Lampros Giourntas

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Having spent three weeks in Australia gaining a unique insight into research and development at the Weir Group, Greek PhD student Lampros Giourntas is hoping his experience will provide a stepping stone to a successful career in the industry.

“I did not know a great deal about WARC before I joined Strathclyde but my experience since I started my PhD has been beyond my expectations. The real benefit I have found is being looked upon as a colleague, and being able to work so closely with the Weir Group champion responsible for my research area is really significant.

“My PhD topic is looking at the corrosion of metals and coatings, examining how metals erode and/or corrode and finding ways to combat this. It can take a long time to plan research and make sure you are moving in the right direction – for me this is the unique nature of working within WARC as access to experts in the field means I am on the right track.

Lampros Giourntas“The trip to Australia was an excellent experience and spending three weeks in the country gave me the chance to see the production line in operation. Also, it was a great opportunity to make contacts who are able to help with my research. Weir’s support in funding the visit was something I didn’t think would be possible but it demonstrates the Weir Group’s vision of providing WARC students high-standard education on their field by merging the theory with the real world.

“I was also able to participate in the Asia/Pacific conference with delegates attending from all over the world. I was able to raise awareness of WARC and it was good to exchange experiences and gain knowledge from industry professionals. I still keep in touch with contacts I made and everyone I encountered within the Weir Group in Australia have been keen on helping with anything I have asked.

“There are several options available to PhD students in terms of funding. The flexibility of self-funding can be attractive and funding from a grant provider like EPSRC is also an option. But I have found the huge benefit of WARC to be the fact that there is a real life problem to work on – so close to industry.

“Working with the Weir Group provides a very clear process. There is a problem, we need a solution, and it is up to me through my research to find it. The open dialogue I have experienced and the friendly environment makes my research an enjoyable journey to success. Doing something practical is very rewarding and the commitment from Weir to support the research keeps me motivated.

“The opportunity to travel and see how the business works in other countries is also a real positive for me and my time in Australia has boosted my research. The funding allows you the opportunity to set realistic goals and gives you the means to work towards positive research output. At the end of it all there are real prospects to get a good job in the industry – which would make the hard work worthwhile.”