34 PhD students of different universities from all over the world participated in the AESOP PhD workshop held in Uylenburg, near Delft, from the 5th to the 8th of July 2014.
The 34 participants were selected from a competitive pool of over 80 applications, and represented 25 countries. The traditional mission of the workshop focuses on enabling PhD students to share their research ideas with senior and other young scholars in order to establish a mutual learning environment, allowing the participants to give and receive comments on their research questions, goals, and methods. The mentors guiding the 2014 workshop included: Prof. Kristina Nilsson (Lulea University of Technology), Prof. Karl Fischer (University of New South Wales), Prof. Cecilia Wong (University of Manchester), Prof. Wil Zonnefeld (TU Delft), Prof. Stefanie Duhr (Nijmegen University), Prof Karel Maier (Prague Technical University), Prof. Paulo Pinho (University of Porto), as well as local mentors from TU Delft including: Dr. Ana Maria Fernandez Maldonano, Prof. Vincent Nadin, Prof. Akkelies van Nes and Dr. Tuna Tasan-Kok.
The Workshop was composed of intensive study modules in small groups with plenary sessions and presentations from the mentors. It required the active participation from the PhD participants, with 20 minute presentations of research issues related to their theses. The mentors provided useful insights and suggestions for PhD students during five plenaries on topics such as: research questions and dissertation design, writing and publications, planning and the role(s) of planners today.
An important mention should be made about the chosen venue: Uylenburg provided a countryside environment, where participants could move around easily, exploring the area by bicycle. Different elements of the programme were also dedicated to informal networking and exchange among participants and mentors like the barbecue night, the bike tour and the organized dinner in Delft city centre.
Our sincerest thanks go to all of those committee members, mentors and students who made the workshop such a success.