Dimitrios Stamadianos

PhD Extra-Solar Planet Research (starting September 2013), University of Hertfordshire

Dimitrios Stamdianos

My PhD programme involves the development of extra-solar planet detection methods using data from Kepler, a NASA space observatory, with the ultimate goal being the discovery of Earth-like planets.

Physics (3 years) [BSc] and Astronomy and Astrophysics [MSc by Research]

From: September 2006 to September 2010

After finishing my MSc in Astronomy and Astrophysics at Manchester, I returned to Greece to complete my two years of national military service. During this time, I attained the rank of Second Lieutenant in Reserve and engaged in a number of duties/activities completely unrelated to academia.

My PhD

Having worked in both the public and private sectors, I realised I prefer academic environments mainly because of the freedom afforded in the way tasks are completed. I also love that staying in academia puts me at the forefront of scientific research; giving me the opportunity to actively contribute in expanding human knowledge.

My PhD programme involves the development of extra-solar planet detection methods using data from Kepler, a NASA space observatory, with the ultimate goal being the discovery of Earth-like planets.

I am thrilled at the prospect of getting to travel quite a bit in the next three years to attend conferences and summits and exchange views with people from all over the world.

And finally, I get to do doctoral research in astronomy! I really can’t think of anything more interesting than that!

Studying at Manchester

During my BSc, I loved the wide variety of course units which really held my interest and helped me to decide which field of study I wanted to follow.

Laboratory work was also one of the highlights, as it gave me the opportunity to experience the operation of a variety of equipment and experiment with materials under extreme conditions

During my MSc, I enjoyed being treated as part of the research group; there was a definite distinction between being an undergraduate and a postgraduate, particularly in that I was more responsible for how and when I completed work. To a degree, this level of autonomy was new to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The work I did in my MSc year was pivotal in being accepted onto my PhD programme. The project was challenging, but extremely rewarding in the amount of knowledge and practical experience gained.

The scientific knowledge and computer programming aspect were definitely the most important gain during my University years. Also, the ability to be an independent thinker was an attribute I gained, especially during my postgraduate degree.

Thinking of choosing Physics at Manchester?

I could not recommend a better University at which to study astrophysics than Manchester. It manages to combine perfectly an active scientific department that performs cutting edge research with a vibrant social environment.

Both the undergraduate and postgraduate degrees were challenging and mentally stimulating, but at the same time, Manchester is a city built around its students with regular events and offers, which help to alleviate the pressure and stress from the work.

In the end, my advice would be to work hard and play hard. Manchester is the best place to do both.

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