happy: comes with a :)

All’s well that ends well. And even though this is just the beginning, my admission to km 0 of a very long road, at least I succeeded at my first checkpoint.

The session lasted for two hours. I managed to comply with the 20-minute limit for my presentation and all the rest was spend arguing with the jury, a fantastic chance to receive input, suggestions and contributions to improve my work and explore different paths.

At the end, I was very happy with my grade and looking forward to continue with my research. Some days are just great!

battle plan

I’ve been trying to have things sorted out on time for tomorrow, but I guess I’ll only call it a day once I’m asked to start my presentation. For now:

  • Power-point presentation: too long, there’s a long night ahead;
  • Mock presentation: tried, but must do it with the right number of slides;
  • Summary report: check!
  • Discussion plan: check! It has framing questions, trained answers, rebutalls & justification brainstorming, and a presentation checklist with everything I’ll need, from cables to suit to water to watch to everything!
  • Readings about Viva preparation: been there, done that, bought the soundtrack.

See you in a couple of hours. If I survive, obviously.

briefing

I’ve received the instructions for the thesis project presentation and discussion, which will take place on December 21th, 2011: 20-minute presentation followed by the discussion. The jury will comprise Professor Luís Picado Santos, from “my” department at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), as chairman; Professor Tiago Santos, member of IST’s Centre for Marine Technology and Engineering (CENTEC); and Professor Alcibíades Paulo Guedes, from University of Porto’s Engineering School (FEUP).

The time is coming.

sub-mission


Sex Pistols, it was 1977

Sub-mission accomplished! I’ve just submitted my thesis project. If everything goes well, I should have my project viva (I think I can call it that: it will be the public presentation and discussion of the thesis project) scheduled still for 2011.

Now it’s time for a not-that-big breath and start preparing the presentation.

feedback & final lap

I’ve got new feedback from my supervisor and things should be approaching its epilogue. Some fine-tuning is needed, but no major changes. The goal is to submit the final version until the end of the month, in order to have everything done (for now…) until the end of the year. I guess I won’t be sleeping that much during this month.

version 4.0

After a too long intermission, I finished and submitted today the draft version #4 of my thesis project. It’s very behind schedule and there are still many issues missing, but I’ll try to catch up during September. I need to catch up.

At the same time, it also showed me the importance of keep writing, closing pending issues, submitting versions, etc. It’s the way to feel that I’m moving somewhere and that I must keep moving somewhere. To the right direction, preferably.

coursework: check!

Stop the press! I’ve just received my last grade and coursework is DO-NE!!!

It has been a long and demanding path, lasting from September 2010 until late last month, constantly travelling, commuting, studying – and working at my regular job. At the same time, I really enjoyed it and learnt a lot in all five courses I was enrolled: Research Methodologies, Risk and Decision Making, Optimization of Transport Infrastructures and Operations, Business Models and Contracts, and Transport Policy and Institutions.

Now it’s time to take a big breath and focusing on the thesis proposal I need to prepare and present for the Thesis Project curricular unit, due later this year. It’s the only thing left to finish my first year at the program and to enter in the long and big immersion of research  and… thesing.

1st post (after the previous one)

OK, now that we know each other, let’s go for a quick recap of the story so far. I started my PhD program in September 2010. It comprises coursework during the first year, including the curricular unit Thesis Project, plus two years of research, at the end of which I am supposed to submit and defend my thesis. Of course it would be handy if I managed to start research while doing coursework, but given the usual lack of time for doing that plus the fact I’m studying part-time and squeezing my time between academic activities and job responsabilities, I’m finding that just a little bit difficult…

I had to enroll in five courses I chose with the help of my designated tutor: Research Methodologies, Risk and Decision Making, and Optimization of Transport Infrastructures and Operations in the Fall semester; and Business Models and Contracts, and Transport Policy and Institutions in the Spring semester. At some point during the year, I’ll have to find an academic that, based on a draft thesis proposal (I’ve already finished), will be designated as my official supervisor.

The moment I’m writing, I’m done with most of my coursework (reason why I found the time – and thought it would make sense – to start the blog) and I have only one exam left.

I think this is it. And now it’s time to go back studying. But not without wishing a Happy Easter for those who celebrate it.