dr_ether: (Default)
So yes if you haven't paid attention to my LJ/Facebook/Twitter then I passed the viva yesterday.

Was it an easy day..... hmmmm. Sort of. I left Leamington Spa at 0945 and made two changes in order to make it to Manchester in time for my viva voce at 1330. I could have got to Manchester earlier but that would have meant leaving at peak time and so my train ticket would have cost double. Yeah £80 return!

Getting to Manchester I made my way to MIB. It was quite different heading into that building. Because I was all dressed up in a suit I just looked like all the other visitors that I have seen come to meet people in the building. Matt from the Popelier group came down to let me in to the building and then I was back in my old office finding out what had been going on since I was gone and what things that they could help me out with for one of my more recent papers.

Then it was time for the viva and I headed down to the office next to Paul Popeliers where the viva was to be held. It was good to see Alan Hinchliffe again. Alan was another of the ex UMIST chemistry lecturers. I took every lecture he gave in all 4 years of my degree and he was my personal advisor in the first year of my PhD until he was selected to be my internal examiner for my PhD. Thank god I get on well with him as it was good to know there was a friendly face in my exam. In comparison Nakul, another ex Popelier group PhD student had another lecturer, Rob Dryfe, be his internal examiner. Rob is a good laugh but in exams he is said to be tricky than the external examiners. Thus the nickname the 'Smiling Assassin'.

My external examiner was Prof Jonathan Hirst who seemed fairly nice. Rob Deeth,  my new supervisor in Wariwck did warn me that Hirst was quite clever. It turned out that Hirst's home town is Leamington Spa so it was nice to chat about the uni and the town.

The first part of the viva was not fun as I got asked to give formulas that I had written down in my thesis. I find those types of questions really shit as I don't learn formula off by heart but I do know how to dervive them and I at least understand them. But other questions were good as I got to talk about the more unique parts of my work and it's relevance. The latter half of the viva was easier as it focused on my work and considering a lot of it is published or in the process of making it to the journals it was rather easy to defend.

So after almost 2 and a half hours I was told to go wait outside, so I went and sat in Paul's office and had a brief chat. Then five minutes later I was called back in and Hirst told me I had passed and shook my hand. Alan was very kind as he had also brought, pre-wrapped, a copy of one of his text books.

And that was it. I was from then on Dr Handley. I waited about a bit as Paul, Alan and Hirst went off for a coffee, and when Paul came back we quickly talked about papers and he said that he was proud that I had passed.

So all in all not a bad day. Just very, very tiring. My brain felt very empty and squeezed.
dr_ether: (Default)
Ok so far the week has been great, and so was the last one.

On the fun side of things I have had the joy of taking Sam to Wendy House in Leeds. It was touch an go for a bit as Sam had been not at her best for part of the day, a shame as she'd been looking forward to going for some time. But when it closer to us having to get ready and go she sprung into action and soon I was off to Leeds with a sexy silver mini dress clad lady (epic win!)

Wendy House was busy, and there was a fairly large contingent of the Manchester crowd (well it's not like Manchester has a good goth club any more), and we met up with Sam's mate Mel, and also Becky who Sam knew from some time back. Over all worth the effort and Sam has proclaimed that we go again next month.

As far as work is concerned right now I have a job interview on Friday in Essex, had one telephone interview last Thursday for a programming job, got head hunted for a consultancy job yesterday and also a financial analyst job. I also know my supervisor got asked for a reference by the guys in Venice for a postdoc there.

Paper wise, number 4 is half done, 5 is my freebie and is actually just paper 4 but for a more computational audience. Paper 6 has just been started and 7 is in planning (it's a review so I don't need results, just papers to read). The thesis is now at close 50,000 words, 75% complete, and looks like this.

Chapter 1 - Introduction and Background - A history of water models from the last 7 decades of research and what types of things have been done to make significant progress after the last 25 years of computational models. Covers point charge and multipolar models, ab initio and empirical models, polarizable models and those models that have been developed using AI. - Complete - 13,000 words.

Chapter 2 - Methods - Overview of all the methods used in the work covering the basics of molecular models, ab initio calculations, Quantum Chemical Topology, Multipolar Electrostatics, Neural Networks, Radial Basis Function Networks, Kriging Models and Molecular Dynamics - Editing - 9,000 words.

Chapter 3 - Research Work - Made up of sections devoted to each paper I have worked on/writing now, includes
Paper 1 - Asymptotic Dipole Enhancement of Water molecule with increasing cluster size: A QCT Analysis.
Paper 2 - A Dynamically Polarizable Water model using Multipole Moments predicted by NNs
Paper 3- Beyond Point Charges: A Dynamically Polarizable Peptide Potential - part of collaboration work so this subsection focuses on the methods I developed rather than the results.
Paper 4 + 5 - Construction of an Optimal Dynamically Polarizable Water model using Multipole Moments predicted by Machine Learning : in progress right now and will be submitted at the end of the month - not inserted into thess yet.
Paper 6 - MD simulation using a Dynamicall Polarizable Water Model using Multipole Moments Predicted by NNs - started

Total Words so far - 24,000
Chapter 4 - Overall conclusions - not started

Chapter 5 - Future work

So yeah it's turning into a beast. This time six months ago I would never have thought I could put this together.

Well back to work for me.

November 2011

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