Student profile
George Bairaktaris

Georgios Bairaktaris

“Who said you need expensive equipment to prototype your projects? I have been using development boards, breakout boards and breadboards to prototype and start designing my future projects.”

What has your PhD experience been like during the Covid-19 outbreak?

Like everyone, I’ve had to adapt my work – in my case research – to fit the lockdown rules. I feel lucky that I’ve been able to continue with this, although in a different way.

How did you continue your research from home?

I tried to shift the focus to activities that will help me when access to the labs is restored. This included trying to improve areas where I’m weak with online courses. Also, who said you need expensive equipment to prototype your projects? I have been using development boards, breakout boards and breadboards to prototype and start designing my future projects. This will save significant time later on when I can fully access University equipment.

What kind of communication have you had from the University, your Department and supervisor?

Surrey’s bulletin on the Covid-19 situation has been very informative and kept everyone up-to-date with all relevant developments. Weekly supervisory meetings and project-related meetings are all very well executed and vital in keeping track of progress. At the same time, the weekly team meetings have been excellent for socialising, keeping in touch and sharing this experience with others.

What would be your advice to other students during this period?

These are a few things that have helped me:

  • Don't work from home: I’m lucky enough to have a spare room that I’ve turned into my home office which makes it easier to mentally move away from work and relax at the end of the day
     
  • Avoid the 1-second commute: Don’t wake up two minutes before work and login straight away. I make sure I wake up, get dressed, have breakfast and a bit of thinking time before focusing on my to-do list
     
  • Try to keep up your routine: If you normally go to the gym after work, do a YouTube workout instead
     
  • Do what works for you: We’ve all reacted differently to lockdown and the current situation can be very stressful. Don’t worry about what you are ‘meant’ to be doing.
     

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