Doctoral Colloquium 23 March 2023

PhD students with an interest in AT are invited to take part in our Doctoral Colloquium Thursday 23rd March 2023 at Loughborough London, Here East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.

If you're a UK-based PhD student, we would like to invite you to take part in the TIDAL Network+ Doctoral Colloquium 2023 on Thursday 23rd March 2023, at Loughborough London, Here East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.  

There are only 30 places so to make sure you don't miss out. Complete this form right away and no later than Friday 3rd March 2023, if you would like to attend.


  • Connect PhD students with an interest in AT with one another, and with research and ideas in the field
  • Share experiences
  • Peer support
  • Networking
  • Practise presenting and get supportive feedback
  • Insights into the PhD and post-PhD journey from our guest speakers, who will give informal presentations about their own journeys from PhD to where they are now

Here’s what one delegate had to say about last year’s colloquium:

A well organised event, the format of the day allowed for everyone to mingle well and to make new contacts. Presentations were interesting and engaging and it was excellent to hear from speakers who had been through or currently engaged in their PhDs. Especially great to share the ups and downs as well as tips and advice.

We have listened to all the feedback from our first doctoral colloquium last September and this time we're starting earlier so that we can build in more discussion time, and we will be providing additional and more structured networking opportunities.

See below for the agenda and speaker biogs.

When and where

  • Thursday 23rd March from 10.30am to 5.00 pm.
  • At Loughborough London, Here East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.  

Travel and accommodation expenses

  • We can reimburse 2nd class rail travel expenses from within the UK, if you have no other source to claim from.
  • For those travelling long distances from within the UK we can contribute to the cost of hotel accommodation if the earliest train on the day would arrive too late for the start of the event (for example, those coming from Strathclyde). The amount we can contribute will depend on how many people need assistance but will not be more than £150 + VAT (room only) as this is the maximum permitted by UCL’s expenses policy.  We hope that we will be able to meet the full cost up to £150 + VAT.
  • We will send you further details of what you can claim for travel and/or accommodation, and relevant UCL expenses policies when we confirm that you have a place.
  • Please do not book travel or accommodation until we have confirmed that you have a place.

Open slots

If you would like to have one of the 20-minute open slots, please indicate when you register for the colloquium. They will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. The open slots are an opportunity to:

  • Present some of your work and get feedback on your presentation
  • Share and discuss any particular research challenges you may be experiencing and ask for input from the group
  • Share ideas and plans and ask for contacts and connections who may be able to help or advise


10.30 to 11.00 – arrival, refreshments and informal networking 

11.00 to 11.15 – Cathy Holloway - Intro to TIDAL N+  

11.15 to 12.00 – speed networking in groups around tables1

12.00 to 12.15 – quick comfort break 

12.15 to 12.50 - Presentation 1 – Tigmanshu Bhatnagar. Presentation / discussion: 20 mins presentation + 15 mins Q&A  

12.50 to 13.25 – Presentation 2 – Rhys Williams. Presentation / discussion: 20 mins presentation + 15 mins Q&A 

13.25 to 14.15 – lunch – informal networking

14.15 to 14.50 – Presentation 3 – George Kayanga.  Presentation/discussion: 20 mins presentation + 15 mins Q&A. 

14.50 to 15.25 – Presentation 4 – Marisa Sargant. Presentation/discussion: 20 mins presentation + 15 mins Q&A. 

15.25 to 15.35 – refreshments / comfort break  

15.35 to 16.55 - Open slots for delegates to present or share & get supportive feedback 

15.35 to 15.55 – Slot 1 - 10 mins + 10 mins feedback / Q&A 

15.55 to 16.15 – Slot 2 - 10 mins + 10 mins feedback / Q&A 

16.15 to 16.35– Slot 3 - 10 mins + 10 mins feedback / Q&A 

16.35 to 16.55 – Slot 4 - 10 mins + 10 mins feedback / Q&A 

16.55 – Closing remarks - Cathy 

17.00 – Close 


George Kayanga

George is a Doctoral Researcher at Loughborough University London, Department for Design Innovation, focusing on Innovation and Public Policy within Assistive Technology Ecosystems in Africa.  Before joining Loughborough University, he was a Communication and Project Management Specialist and has over 20 years of experience working with various NGOs at national, regional, and international levels. He will be talking about his experiences of research and practice in the field.

Marisa Sargant

Marisa completed her MSc in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde in 2017, before continuing her academic career within the area of rehabilitation engineering. Her main area of interest is prosthetics with a particular focus on lower-limb amputees and soft tissue health. As part of a multi-disciplinary research group, she is currently working towards the evaluation of the limb's response to loading by combining anatomical, physiological, and biomechanical know-how and techniques on various organisational levels, from cells over tissues through to the entire limb. Marisa will be sharing her experiences as a PhD candidate.

Tigmanshu Bhatnagar

Tigmanshu is a product designer, currently a PhD student at the Global Disability Innovation Hub and the UCL Interaction Centre. His interest lies in designing and developing effective products and technologies with people with disabilities.  His PhD thesis focuses on haptic displays for sensory substitution. He will be talking about his experiences as a PhD student, which over the last year have included developing a refreshable braille and graphical display interface for blind and partially sighted people, and supporting multiple modules of the Disability Design and Innovation Masters programme at UCL.

Rhys Williams

Rhys works for Meta (Facebook) as a Senior UX Researcher, exploring how to improve existing products, and avenues for new product development and innovation. Before joining Meta, he was Head of Innovation Insights at GDI Hub and taught product development on the MSc Entrepreneurship at UCL’s School of Management.  His PhD research investigated the user experience of lower-limb prosthetics using mixed methods to comprehensively explore the reality of life with a prosthetic. He will be talking about his personal journey and experiences of moving from academia into industry.


  • There are 30 places.
  • If you would like to attend, please complete this form right away, and no later than Friday 3rd March 2023.
  • The form asks you how much your train ticket will be, so please check this before you start your application. This is just to help us budget and we appreciate it may change slightly depending on when you book.
  • Please do not book your travel/accommodation until we have confirmed that you have a place.