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Getting the Most Out of Your PhD: A Panel Discussion

Professional Development and Learning Series

Event Details

Professional Development Opportunities

Location: Zoom

Date: January 27, 2021

Time: 2:30pm - 4:00pm

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 @2:30PM – 4:00pm EDT

Getting the Most Out of Your PhD Experience

Are you curious about what life is like as a PhD student in Canada? Are you thinking about taking your graduate studies to the next level? Join the Professional Development and Learning Series event featuring current PhD students pursuing their degrees within the McDonald Institute’s national network. You’ll gain insights and lessons learned from panelists and have opportunities to ask your own questions in advance or during the event.
Panelists may discuss topics such as:
    • Degree focus (theoretical astroparticle physics and experimental astroparticle physics)
    • Choosing a supervisor and/or research topic
    • Experiences from domestic and international students studying in Canada
    • Comprehensive exams
    • Skills development
    • Considerations for future career pathways

If you’re finishing your undergrad or Master’s degree in physics or a related discipline, consider attending this session to dive deeper into these important considerations for your future studies.


Meet our Panelists!

Bindiya Chana

Bindiya Chana, PhD Candidate, Carleton University

Bindiya Chana (PhD Candidate, Carleton University): I am an international PhD student at Carleton University working on the nEXO experiment under the supervision of Dr. Simon Viel. I am currently working on two research projects dedicated to different aspects of nEXO: LoLX and EXO-100 experiment. LoLX experiment is developed to evaluate the performance of Silicon Photomultipliers (SiPMs) based light detection system in liquid xenon. At Carleton, I am working on the commissioning and operation of cryogenic system EXO-100 which is focussed on condensing liquid xenon and performing high voltage tests in liquid xenon. The most exciting thing about being part of an experiment is that every day in the lab begins with a new challenge of fixing and making things work or sometimes planning out new alternatives and immense opportunities of learning and hand on experience. Apart from this, I love painting, cooking, watching cricket and historical documentaries.


Amit Bhoonah

Amit Bhoonah, PhD Candidate, Queen’s University

Amit Bhoonah (PhD Candidate, Queen’s University): I’m from a tiny island east of South Africa called Mauritius – the land of the dodo – currently doing my PhD under Prof. Joseph Bramante. My research is on dark matter, which is yet to be discovered but makes up about 85% of matter in the universe. My work involves, mainly, developing new models for dark matter as well as devising tests for identifying them. Another passion of mine, aside from Physics, is the animal kingdom and I aspire to see as many animals as possible in their natural environment, especially aquatic ones.


Matteo Puel

Matteo Puel, PhD Candidate, McGill University

Matteo Puel (PhD Candidate, McGill University): I am a Ph.D. student in theoretical high-energy physics at McGill University, under the supervision of Prof. Jim Cline. My work is at the intersection between particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology with a primary focus on dark matter phenomenology. Before joining McGill, I worked for almost two years in several experimental particle physics groups across Europe, such as at CERN and at the University of Trento (Italy), where I also earned a MSc degree in theoretical and computational physics in 2016. Besides research, I enjoy teaching undergraduate courses and being involved in the life of the McGill physics department, where I am now the main organizer of the weekly high-energy physics Journal Club. Furthermore, I love playing volleyball, hiking and travelling.

Daniel Durnford

Daniel Durnford, PhD student, University of Alberta

Daniel Durnford (PhD student, University of Alberta): I am a PhD student in astroparticle physics at the University of Alberta, under the supervision of Professor Marie-Cécile Piro. I work on the NEWS-G and SBC experiments, two projects searching for particle dark matter. NEWS-G uses gaseous proportional counters to look for extremely low energy particle interactions; my responsibilities have included the construction of a new scale detector at an underground lab in the French Alps, and now the analysis of the data we obtained there. The SBC experiment plans on using superheated liquid noble bubble chambers, and my research has been on measuring the response of such detectors to nuclear recoil interactions. My non-research interests include backyard astronomy and hiking in the Rockies here in Alberta.


Click here to access the recording of Getting the Most Out of Your PhD: A Panel Discussion