Interview with EURAXESS Science Slam ASEAN Winner 2014 Bhamini Bhujun
Categories: Meet the researchers
About Bhamini Bhujun
Born in Mauritius.
BENG at the University of Mauritius
MSC at the University of Nottingham
PHD (Current) at The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
Bhamini, please tell us about your research background and interests
My research deals with supercapacitors. These are energy storage devices that can charge in the space of seconds and retain the charge for several days. Supercapacitors aim at replacing batteries in the near future.
How did you learn about the EURAXESS Science Slam competition?
I was browsing the internet when I came across Jibby’s video (winner of EURAXESS ASEAN 2013). It was very interesting and I thought why not give it a try.
Why did you decide to participate?
I thought that this was an interesting platform where I can showcase my research to the general public.
Please tell EURAXESS Links Newsletter readers about the live presentation that you made.
At first it was a bit stressful, because I was going to deliver a live presentation. However, after I met the other participants, the tension eased. They were all here to have fun while presenting their research.
What was the message that you wanted to deliver to the audience attending the live finals?
I wanted to engage with the audience by using their everyday lives. Almost everyone uses a smartphone and they could relate to the low-battery difficulty they experience everyday. I wanted to convince the audience that my research is definitely ground-breaking in terms of energy storage in electronic devices.
What did you find more challenging, preparing the pre-selection video or the live presentation?
Personally, the pre-selection video was more challenging because it was the first time I was making a video. I had to research on sound effects as well as graphics and efficiently incorporate my message in the video.
What was your experience like as winner of the 2nd global EURAXESS Science Slam?
I did not expect it at all. There were some really awesome presentations and when I was announced as the winner, it took some time for the thought to register in my mind. After I finally realized that I am really the winner, I was exhilarated. The immediate thought was “Europe-here I come.”
Would you recommend taking part in the Science Slam to other researchers? Why?
Definitely! The Science Slam is an incredible experience. You get to meet other researchers and showcase your work in a relaxed, casual way. It also gives you the opportunity to step back from the scientific world and have a more general view of your work.
Are there any tips that you would like to give to prospective EURAXESS Science Slam participants?
Do not use any scientific jargon. The audience is not specialised in your field. And most importantly, remember have fun.
You were awarded a trip to Europe and met the other slammers from Brazil, China, India, Japan and North America. How was your training in scientific communication?
Meeting the other slammers was a fascinating experience. I got to learn about their research and experience different cultures. The two day training was interesting. The trainers were so passionate about their field and it was a fun learning experience.
EURAXESS also funded your trip to visit to a European research institute of your choice. Which institute did you visit and who did you decide to meet? Why?
I chose to visit the CNRS in France, since it is one of the leading research insititutes in my field in Europe. My meeting was scheduled with Dr Patrice Simon, who is an expert in the field of supercapacitors.
Have you had any contact with European research before?
This was the first time I was visiting a research institute in Europe.
Would you now consider coming to Europe for either a short-term or longterm period to pursue a research career or additional studies?
I am definitely thinking of doing post-doc research at the CNRS. They are very specialised and they have a state of the art lab that would be a dream for any researcher.
You also had a meeting with the local EURAXESS Service Centre. What kind of information did you receive?
I met up with the EURAXESS service centre in Toulouse and I found a group of pleasant, research-focussed people. They gave me a general idea about the services they offer. These services aim at facilitating bureaucratic procedures for a researcher.
Do you think that being a Science Slam winner had an influence on your ability to gain an appointment at your institution of choice?
Being a Science Slam winner was an incredible experience. It opened doors to so many opportunities and most importantly, winning the Science Slam provided me with the opportunity of visiting my dream institution.
Thank you for your time!