They grow up so fast – PhD viva edition!
On Thursday my first PhD student Valentina Iorio defended her thesis at her viva voce examination. An incredibly proud day for her and for her supervisor (I,e. Me!)
It was a thoroughly unusual day; due to a clash in commitments of her external examiner, Vale, myself and the internal examiner Dr Simon Tew traveled up to the university of Dundee on thurs morning. In essence, a reverse viva then took place with the “external” examiner Prof Irwin McLean hosting us in his dept. Valentina gave a seminar to Irwin’s lab and that plus her thesis clearly impressed as the rest of the exam felt like a foregone conclusion and more of a discussion of what to do next rather than a defence of what she did.
In a circle of life type thing, Prof McLean was my PhD supervisor and so Valentina is not only my first sci “child” but also Irwin’s first “grandchild”. Valentina was also the first person to join my lab and has been instrumental in all that we have done. She read all my first grants and taught everyone who followed how to do things. In the last few months since leaving the lab to write up and go on her honeymoon it’s been really apparent how much she is missed!
I’ve posted a bunch of other things about Valentina’s work here here here and here so for now it’s just time to say congratulations Dr Iorio!