May 2017

Interning with Ensemble

This year I had a chance to become a part of the Ensemble team as part of an internship and collaboration between Lancaster University and JBA Trust.

My project was a combination of augmented reality and environmental modelling working to expand the functionality of an open source project called the Augmented Reality Sandbox originally developed at University of California Davis. It was a great chance to use and develop skills from my computing and environmental science backgrounds.

What made my time working with Ensemble especially enjoyable was the wonderful team both at Lancaster University and at JBA Trust and the number of opportunities to learn and develop as a scientist. Everybody had a unique skillset and it was very interesting to see how all of them were put together. I have got the chance to learn the importance of putting various skills together: from computing and science to design and communication. I was also welcome in team discussions and events such as a flood modelling workshop and talks by Prof. Keith Beven and Prof. Peter Young. Though I felt that my limited experience didn’t give me much to contribute they were all welcomed occasions to learn, meet people and collaborate. For someone like me wanting to use my computing background in another field this was an ideal environment.

Finally, let’s of course not forget the wonderful atmosphere in the team. Thursdays were cycle club and open office hour (complete with tea and cake) day. After some coaxing I joined Graham’s Cycle Club (the routes are never as short, easy and flat as he claims them to be) and got to discover some lovely areas around Lancaster that I did not know existed before. Furthermore, the open office hour was a wonderful way to meet other researchers from the university and find out about their work.

I’m very grateful for my time in Lancaster and the chance to meet everybody at Ensemble and at JBA Trust and to learn so many new things. I am now preparing to start my PhD in forest modelling at Western Sydney University and the last few months have been invaluable for me in my career!


Author: Elisa Stefaniak