Thursday, 22 December 2011

The emotional cycle of change

You are right... this does exist, and when you get as low as you possibly thought you could, it's about time to realise it and do something about it..

So I took the first step and realised I ve hit bottom (of the current state)
I've been through anxiety, denial, fear, despair, panic, discouragement, but I think I am ready to move to the other side.

Hopefully you will see from the diagram I found (even though it is about investing- it is very relevant) that I am meant to be on an upward curve! 

It is now 3 days before Christmas, today was my last day in the office before the end of the year, and thankfully I have 'ended' the year on a high note..

I am finally hopeful for the future, I ve brainstormed, and I have started forming ideas for the year ahead. I have even formed a hypothesis and started collecting some data.

It is about time I acknowledge what I have achieved in the past year, where I was a year and a half ago, and where I am currently. What potential and future plans I am now able to have, and quite importantly, how lucky I am with the financial stability I have right now.

Sometimes it is important to sit down and do some self criticising. It might be a bit time consuming, but re-alighning your goals and objectives according to your current needs can prove quite important. It can give you a better understanding of yourself, and clearer directions as to what actions you need to take in order to achieve those goals.

I am actually quite happy that I ve hit my bottom before Christmas! I now have my holidays to think about it, and come fresh in January with more ideas in order to plan for the year ahead.

The Physicist

Monday, 19 December 2011

It's not Christmas yet

and I am feeling a bit empty...

I am unsure about some parts of my project.. the AIM..
and my 4 (yes FOUR) supervisors all want different things from me and my project,
and my confidence levels are decreasing, FAST...

On the one hand, I want this year to finish so I can start the new one..
one the other hand, I dont! I want this year to last longer so that the end of my research is not that close (ok I do have 2.5 more years but that's not enough...). I feel lost..

I know I am going through a cycle, I have read all those books that say that PhDs are emotional cycles, and that year 1 and a half is the lowest point, where you start feeling that you haven't achieved anything in the first year and the end is so close.. and that's EXACTLY how I fell..

I suppose I need someone to reassure me that I am on the right track, and that I will achieve something before the end of these 4 years.. but right now it just feels like the company is moving too fast compared to me, and that I will never be able to catch up, and actually move faster than them so as to 'create' something unique, and 'offer something to knowledge' so that I pass my degree.

Oh and I am sorry, this was not meant to be such a dreadful post..

The disappointed Physicist

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

I'm so excited!

I'm so excited about tonight! I'm going to an informal dinner with very important people in my industry!!

I've not had a great start to my day, I paid almost twice what I usually pay to get to work before 8, and I didnt even make it! Then due to a misunderstanding I was left with no means of transport to get to a meeting I had at 10am! So I was left in the office with all the cakes from the cake sale! Ok that wasn't bad ;) but then on my way back to London, I forgot to touch in my oyster card so I was charged another £6.50!!

I'm currently waiting for the group of people I'm supposed to be meeting at 7.30! Oh I hope they are a chattable bunch, otherwise I will feel awfully shy amongst them!

I ve taken a picture of the ridiculous place they asked me to sit, but mobile blogger wont let me upload it, I'll do so later on :)

The physicist

***Ok I need to update you on this post.. It's 7.24pm, I've been here for the past 30minutes, and you know what?? The reservation is for 8pm!! another half hour waiting time!
Πάλι είναι ανάδρομος ο Ερμής;;***

Sunday, 4 December 2011

It's our bake-a-cake day tomorrow

Tomorrow everyone in the office will be baking cakes and muffins and brownies and then sell them for charity, so I thought I would make them something different!

It had been a while since the last time I made 'troufes' and 'amigdalota' probably since I was in elementary school, but I thought, what the heck, I will make them some! 

So here they are:

Τρούφες με χρωματιστά ζαχαρωτά

Τρούφες με ινδοκάρυδο

I will let you know if my coworkers like them!

What desserts have you made recently??

The Physicist

Saturday, 3 December 2011

My first paper is published!

It's a conference paper, but so what??

You don't even need to be a subscriber to access it, so here it is!

What do you think?

The Physicist

Monday, 18 July 2011

It was Friday

last friday, the day after my friends' graduation. It was the Friday of my London Olympic games interview.

The day started pretty normal, if you exclude that I was unable to have a shower the night before and I had to wake up earlier. I had my breakfast and was getting ready to get into the shower when it got me.
My bowel problem I ve had for the past 6 years, which was much better during the past 2 months. As you could probably tell, my day's start was delayed by about half an hour. I was meant to be getting the train at 9.07, but I was just entering the shower then.

Anyway, I don't want to overcomplicate things, you get the idea. I started for my interview 20 minutes late, instead of 30 minutes early. On the train I realised that I could not access the map of the area on my smartphone as I did not have the newest acrobat viewer installed.

Great, I was late, without a map, but at least with a vague idea as to where I was heading to.

Without the map, but with a few lucky guesses, I find the venue.
Thank god the organisers were not so fussy about the time, they did ask us not to arrive early, so I arrived there with a smile, and said that I had an appointment for 11.00 (it was already 11.15). They gave my a blue wristband and asked me to continue walking towards the interview area, through a welcome area, where people take your picture, verify your identity, and introduce you to the magic of Olympic games.

At 11.45 I have my interview. My interviewer was very welcoming and reassuring, she made sure I was not stressed before starting the interview, even offering me a glass of water.
She did ask me a few 'interview like' questions, asking for examples of my team working abilities and so on, but she also asked me why I wanted to be involved in the Olympic Games.

I left the interview feeling very positive, with my hopes up.
I do keep my fingers crossed for that one.

On my way back from the venue I saw that I had received about 10 new emails, most of them advertisements, but one was from a sender I did not recognise.

Opening the email, I realised it was from the conference committee I had sent my paper to.
It went through the second stage!! 

The two reviewers sent me comments, recommendations and compulsory changes for the paper, but they both agreed that my paper will be accepted if the key issues are addressed on time.


And that's how my day changed all of a sudden in a matter of a few hours!

and now, 'heads in' - "Τα κεφάλια μέσα"

for another two weeks or so, I will be unable to take a day off.
I have to complete the changes, make a poster AND write my end of year report in order to go through the year.. FUN!

Well.. isn't that why I chose to start an EngD?

The Physicist

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Τελικά άργησα να κάνω ποστ..

Έγινε το κακό στην Κύπρο και δεν είχα όρεξη για ποστ.. Διάβαζα τα διάφορα που γράψατε, διάβαζα τις εφημερίδες, είδα και τις εκπομπές μαραθώνιους του Τσουρούλη στο Σιγμα (ήταν το μόνο κανάλι που μπορούσαμε να δούμε λαιβ στο εξωτερικό την Δευτέρα+Τρίτη) και ένιωσα ότι εγώ δεν έχω θέση να εκφέρω γνώμη, και έτσι θα το αφήσω ως εκεί..

Όπως λέει και η πρασινάδα, και εγώ το βρίσκω πιο εύκολο να αφήνω πίσω μου τα αρνητικά. Προσπαθώ να συγγεντρωθώ στην πραγματικότητα και να συνεχίσω.. Με βοήθησε με το θανάτο δύο παππούδων μου, αν και κάποιες φορές νιώθω άσχημα που δεν έκλαψα και δεν επηρεάστηκα όσο οι υπόλοιποι συγγενείς.. Ίσως να είμαι αναίσθητη, ίσως να είναι απλά ο δικός μου τρόπος να αντιμετοπίζω τα γεγονότα.

τελοσπάντων.. θα το αφήσω εδώ και θα επιστρέψω με νεότερα για την εβδομάδα μου!


The Physicist

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

I haven't abandoned this

blog, I am just going through a very busy period.

I should be back soon :))

x x x x
The Physicist

P.S το ξέρατε ότι ο μέσος άγγλος βάζει δύο 'φιλάκια' στο τέλος κάθε sms/informal email;;

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Aiming for 10.000

That's 10 000 words, unfortunately and not pounds (or Euros/Dollars).

I have devoted this weekend to finishing my personal development report, I started working on this report back in April, writing 1-2 thousand words, but I need to complete it now, as the deadline is on Friday.

The official deadline is on Friday, but I need to complete it by Tuesday at least! I was originally aiming to finish this today but it doesn't look like it. It's a stupid report, but it is worth 15 credits out of the 45 I am taking this year, therefore I need to complete it!

The good thing about it, is that it involves writing about all the courses I have taken part-in in the past 6 months, and the self-study I have done in order to become who I am today. It has been a good experience, I have to admit, attending various courses such as the presentation course back in April that got me so stressed and gave me a cold sore!

Writing a report about all these courses is not a happy experience, even though it does act as a reminder for the courses!

Ohhh ok ok, I like writing the report, but it is so f****ing long that it makes itself an-enjoyable!
One of my biggest problems is that when I came up with my development plan, I didn't really take into consideration the various courses I should be attending. So I ended up attending two courses that were for the same skill, and not attending any courses for some other skills.

But. But. It will be a good report. I am halfway through it, yes, but I have created a strong structure, which helps me write more fluently. I have also used a cool colour scheme and set up the different headings, therefore I wont have to do much work after I finish writing (and proof reading).

I just hope my manager and supervisors wont want to read it, as some of it is very.. vague and.. well.. very obvious!?

A year or two ago, I would never even dream to be able to write 10000 in 4-5 days.. now it just seems 'natural'. Has the blog really improved my writing skills? I know I don't write very often, but I believe that it has helped me!

I am just sorry that what I write is pretty boring usually! I still haven't gotten used to this blogging/writing thing..

I hope those of you in Cyprus enjoy your day off today (it's already Monday in Cyprus)
For the ones in the UK, it's back to the office tomorrow (and it's probably raining as well)!

The Physicist

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

On a lighter note

I did complete 2 weeks away (apart from yoghurt last week) from lactose.

I was told that I need to stay completely off for two weeks, before I start the testing, therefore I will continue without it!

The good news is that apart from that one day, I had no other major issues with my stomach! I have even lost a 1kg!
And that 1kg is excellent news for me! In the past I have not been able to lose weight. Even being on diets (from actual dietitians) did not really work, it would take me a whole month to loose 2kg and that was even debatable some months. And of course I gained all of it back as soon as I stopped.

I am quite excited right now! I want to get myself on a running schedule as well; I ve been reading a book about a person, very similar to me, who decides to get fit for a marathon, in order to raise money for a friend.
Let's see if I can make it.. Right now I am not sure if I can run for more than 5 minutes without fainting!

Oh I am so optimistic after each deadline.. I hope this continues through to my other deadlines this month!

x x
The Physicist


Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Another milestone

I have finally submitted my 'draft' paper for the CIBSE Technical Symbosium in September!

Of course it did take me the whole of last month to find the data, analyse it, and write the paper as a whole. Something I learned from 'core skills training' within my company is to review the performance during each project as soon as it finishes.
I will have to give it to me, I have been more organised than usual. I even managed to send my draft for review to my supervisors on Wednesday!
But even though I had a draft by last Wednesday, I stayed up all night last night to finish it. There are various reasons for that. Firstly I did not finalize my graphs over the weekend as I was supposed to, and I did not write the conclusion early enough. Also I hadn't checked the required formatting for the references thoroughly, and I was using the wrong one from the beginning.
These, on top with the fact that one of my supervisors only sent me his comments through at 2 o clock yesterday, requesting major changes in the results section, caused major trouble!

As a general conclusion I think that I have improved.
But I need to organise myself a lot better in order to manage my project more effectively.
For example I could have sent my draft earlier to my supervisors so that they could find the time to review it, in between their busy schedules.
While waiting for their responses I could have finalized my version of it, with good quality graphs and a template for the whole paper. This would have helped me save time when making the requested changes.
One of the reasons why my version was not finalized, was mainly because of my stress, keeping me from working effectively. Last week I spent 4 days at home, supposedly writing, but I was not really making any progress. I really need to find a way to avoid this happening in the future!

How I will follow this up? I will try to work in tighter schedules, so that for the next deadline, I do send my draft to my supervisors at least a week before the deadline. This will help all of us in creating a better result, and hopefully keep my stress levels under control!

Have a great week!

The Physicist

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Lactose Part 2

I tried..
I promise I did try!
For 4 whole days I had no lactose and I was fine! :D
During the 5th day, I had a piece of (milk) chocolate, I was fine then as well!

The problem though was today (day 7).
I had the impression that greek yoghurt was ok for lactose intolerant people. I actually thought that it helped my stomach.
well.. it doesn't help!

I had pasta; plain pasta, cooked in water with some salt and pepper, and rather than topping it with (halloumi) cheese as I usually do, I decided to stick to the lactose free diet and try yoghurt. as i said, having the impression that it would be fine..
It wasn't fine at all..! It still isn't actually! That's why I am writing this post!

Be careful with yoghurt if you suspect lactose intolerance..

It looks like I have it for real..
I was fine for a whole weak, and now I ve got all the symptoms again..
I did not even manage to finish the portion in my plate, I am so bloated..

Anyway..! I just wanted to update you (and me) on the symptoms, with the hope that I will remember it next time I feel tempted by yoghurt!

The Physicist


Friday, 27 May 2011

London 2012 Games Maker

I really want to share this :D

I have been invited to an interview for the Sport Operations team!
I applied for this volunteering role as a games maker for London2012 back in October and I only found out today that I have an interview!
It's so exciting!
I could not volunteer for the Athens2004 games as I was not 18 yet (oops!) and couldn't really attend Beijing2008 games as I was still working on my research for my undergrad degree.

I am so excited!

The Physicist



I have been having problems with my stomach for a while now (ok ok I wont describe the symptoms) but it started getting worse during the last 1-2 months.

I've decided to go to a gastroenterologist last week and after I mentioned that my stomach doesn't like milk, and I have been avoiding it for the past 5-6 years, but still have problems eating other types of food, he pointed that out that I am probably lactose intolerant. He concluded that after I could not point out which types of food cause me trouble, other than cheese and cabbage. He said that I probably did not realize my intolerance as lactose is hidden almost everywhere.
I did get a blood test, but it didn't show anything as I hadn't consumed any lactose products that day/day before.

What I have decided to do, is to stay away from lactose for two weeks following this adult elimination diet from 'Lactofree'. If my symptoms do stop during these two weeks, then the doctor is proven right, and I will move on to the second stage, of adding lactose slowly into my daily food intake, until i find my limit. (I might still be able to eat 'normal' milk chocolate! yeiii!)
If my symptoms don't go away, then we will proceed to more tests with my gastroenterologist!

It does sound like a plan doesn't it?

This is day 5 of my lactose free diet and I am already craving chocolate! But I have managed to stay away from it! I did have to eat fruit for lunch the other day, as they only had cheese sandwiches and no-one knew what was in there, but I am holding on!
I have had no symptoms up to now, some bloating came after I ate at an australian restaurant, but probably due to that stress of that day, and the meat that was unfamiliar to my stomach! (kangaroo)!

If you have any intolerances-allergies do share your experience on how you are coping with them!

The Physicist

Friday, 20 May 2011

I am in Cyprus!

Hello from the sunny Cyprus!
Don't worry, I'm not on holidays after all the whining for the tone of things I have to do! I'm here on a conference! It's the 3rd international conference on renewable energy sources and energy efficiency!

Yes, the decision was taken last minute, and I was convinced to attend because of the cheap plane tickets! But I have to say that it was worth it! About a 6th of the papers are relevant to my field, but I gained important knowledge! I did attend the rest of the talks as well and learned a lot of interesting facts and figures!
Most importantly I had the opportunity to meet key researchers in the field from Cyprus, Germany and Greece.

On a different note, I have a few problems with the poster..! It was printed but it has a white border around it.. And one of my industrial supervisors doesn't like one of the graphs I have used..! He remembered yesterday :/ I am a bit worried that the specific graph is kind of misleading but I don't have time to change it now..! It will have to remain like that for now, and I will remove it for the next version..!

Anw.. I'm going out for a coffee with my best friend

The Physicist

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Γιουνιβέρσιτι ταλκ- Αγαπητέ μελλοντικέ φοιτητή

Είπα να γράψω τούτο το πποστ στα ελληνικά αφού εν πολλό-αφορά τους Εγγλέζους...
Τες τελευταίες μέρες μόνο για εξετάσεις και πανεπιστήμια ακούω.. "πρέπει να γράψω 20/Α για να με πιάσει το Α, Β, Γ πανεπιστήμιο", και "κρίνετε η ζωή μου που τούτο", "μα εννά μου αρέσει τζιαμέ; Ή να πάω στο Δ λαλείς;"

Αγαπητέ μελλοντικέ φοιτητή,
επειδή ως μεγαλύτεροι ΔΕΝ είμαστε πάντα και σοφότεροι, (και κάμνουμε και πολλά ορθογραφικά) πρέπει πρώτα να αποφασίσεις ΕΣΥ τι θέλεις να κάμεις στην ζωή σου.

Ξέρω ότι δεν είναι και η πιο εύκολη απόφαση που έχεις να πάρεις, αλλά γιου χάβ ττου...
Και πλις, μην ακολουθήσεις τον δρόμο των προηγούμενων.. είμαι καλός στα: μαθηματικά/φυσική/αρχαία/αγγλικά whatever γιαυτό θα σπουδάσω μαθηματικά/φυσική/αρχαία/αγγλικά whatever.

ΟΚ μπορεί όντως τζίνο να θέλεις να κάμεις, αν το έψαξες και είσαι σίουρος, go on :) αν όι όμως, do yourself a favour, η σελίδα της ucas γιαυτό είναι εδώ Αλλά μεν μείνεις μόνο τζιαμέ!

Ξέρεις ένα περίπου τι θέλεις; ψάξε το, τι άλλο μπορείς να σπουδάσεις που περιέχει τα μαθηματικά/φυσική/αρχαία/αγγλικά whatever που σου αρέσκει, αλλά εννεν σκέττα μαθηματικά/φυσική/αρχαία/αγγλικά whatever;
Δε τα μαθήματα που προσφέρουν στο κάθε έτος, αρέσκει σου η ιδέα; εν τζίνο που επερίμενες; εννα βαρεθείς; ενθουσιάστικες πιλέ;;

(για παράδειγμα εγώ ήρτα αγγλία με την ιδέα ότι φυσική εν ότι είπε ο newton, σε πιο εξελιγμένη μορφή.. τραστ με, για το Νεύτονα άκουσα ότι άκουσα το πρώτο έτος, μετά... άστα)

Μετά που θα αποφασίσεις πάνω κάτω τι θα ήθελες να σπουδάσεις, είναι καιρός να σκεφτείς και το πανεπιστήμιο/ χώρα που θα το σπουδάσεις.

Ως τωρά λογικά, αφού πλέον εγίνετε φίλοι με την ucas θα πρέπει να εφίλεψες και λίο με κάποια πανεπιστήμια. Κάποια επειδή φκάλλουν μάτι ότι εν τα καλλύτερα στον κλάδο που επέλεξες, κάποια επειδή απλά έτσι..

(ασπούμε εγώ έθελα να γράφει ότι έσιει μαθήματα καράτε, αν δεν ίσιε, εν άννοια την σελίδα)

τέλοσπαντον, τα πανεπιστήμια στην Αγγλία εν 2-3 ειδών..

(όπως καταλαβαίνεις αγαπητέ reader εν αγγλία που εσπούδασα/ σπουδάζω σο εν θα μιλήσω για άλλες χώρες. )

εν τα πανεπιστήμια που εν σε μεγαλουπόλεις, πχ λονδίνο, που δεν έχουν κάμπους, και μπορεί να θέλεις και μισή ώρα να πάεις μάθημα το πρωί,
εν τα πανεπιστήμια campus που εν ούλλα πολλά κοντά σου, και χωρίζουνται στα πανεπιστήμια που εν σε μεγάλες πόλεις, και εχτός του κάμπους έσιει και τίποτε άλλο να κάμεις, και μετά εν τζίνα με το κάμπους που έν έχουν και πολλά άλλα πράματα εχτός που μια μικρή πόλη, με καμία tesco/sainsburys και μικρά pubs.

Η επόμενη απόφαση που πρέπει να πάρεις ως μελλοντικός φοιτητής είναι το πόσες ώρες θέλεις να διαβάζεις την μέρα. Τωρά αν έσιεις IQ πάνω που 140 όπου θέλεις πίεννε, εν νομίζω να δυσκολευτείς :)

Αν δεν έσιεις, και θέλεις να πάεις σε πάρα πολλά καλό πανεπιστήμιο, πρέπει να το πάρεις απόφαση ότι εννά διαβάζεις 2-3 ώρες την μέρα at least εχτός που τα lectures.

Αν διαλέξεις ένα κλάδο που έσιει λλίες ώρες μάθημα, καλώς, αν όι.. (έθελες μου φυσικές και πελλάρες) ετοιμάστου και για αρκετές άγρυπνες νύχτες!

Τωρά αν εσύ ρε φίλε μου, θέλεις να πιάσεις ένα πτυχίο για να το πιάσεις, και εν θα δεί κανένας που εσπούδασες γιατί εν θα έχει και πολλούς του κλάδου σου, ή γιατί γυρέφκουν τους με το κουταλούι.. ή γιατί έσιει εταιρία ο παπάς σου, είτε γιατί εννά κάμεις και δεύτερο πτυχίο/μάστερ.
Τότε φίλε μου, διάλεξε ένα καλό πανεπιστήμιο, που εννα σου διδάξει πράματα, αλλά εν θα σου φκάλει τον κόλο σου (με το συμπάθιο δηλαδή).

Το να αχχώνεσε για το αν θα πιάσεις Α ή Β έν θα σε βοηθήσει σε τίποτε απολύτος, το πολλή πολλή να σε φέρει πιο κοντά στο Β γιατί εν θα διαβάσεις που το άχος. Σο διάλεξε κάτι που εν στα δικά σου μέτρα, και στα δικά σου μόνο.. 

μεν ακούσεις του γειτόνου, που ξέρει μόνο το LSE (και εσύ εννα σπουδάσεις design που εν κολλά), ή της μαρικκούς που θέλει να μείνεις κύπρο γιατί εν πιο φτήνα να πάεις κολλέγιο (What??).

Αγαπητέ μελλοντικέ φοιτητή

κάμε το HW σου, κάμε την επανάληψη σου, και είτε πιάσεις Α είτε Β είτε C είτε U, ο κόσμος δεν χάθηκε..

κάτι έχει ετοιμάσει και για σένα η μοίρα/θεός/κάρμα/ όπου πιστεύκει ο καθένας.

take it easy..

και αν θέλεις και ενα τουρ της Αγγλίας/Ελλάδας/Αμερικής/whatever πριν αποφασίσεις, go for it :)

The Cypriot Physicist

Thursday, 12 May 2011


or What's up Doc?

I was not able to attend 'What's up Doc?' live, but I was able to follow it on Twitter. Have I told you how much I like twitter lately?

For people who don't know what Vitae is, please visit their website.

Let me continue from my previous post...
So my abstract has been accepted, and I have been invited to produce a draft poster and paper for the beginning of June. My paper will probably be called: 'Energy Consumption Prediction Models for the Retail Sector' and I am now thinking of how to structure it. 

Some part of it will come from my literature review, where I introduced the subject of my research, and commented on the work of key authors in my field. So I have spend the whole day yesterday reading my literature review, editing were needed and changing the reference style. CIBSE would like us to use the Vancouver style which is a numerical type of referencing, closer to what I was used to while an undergraduate, compared to the style that the department of Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough is using. I still find it difficult to remove text that I have written, but I will have to, as my literature review is mainly made up of authors outside my field, whose mathematical and computer ideas I would like to use for my work. 
The other part needs to be work that I have undertaken, and a discussion of the various techniques, models and benchmarking methods currently available. 

As you can imagine this has scr*wed up my gannt chart, and my schedule in general. BUT i would rather get a low mark at a coursework (which wont really matter for my final degree) and write a good article

Any ideas/suggestions/tools for writing a conference paper/poster are welcome! 

The Physicist 

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Remember that CIBSE abstract I wrote in two days?

I definitely do! 
and it did make an impression as we got accepted to present our paper as a poster during the CIBSE National Symposium in September! after it gets through the peer review of course!

I am so excited and stressed at the same time... It's a very weird feeling!

I am about to get published, therefore the excitement, but I need to produce a perfect paper in order to do so, therefore the stress.

Following my company's training courses, and the 'emotional cycle of change' I know I am at the partly informed- Pessimistic stage, feeling that I do not have enough time to do everything.

BUT I am determined to write a very good paper, even if that means that I do not finish my assignments for June.

I need this, I need to prove to myself that I am worth being here, that it's not because of the lack of candidates, or because of luck that I am into this position...

I know it's a short post, but I just wanted to share my excitement..!

Please do keep your fingers crossed for my paper :)

The excited Physicist

Monday, 2 May 2011


So how would YOU solve this?

It's a debate that's been going on on tumblr, facebook and twitter for the past few days, and I am wondering how people from different disciplines would go about this problem.
It seems very simple at first, complicated on the second look, but after some thoughts, it might even be simpler than it looks.

Please explain your reasoning as well..
I will present my thoughts next time I log in.

Happy 'thinking'

The Physicist 


Tuesday, 19 April 2011

My new Macbook Pro has arrived!

oh finally!!
I can now start working a bit more seriously! At least I have all the hardware needed :)

I am so excited, and stressed at the same time..!
It's good that the mac is here, but it stresses me out..
My next deadline is a month away, and I have done most of the work for it, but that's not my problem.

I have two deadlines in june, I have probably mentioned them in the past, but they are stressing me out because I need to write a 10k article for the one, and another 10k for the other one, describing the company I work for, and most importantly describing what I have done for my personal development! The personal development bit is OK, its a bit long, but I will be fine. I have attended so many courses in the past 3 months, they should be enough for the next two years :p
The cultural study for my company will be a bit tricky as not a lot will be allowed out of the company...

The difficult bit is the article. It is supposed to be a short project, about 150contact hours. It doesn't have to be directly related to my research, but it needs to be a stand alone project, and hopefully produce an academic paper by writing it up. In my head this short project is quite important, because I would like to be able to publish it, and as the perfectionist I am being lately, it needs to be quite good. Therefore not having a project title yet drives me crazy!

I really don't want to end this post on a stressed note..

So I will continue talking about the two training courses I have attended this week and what I have learned!

I have learned how to sit in an 'alexander technique' position so that I don't need to lean anywhere.
I learned how to breathe when I am stressed; to make myself breathe and relax every time I get panicky.
I also learned that good presentations are usually interactive, and that its not really what it's on the board that matters, nor what you say, but its the way you say it, and your body language.
I learned the 6 characteristics of a good news story.
And I found out that my mouth looks very weird when I talk.
I was also told that I do come across as confident and knowledgable when I want to.
That point was made in both of the courses, therefore I will repeat it.
People's impression of you, is the one you give to them. If you want to come across as confident, keep it in mind, be confident, act 'confident', talk 'confident' and they will definitely think that you are confident!

So whether you like it or not,
Now you have the impression that I am stressed, yet confident that I will succeed...

Is it true though?


The Physicist

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Its been 6 months since I started..!

I have completed 1/8th of my EngD!

It all feels very rewarding to tell you the truth. There were of course the inevitable low points, were I felt that I did not know enough, or that I was not doing enough work, but making a presentation for your 6-month review does make you realize how much you have achieved already.. Especially if your supervisors agree on that point!

So a lot has been going on in the past 2-3 weeks. I was preparing for my 6 month meeting with all 4 of my supervisors, while some restructuring happened in my company. My main industrial supervisor temporarily moved on to a more challenging role, therefore I had to restructure my presentation to update the person who is taking over, overnight. During that meeting we agreed that I did have something for my first attempt to get public, but the deadline for the conference we chose was 2 days after, so it did take a bit of running about and a lot of word documents being exchanged. But that was submitted in the end. Fingers Crossed now.

At the same time I have been preparing some information for a poster presentation I have to attend. My company wants the poster to feel 'theirs' and not be just like any PhD poster so I am working with a company designer this week. I will post my first digital version here later in the week.

I have also been working on an internal project, which is part of my 'integration with the team'. A project that should be taking a day a week of my time, but usually takes more! It is a the training material for our energy champions in store. For things to look out for, and things to check regularly, so it needs to be interesting but not very technical, which is the challenging bit for me. It looks like I am a bit too technical when it comes to the company, I come across as a geek usually, and hopefully as a clever person that they can't understand :p
That's where The Physicist inside me comes out when not needed! Imagine if I did not work amongst engineers how they would feel.. I am terrified of the thought!

Going back to what I have been working on..

As I need to be writing a report on my personal development, I have been hitting the training courses like mad, believing that I need to complete 30 days of training every year.. I need to complete 30 over the 4 years! #WhatAJoy! Since I have booked them, I might as well attend them, right?
So I am doing some core skills training tomorrow, advanced presentation skills (where they will actually film us and judge our presentation skills) on Wednesday, and then I have some Media training coming up on Friday!!

It shall be an interesting week this one!

As I have been enjoying the sun here in the UK, I will leave with one of my weekend pictures.

Enjoy the sun sensibly!
Try not to get too sunburned, especially without applying a suncream as it might hurt :)

The Physicist

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

I am going through a trough..

Lets put that Physics knowledge into action! (or maybe wikipedia?)

I am going through a low point in my research... I know it happens a lot and that's why I am not worried, but i need to overcome this situation as soon as possible.
Its been two weeks now that I don't feel that I have done anything important... All of the other EngDs at my uni seem to be very busy, they don't have time for lunch, but I am just not very motivated.
Don't get me wrong, I love what I do, but sometimes I let a lot of the surrounding factors affect me so much, I feel the weight of what I need to do, and the deadlines approaching and then I start procrastinating again.

This started again recently when one of my deadlines was changed to an earlier date, 3 weeks earlier from the original deadline. This of course increased the amount of work I needed to do, it was also right after I had completed a GANNT chart, in an effort to stop myself from procrastinating.
The result? Of course procrastination kicked in, and I can't do any work.

I read on #phdchat a few days ago, that people who successfully pass their viva are the people who successfully overcome procrastination... Well I believe that... procrastination is the main thing that stops me from working. OK OK i might have some form of depression as well, but I think the two are interlinked.

I wont try to be a psychologist to myself, I am mainly writting this post to explain to myself what I am going though, and that the work is not so much. Of course I can handle it.. I just need to relax, take it easy, and do some work.

I want to help a friend with his statistical analysis by the end of the week,
I have to prepare a poster for the 2nd of May,
A report on my PDP and a cultural study of my company (amounting to 10.000 words) for the 15th of June.
And complete a short project and write an academic paper for the 30th of June...
I have started the first one and planned the last two, but that's all I have done up to now.

I can do the writing, that's not the problem (for now) its the fact that I need to do a lot of work before actually writing up that paper, and I dont seem to find the time to do it..


The procrastinating Physicist

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Has it really been a week already?

Wow, this week just flied by!

I wanted to write a post tonight about photography.
As you may have noticed from my pictures, I am a terrible photographer, I take hundreds of pictures but I post very little on flickr as I dont want other people to see the terrible pictures I take. The ones I post are usually the most interesting ones, especially if I just want to post something, just because!

Its been a few weeks now that I found out about this photography club in my area. They meet every Tuesday, but last week I didn't really feel like getting out of the house, so today it really wanted to make the effort. Luckily the ladies from the office arranged a dinner for this evening, so we went out for food, and then I left a bit early to go to the photography club.

I have to admit, I was devastated when I walked in the room and realized that the average age in the room must be around 65. BUT but BUT the speaker, whom I couldn't see from where I was sitting, showed us a ppt presentation of his shots, and I was amazed! A very nice man, having shot incredible pictures! He shot pictures that could have appeared in National Geographic in the past 10 years, or maybe should appear in National Geographic in the next 10 years!

Honestly, amazing shots!

He said he used to use a Canon EOS 10D and a 30D but now wants to travel lightly so he uses a Lumix G1, or something like that, (I need to google the Lumix, I always confuse them) and he only uses two lenses. I mean.. I use two lenses and I can't take a proper picture..!
Of course I know that its the type of lens that matters :) so my 50mm one will serve me well for portrait, but I should be saving up for a zoom-wide angle lens...

I feel very inspired today, and since I have taken a few pictures in the past few weeks, I will go through them and see if I can find any ones that are worth posting.

I hope you are having a great week so far!!

The Physicist

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Lets get on with it.

So the reason I created this blog was to actually write down my ideas and thoughts about my project.

I have finished my first part of the literature review earlier in the year, so now I need to get into the 'actual' work.

I am not sure if I am meant to publish my ideas or not, but I would really to get some feedback here and maybe some brain storming if possible!

So I am supposed to be analysing the data of a retailer as I have probably mentioned earlier.
By data I mean energy consumption data, I have available 3 year's worth of half hourly electricity data (gas available on request :p). Now I have a short project to complete by the end of June (including write up) and I am trying to figure out ways of correlating the data.

Lets assume that I have got my head round 'R' (which I haven't), and I am looking to do some correlation analysis. What should I be plotting against energy??

I imagine my y-axis being in kWh, what would my x-axis be?

I can even try kWh/m2 on the y-axis, then again, what's my x-axis??

Am I being very stupid here? Is there something obvious that I am missing?

Any input is welcome

The Physicist

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Science Blogs (and my usual rumbling)

I ve always had an interest in reading, but since I have a daily internet connection I tend to read blogs instead. When I find something interesting I might even read it in bed, as I would do with a book.
I read anything and everything, from horror stories, to personal blogs. I like reading books such as Angels and Demons by Dan Brown, or even Heidi by Johanna Spyri, but lately I have been reading scientific and PhD-related blogs, such as 'the thesis whisperer'.

Yesterday I found out about this blog which is written by 3 of my former lecturers! I especially enjoyed this post as it describes how bad a PhD can turn out to be, and reminds me of how good my supervisor is! I would like to take this opportunity to thank my main academic supervisor, and my main industrial supervisor for being so kind and understanding and helping me develop and have high expectations! I am lucky to have two people that are being so supportive and different at the same time. They put pressure on me when I need to perform, they 'lead by example', they let me take days off when I need to, but they expect me to perform well and excel at whatever task is given to me.

As a person, I always try my best to succeed. Through primary and high school I was always trying for good grades, I never had the best grades, and never tried too hard to achieve them, but I was content with my results. At university as an undergraduate I wanted to do and see as much as possible, I was in a different country, with different people, facing different situations and problems from what I was used to and I wanted to make the most out of it.

I believe I did. I tried hard to achieve good grades and good results, but I was not always on schedule; actually I rarely did have a schedule. That way I often did not find the time to complete my tutorials on time, or start that report early enough and was usually faced with tons of work to complete right before a deadline or exam.

Maybe a cause of my procrastination behaviour is that I never felt I was rewarded as much as I should have. I got used to the 85/100 and 95/100 that I was receiving at high school, and when after a month's worth of work and a 'perfect' first essay I got a 65, I was devastated. I might have not gotten a higher mark than that in my entire undergraduate degree. No actually, I did, I got a 72 for a report I wrote for one of the authors in the aforementioned blog, and I got a few very high marks at mathematics as well, throughout my 4 years.

I took a year out of university when I finished my Physics degree, where I taught maths and physics to teenagers, and I learned that rewarding effort and good results, even if that's with a smile, always works. People will tend to try more and achieve even better results. One of my students went from getting a 20% as an average to an 85% after 3 months.

After that year as you probably know by now, I applied for a couple of PhD projects and I am now enrolled in one. My current supervisor is so different compared to my undergraduate ones. He gave me such high marks for my first two pieces of work, that now I feel more pressure to organise myself to produce a better piece of work for him for my next task.

I actually sat down today to work on my first GANNT diagram, but decided to write a blog post first!

If you would like to share your phd blog with me, or blogs you are reading, please leave a comment.

Have a lovely pancake day, and give all your love to the women out there, it's Women's day as well!!
Oh and gentlemen, please make those pancakes for your women, don't let them cook today :)


The Physicist

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

I haven't kept my promise

Its true, I managed to get overwhelmed with all the things going on around me.

I need to get better at time management.

Trying to be nice to everyone, I end up doing other people's work rather than my own, and this isnt working!

During the past couple of weeks I did finish my presentation after an eventful all-nighter when right after saving all of my words and images were mirror-imaged so I ended up doing it from the beginning.
Following that team day, I was asked to produce a piece of work for one of my colleagues, which could be done by the guys in India, but I did finish it on Friday at 6...

Then last week I was asked to do a follow up of that work, which is interesting by takes a day each time to complete (in excel..). I also put together a business case for my manager to convince him to buy me a macbook Pro, we will see how that works out. We have a meeting tomorrow to discuss my personal development plan, and my achievements for the past year, I hopefully we will discuss that computer purchase as well.

On Thursday I did travel up to Loughborough for my statistics course. I have to admit, its much more fun and understandable when you actually attend the lecture, rather than trying to understand it by reading the notes.

It was my birthday on Friday so I took the day off and went to my old university, to celebrate with my friends! Fun weekend!! There was a costume-themed party which we attended as well, with people dressing up as anything between sexy chiefs to priests.

I'll post a few pictures later.

Yesterday I tried organising my self to start my week better, but it looks like I am rushing around again. I spend the days in the office, looking around for stuff or trying to do basic calculations in excel, but what I should be doing is to try to learn how to use the programming software I mentioned in my last post, so that I can work faster and more effectively. I was planning to have produced some results by now, but the lack of tools while at the office keeps me back.
On one hand I do want to spend time in the office because I stick to the 8-9 hours a day, but on the other hand, those 8-9 hours are not spent as productive as possible.

Should I just tell them that I will be working from home until I get a new computer?
Its not just a matter of me wanting a faster processor, I do, but that's not the main issue. The main issue is that I can not install the software I want to learn how to use on my work computer(s). (Yes I have two, both with the same processing power. 1.5GHz, 512MB of RAM)

I will stop rumbling now, I was supposed to be at Ecobuild today, but it looks like I am gonna have to spend the day at home doing some work in 'R' just to show to my manager tomorrow how much easier it is..
It sounds like a plan.. I will skip the trade show for today... might go tomorrow if I feel like it.

Thank you for listening (reading)

The Physicist 

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Its been a while since my last post

and it looks like I got carried away.

I have finally finished my literature review, the first part of it anyway, and have mailed that to my university last week of January. I still haven't heard from them, I'm not sure if they have actually received it, but its finished for now.

I currently don't feel very confident about my literature review so I do tend to ignore it and concentrate on other things!

For example on Monday yes on Monday the 14th, I attended 'Digital Researcher' or #dr11 for twitter fans. I have to say that it was a lot of fun!

I think am computer literate, and I know how to use google for whatever I need, but sometimes you just need somebody else, who has used a tool, to point you towards it.

During #DR11 I was introduced firstly to a group of very interesting researchers! The vibe I got from everyone was quite different from what I am used to from my own EngD peers. I suppose this is because we are all on our first few months, and are all looking for information and tools, while the people in my group where all a few years into their research.

I really want to thank every single one of them, I will not name them, but if they ever read this post, Group 1A people, thank you!

Librarians are becoming my favourite people after #dr11 as well! I was a bit sceptic I have to admit... I always thought librarians were stuck in their books and did not really embrace technology, but boy how wrong I was! Librarians are cool! Most of the tools I got introduced to and I have already signed up to were suggested by the librarian in our group.

For example Scopus and Mendeley. Two tools I never knew they existed, but since yesterday I have been using Mendeley constantly, importing all of my pdfs and sorting them. (OK ok I might be procrastinating a bit, but I do believe that these will help me a lot during the next set of writing)

I have been using twitter for a few years now, I'm on my 2400th tweet on my original account, but I have created the @_ThePhysicist account as a more professional one, to go with my blog.
(lots of truths today!)
what I wanted to say is that, I thought I knew my twitter, but no... during #dr11 I found new ways of getting in contact with people, the #tags. I knew they existed, but I had never followed one before. Now I follow #dr11 #phdchat and #rstats, and I keep finding new ones!

Another tool that I did not know it existed is Python ( It was suggested that python is a programming language which can be easily used for importing/sorting and manipulating data. I have installed it, and tried using it, I have to say its fairly easy, as I have only programmed in Fortran before and I have already managed to make a few calculations! (I am not famous for my programming skills ;))

I have also been introduced to Prezi (, a fabulous tool for presentations!
I am actually working on my first presentation using it right now. I started it yesterday, but due to procrastination again, I did not do any work today... it now 11.30 and I am looking to edit my first draft to make a 'presentable' presentation for tomorrow! (I am not famous for these type of programming skills either :p )

Will I ever learn??

I have been trying to organise myself since Christmas. I know have a task list, even though its not complete, and I do try to stick to my deadlines.
My problem with that though is that I tend to focus on stuff that are not on my list. For example all these tools. I did not have on my list that I had to learn how to use new tools, but I keep doing so!
Any suggestions for improving my task lists? or for project management in general?

Before I log off and try to finish my presentation,
I want to say that I will try to post more often, it was suggested to do so at least once a week.
I will use this blog as my research notebook, as it is an easier way of having my notes and thoughts all in one place.
I will probably still use my A4 notebook as well, but as it is getting thicker and heavier, I am trying to avoid any back pains!

Talk to you soon

The Physicist

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Science Museum

Since the science museum started following my tweets on twitter (you can follow me here) I will take this opportunity to talk about my experiences there.

'Science museum' sounds like a very geeky place to visit. Even though I was studying for my degree at that time, I still thought it was very geeky to visit. Situations brought it, and I was in the area visiting friends at Imperial so we decided visiting, it was free, there were no queues outside, so we thought: 'Why not?'

As soon as you enter the museum, trust me, your breath is taken away. I am not sure if its the height of the interior of the building, or the size of the first exhibits that take your breath away, but something surely does.

Walking through the museum, you will definitely find stuff that you were not aware of, interesting facts and statistics pop up in every corner, ready to amaze you. That museum contains information on everything from the first computer to the latest statistics in genetics.

No matter how long you are willing to spend in it, you will never to manage to see all of the exhibits in one day. Of course if you have children with you, teenagers as well, they will soon find the dedicated game area for their interests and you never know, you might actually enjoy playing with them! I sure did! The breadth of games and activities ranges from general knowledge -trivial-pursuit-type of games to bridge building.

I ve only been in the UK for 5 years now, I ve visited the science museum 5 times already, and I am more than willing to go back for more. I grab every opportunity to take friends that visit the UK as tourists and spend a few hours there with them! I once took a teacher-friend-of-a-friend to the museum, he wanted to see how such a museum can be interesting for the young children of his class. He said that something like this is definitely missing from the area that he is teaching in, his students would enjoy themselves if they had the opportunity to visit.

The science museum provides you scientific knowledge, but it does it in such an intriguing way that every time I find myself writing notes on my phone, so that I can google things when I get home.

I just wanted to share a thumbs up and a big thank you to the team that conceived and created such an amazing museum!!

The Physicist

Thursday, 13 January 2011

why is ti easier to study at night?

Maybe 'easier' is not the right word, but why is it that I cannot concentrate during day time, but I can at night time?

Is it because I feel that the day is running away and I am trying to write as much as I can so that I dont feel that the day has gone by unnoticed? 

I am always more inspired at night.. I am more tired, and a bit more relaxed I suppose. 

I get to realize that the day is almost gone, so whatever I do is a bonus..

I really dont know! 

Any psychologists out there to enlighten me?

The Physicist

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

How to clean/descale your kettle without using chemicals

1. Buy the cheapest vinegar you can find
2. Pour some vinegar in your kettle, make sure it covers the bottom
3. Top up with water, until the minimum mark
4. Heat the mixture
5. Most of the salt should be gone by now
6. Shake lightly, just so that the mixture has a chance to clean the walls of the kettle
7. If the kettle is not clean by now, you have used too little vinegar, REPEAT with more vinegar (aim for approx 300ml)
8. Your kettle should be clean as new now :)
9. Pour out the mixture, fill it with water and warm it once more, just to remove the smell!
10. Please comment with your results!

The Physicist

Sunday, 9 January 2011

10 steps to a more productive weekend

1. No matter how tired you are, get out of bed as soon as you wake up
2. Put some cold water on your face.
3. Put the kettle on
4. Change into comfortable clothes, dont stay in your pijamas
5. Make yourself a quick breakfast that you can eat while reading the news
6. Read the news, check your facebook, twitter or your blog
7. Before you even finish your breakfast, switch to 'work' mode
8. Start working on your task for the day
9. Continue working for the next couple of hours
10. You have earned a break, enjoy!


Saturday, 8 January 2011

Happy New Year!

I suppose everyone is back to their normal routine already, I am due back to the office on Monday!

I just wante to say how I feel about this new year, compared to the old one...

This time last year, I was just starting on a new beginning, an uncertain beginning, a necessary beginning, a not fullfilling one. I had been trying for the previous few months to work in the UK, but the salary was not covering my basic expences, so I had to leave everything behind, go back to Cyprus, and try to make something usefull for the remainder of the scholar year.

I started my own 'business'. It wasn't really a business, I was skilled, I already had my Physics degree, but I was jobless, so I started teaching Physics and Mathematics to high school students. I have to say that I was lucky.. my friends and family supported me, and urged me to keep going, when at the beginning of February I only had 2 students and was not earning much. I kept going, my students had their first tests at school, not very promising marks. Then my other half reminded me that we had won a ticket to anywhere in the world we wanted, and we had to claim it before the end of that April (2010). I called Lufthansa (the company from which we had won the ticket, I will tell you that story at another time), booked the ticket for the last day before it expired, and gained a new strength..
I had a goal now... My life had a new meaning. Suddently, my students started getting better grades, I was more organised, more focussed, and was delivering the material in a better way, now that I had a month of experience. I got a morning job, so that I could top up my finances, and started saving money for that trip of a lifetime.. its not very often that people dream to travel somewhere, and get a free ticket to wherever they want.. I just had to save as much money as possible, so that we could enjoy our holiday!
End of April I find my self in NY, having booked an expensive hotel, enjoying my holidays.
At the same time, I had already approached a couple of universities for a PhD degree, and was working on my application form, on my proposal. Once more, I had a new goal to work towards to. I spend the next few months after the trip to NY completing applications, and talking to universities about what I wanted to do.
Mid-august to september, I already had a place at a university, attached to a studentship and was waiting for another one. I was accepted by UCL but I had to decline because the offer from Loughborough, along with the subject and the title was a lot better.
You probably know that since the first of October I have been working towards an EngD; with a task to analyse and forecast the energy consumption of a retailer, in the UK.

Therefore, this year finds me in a very good position. I have to admit that I am very happy to hold this position... I get to do what I like to do, its challenging, I am not very good with statistics, or programming, but I am working towards it. I ve got a lot of deadlines at the University, I have things to do for the office, I still haven't met all the people that work on the same floor with me. But I enjoy it!

I am happy, and I just have to say Thank you to carma. To all the people that put me down, and made me stronger, to all the people who helped me when I was down, to all the people who believed in me, and gave me this opportunity.

This might be the secret... find a goal, keep thinking about it, keep working towards it, and you will achieve it, even if you dont achieve it, you will probably find something better along the way.. its not Ithaca that matters, but its the road to Ithaca that is the most important thing.

Dream high, aim high and you will succeed

The Physicist