENCE, CAROUSEL, TOUCHLESS, and GUEST-XR.

Three Early Career Researchers (ECR) from each of the five SECTG sister projects were invited to present. Work package leaders from each project and other ECRs were in attendance, where there was ample opportunity to ask questions, and participate in group discussions.

The day kicked off with an introduction and welcome from Coordinating partner and Principal Investigator of SONICOM, Dr Lorenzo Picinali from Imperial College London, which led into the first presentation of the day. The presentations covered a range of topics which included sharing the Binaural Rendering Toolbox-BRT (SONICOM), discussing emotional textile design through multisensory interaction design (TOUCHLESS), exploring the influence of prior acquaintance on the shared VR experience (GUEST-XR) and having a break from the screen to be led in a dance and social media workshop (CAROUSEL). 

Katharina (Kathi) Pollack, PhD student and visiting researcher at Imperial College London said, “In academia, it is essential that fellow researchers are able to communicate with each other across disciplines. I loved the idea of this event, that the early career researchers presented already useable/published outcomes of their projects and practice to debate in an interdisciplinary way. The day sparked a variety of fruitful discussions that we’d otherwise never have had!”

The day was a fantastic example of the positive impact coming together to amplify research, expand networks, and broaden horizons can have.