"The First Network Meeting was organized by NKUA and held in Athens within the facilities of BRFAA from 16th to 18th of January 2023.
The presentations held during day 1 were very useful for engineers who previously didn't have any knowledge on the anatomy and physiology. Hence, these presentations have equipped them with knowledge necessary for better understanding of the project purpose as well as the aspects that need to be considered while building in silico models. Personally, I have learnt more about plaque progression and specificities of peripheral arteries, an important aspect to consider when building multiscale models. The last presentation on PhD challenges and tips was very useful for all ESRs as this period is very stressful and the key is good time management and establishing a balance between professional and private life in order to enjoy the PhD and get most benefits from it for further career.
Presentations of the personal career development action plan of every ESR during day 2 have enabled us all to get to know each other better and I have understood that most of my colleagues have strong aspirations towards bioengineering, same as myself. The presentations held on day 3 have provided all ESRs as well as me with better insight into what are the current market needs and where are the best opportunities for both industry and academia. Following these presentations, the supervisors and ESRs have had a discussion on the most troubling question for early stage researchers: “How to keep the pace with research and maintain both research quality and publication quantity?”. The supervisors have given a great explanation and made us understand that publication of high-quality research is what we should always pursue, and publications will come as a result of that. Also, they have advised us on how to choose the best conferences and make the best out of the conference events for networking and establishing research connections worldwide.
Colleagues who are based in Athens have been exceptional hosts and managed to show us great places in Athens, so it is safe to say that we are all looking forward to visiting again. As I have joined the team quite recently this network meeting enabled me to establish a better connection with the rest of the team and I am sure that our future joint scientific endeavors will be great."
Lemana Spahić, ESR8, BioIRC