Workshop: “Doing a PhD in an international context”

by prof. Johan Lagae (chairman Faculty Committee for Internationalisation, in collaboration with AIB & Doctoral Schools) and Dieter De Bruyn

Today, any engineer who enters the job market, will do so in an international context. More and more Belgian companies are active abroad and many foreign players develop activities in Belgium and Flanders. Even those engineers who stay in their home country, will inevitably operate in a world that has become a global one. Not surprisingly, internationalisation is gaining in prominence in discussions on the education and training of engineers.

This workshop focuses on internationalization in the curriculum of PhD students: What forms of internationalization are relevant and accessible to them? What kind of schemes are available for funding short and/or long term international mobility, for instance, to do lab research abroad? How do you set up a workplan on internationalization as part of your own PhD research? And where can you find support on these matters, both within the Faculty and the UGent? But we also will discuss what it means to acquire intercultural skills.

A part from an informative section and some testimonials of current PhD and postdoc researchers, the workshop will include an interactive discussion in order to bring to the fore the needs and expectations of PhD-students within the FEA. This should allow us to develop a more fine-tuned internationalization policy for this particular community. To that end, we invite participants to mail us specific questions and suggestions for topics they would like to see addressed. You can mail these to

Workshop: “The little book of secrets: Parallel sessions for junior researchers”

by FEA post-docs

Sessions for junior doctoral researchers (less than 2 years of experience) are concentrating on the participants' research experiences and the day-by-day problems encountered. Within each parallel session, active participants give a 3-minute presentation to briefly present their research and highlight the issues they are dealing with, in order to trigger the discussion afterwards. We have accommodated each parallel discussion session with a number of postdocs from different departments. Because of their experience in obtaining a PhD, they have the perfect profile to warn starting researchers for the pitfalls they are and will be facing. Their job is to guide the interaction among presenting researchers and the supportive audience that is encouraged to take part in the discussion.

Workshop: “Taking your innovations to market”

by Karen Boers (

You've been living and breathing innovation for years now. Why not consider an entrepreneurial career and take those innovations to market yourself? Based on real-life examples, we will discuss how to look at technology from a customer perspective and gather a team that will help you walk the mile. You will find out why the art of pitching is key in securing customers as well as investors and get some hands-on practice!

Workshop: “Impact is Coming”

by Esther De Smet (senior policy advisor at Research Department and curator of @ResearchUGent)

The cold steep Wall of Academia seems to have been guarded for many years now. Once in a while some find the cracks or hidden exits. But you still feel that you know nothing and that a scientist should always pay his debts. Despair no longer - help is at hand. Join Esther for a workshop that will take you on a quest discovering how your research can make a difference for the realms of men. Learn who is friend or foe. Choose your weapons and awake the social dragon within you. Because impact is coming.

Workshop: “Communication with persuasion”

by Sven Van Cleemput (Cameleon Training)

In research, technical data and numbers are everywhere, but not every idea gets spread. Still today, the main challenge lies in communication. Through this action-oriented workshop you will learn how to increase your ability to influence and communicate your ideas with persuasion. Not only will you learn how to increase your authority without saying a word, you will also learn how to increase your influence in discussions, debates and Q&A. Influence guaranteed!

FEA Innovation Track (iTrack) kick-off

by Stijn Matthys

Get to know iTrack, the FEA Innovation Track which supports the entrepreneurial mindset of our faculty's research community! iTrack emphasizes the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship for our engineering faculty, and acts on the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Ghent University for both researchers and students under the adage 'Dare to Venture’ (Durf Ondernemen).

Plenary speaker: Ruben Mersch

Ruben Mersch (1976) is a philosopher and biologist. In the first 10 years of his career, he worked as a computer scientist in the pharmaceutical industry. With his book "Oogkleppen", he opened the eyes of many people. We like to think we are rational beings, we certainly know what we think we know, but is that true? "Why we are all idiots" is the subtitle of the book.

Ruben Mersch in DS: "I do not want to offend anyone. I, myself, am with blinders on the cover of my book, because I'm an idiot as well. Every day we make decisions based on reasoning errors. I have no illusions, we will continue to make them. But if you recognize them, you might make less, or not at moments that really matter. (...) The book is a reckoning with absolute certainty. We would rather be convinced of something wrong, then admit that we do not know anything".