Fourth annual ICUR attracts 400 presenters

Professor Andrew Coats at the University of Warwick

After an estimated 400 impressive presentations in 48 hours, the International Conference of Undergraduate Research (ICUR) has closed for another year.

The fourth annual Monash Warwick Alliance initiative saw presenters from a wide range of disciplines communicate their research to an attentive global audience. The unique student-led event gives undergraduates the opportunity to develop valuable presentation skills and strengthen their interest in research.

An ICUR host from the University of Warwick said an important benefit of the event was networking opportunities available.

“It’s wonderful to see so many people making connections and hopefully, after this, people will be able to go and really use those connections to help them progress their research,” the host said.

L-R: Bernard Keo, Monash University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AO, Lara Howden and Stephanie Neal

Monash University industrial design student Rosario Ripper, a presenter at ICUR, said the experience showed him the importance of being able to communicate complex technological terms to a broad and diverse audience.

“I was fortunate to be a part of one of the most diverse (in terms of fields of studies) panels of ICUR. We were all a part of a similar theme, Vision. However, we were all looking at entirely different aspects of Vision and also looking at the theme from the perspectives of our fields of study,” he said.

The keynote speaker of ICUR 2016 was Academic Vice President and Director of the Alliance, Professor Andrew Coats. Speaking at the University of Warwick, Professor Coats emphasised the importance of research at the undergraduate level, and encouraged students to be questioning in their approach to research, and to accept failure as an opportunity for improvement.

“Failure is a crucial part of the process. You will fail many, many times. But that’s the exciting bit – when a failure makes you question what you thought you knew or makes you try a different approach” said Professor Coats.

Professor Coats described research as a criss-cross of disciplines, methods and end goals, rather than a linear process that exclusively produces career researchers who go on to work in singular disciplines.

ICUR organisers would like to thank the technology teams at both universities for their continued support of the event.

Formed in early 2012, the Monash Warwick Alliance represents an innovation in higher education and research and aims to accelerate the exchange of people, ideas and information between Monash University and the University of Warwick.