Career Choices – Hosted by CDE

Career Choices for Computer Science Doctoral Students

Thank you so much to everyone who came along to this event and made it such a success.

Click here to check out the photos

CDE Celebration Dinner – 18th May 2023


WhenWhere & What to BringWhy AttendProgramme
FacilitatorsTravel & AccommodationSocial MediaJoining Instructions


Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th May 2023


One Birdcage Walk

We are thrilled to be able to bring this event to you within the fabulous surroundings of One Birdcage Walk, London. Overlooking the beautiful St James’s Park, One Birdcage Walk combines original period features, unique heritage, modern technology and excellent customer service.

One Birdcage Walk was originally built to be the home of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, formed in Birmingham in 1847.

Find out more about this impressive building’s history.

What to Bring

Smart phone/device or laptop 

Overnight Toiletries (for those with overnight accommodation)

Why Come Along?

Feedback from CDE, IGGI, MAT and AIM students was for an event that focused on planning and preparing for your career after your PhD/EngD. 

This event gives you the opportunity to gain a clearer idea of where you are within your career, reflect on your current competencies and interests, and consider what your next steps may be, whether your aspirations are to remain in research or to move into other areas. There will be time for networking and socialising with current students and alumni, as well as invited industrial partners.   


Time / Date09.00 – 12.3012.30 – 13.3013.30 – 17.0018.30 – 20.30
Wednesday 17th May 2023All participants travel to the venueLunchSession One: Confident Communication Improv Workshop

Facilitators: Dr. Natasha Bye and Dr. Anamaria Weston
Dinner – All attendees invited
Ping Pong Dim Sum Southbank
Thursday 18th May 2023Session Two: Career Choices for Doctoral Researchers
Facilitators: Vitae
LunchCareer Choices for Doctoral Researchers
Facilitators: Vitae

With presentations from Guy Moss and Pierluigi Vito Amadori – Sony Playstation
Dr Richard Southern – Foundry

Supported by CDE Alumni
Event CloseCDE Dinner – CDE Students, Alumni & Staff
Churchill War Rooms
Friday 19th May 2023CDE Students and Staff Travel Home


We are pleased to confirm that Dr. Natasha Bye, founder of The Strategy Doctor and Dr. Anamaria Weston, Animation Techniques Lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University, and CDE Alumni, will be hosting an improv workshop.  Improvisation has a much deeper purpose beyond fun, comedy, and entertainment. Applying the skills learnt in improv can help people become:

  • Excellent listeners
  • Fantastic collaborators
  • Engaging storytellers
  • Great communicators
  • Confident people who thrive in uncertainty
  • Creative thinkers

These are all qualities that can help doctoral students to present and engage others in their research now, as well as take with them as they embark on their chosen career. 

Natasha Bye – The Strategy Doctor
I’m an experienced strategist, communicator and comedian. I’m an advocate for clarity, straight talking and humour in business & academia.  Whether planning or presenting, taking the time to think of your audience is what matters. I have learnt a huge deal from the talented people I have worked with and love to share my stories of successes and failures with others.
I am a scientist by background, with a PhD in Biology and Biochemistry. I have spent 20 years in the healthcare and nutrition industry.

I have enjoyed a varied career across Marketing, Sales, Medical, Public & Corporate Affairs and Comms. I’ve held Executive Director positions across Australia & New Zealand and UK & Ireland for Danone Nutricia, in both FMCG and Medical Divisions. I’ve held non-Executive Director positions in a Trade Body &  Taskforce.

I am a public speaker, improvised comedy performer and occasional stand up comedian. Most recently I have been teaching Improvised Comedy to Bath Spa University students. I’ve presented numerous awards ceremonies, given talks at conferences of several hundred people through to Board meetings and small team meetings. 
Dr. Anamaria WestonAnimation Techniques Lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University
I’m an ​animation techniques lecturer, researcher and storyteller​, passionate about creating characters (theatre, animation, procedural, AI), understanding different forms of behaviour and how they create empathy in audiences. I’m currently the unit leader for 3D Character Development and Character Animation Techniques on the BSc Computer Animation and VFX course, at Manchester Metropolitan University. Before this role, I did an ​Engineering Doctorate (EngD) ​in​ Computer Animation at the University of Bath, UK, within the Centre for Digital Entertainment (CDE). I have a PGCert Learning And Teaching In Higher Education and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). I am also interested in Improv theatre, creative writing, photography, video editing, graphic design, automata.

Day 1: Session One: Confident Communication Improv Workshop

17th May: 13:30 – 17:00

Facilitators: Dr Natasha Bye and Dr Anamaria Ciucanu

Doctoral Student Challenges: Communication of research to all audiences, interviews for jobs, VIVA, structuring and presenting ideas clearly 

Workshop Themes: 

  1. Confidence – How vs what you say, dealing with nerves
  2. Purpose – Why am I here and saying what I’m saying?
  3. Audience – Who is my audience, why should they listen?
  4. Clarity – What is the essence, what am I trying to put across?
  5. Storytelling – People connect with stories and characters

Day 2: Session Two: Career Choices for Computer Science Doctoral Researchers

18th May: 09:00 – 17:00

Facilitators: Vitae

Doctoral Student Challenges: Getting a clearer idea of where, as a Computer Science doctoral student, you are within your career, reflecting on your current competencies and interests, and considering your next steps whether you aspire to remain in research and/or academia or to move into other areas.

Workshop Themes:

  1. Career planning and choices: Building your knowledge of career options within academia, and how to identify and approach opportunities in other industries and sectors. You will consider your own career drivers and how your research-developed skills and attributes can be transferred to a range of career options. By the end of the session, you will have explored your strengths, motivations, and values; gained insight into the importance of professional development planning; and explored some tools to assist you in considering your own next steps.
  1. Job applications and interviews: How to interpret job adverts, draft different types of CVs, and tailor applications. We will cover preparing for interviews, handling difficult questions, and building rapport with an interviewer or panel. You will explore and develop skills to negotiate job offers efficiently. By the end of the session, you will have developed confidence in your ability to communicate and evidence your skills to an employer inside or beyond academia.
Dr Mario MoustrasVitae
Mario is a coach, facilitator and works in learning and development. A PhD chemist, Chartered Scientist and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Mario is also an accredited member of the International Coach Federation. With a research background and having worked with the research community his entire career, Mario brings a unique perspective. He focuses on leadership and talent development and delivers programmes that nurture better leaders and entrepreneurs and make their teams more productive.
In his previous career at the Royal Society of Chemistry, Mario led teams delivering programmes in industry, higher education and at the interface between universities and business. He has worked with leaders, researchers and entrepreneurs in many industry sectors, from pharmaceuticals to Government and Higher Education.

Frances Scott – Vitae
Frances started her career in genetics research. She made a conscious decision to move from research to working with researchers. She became a Careers Adviser, for the University of London, for 4½ years. During that time, she helped students, staff and researchers to decide and reach their career goals. Frances then became a recruitment manager for BAE
Systems. There she organised assessment centres and trained managers to interview candidates. Since 2006, Frances has designed and delivered workshops for researchers, in many organisations.

Vitae Workshop Presentation Slides

Industrial Facilitators

Guy Moss – Senior Principal Engineer at SIE Future Technology Group
Guy has been working in games development for over thirty years on both ‘indie’ and AAA titles. For the past ten years he has worked at SIE in Research & Development, in a department now called the Future Technology Group, working on PlayStation technology for partners including Facebook, Spotify and the BBC. For the past four years he has been leading a research team exploring the use of machine learning to autonomously play games.
Dr Pierluigi Vito Amadori – Senior Engineer at Sony PlayStation
Pierluigi Vito Amadori is a Senior Engineer at Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe (SIEE), London, U.K. His main research interests include imitation learning, reinforcement learning and autonomous agents in gaming.

Before joining SIEE, Pierluigi was a Research Associate with Imperial College London, where he worked on novel deep-learning models for multisensory brain-computer interfaces in simulated environments. He holds a Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering from the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, University College London, U.K.
Dr Richard Southern – Foundry
Richard is a Lead Developer for Katana at Foundry, and previously head of the National Centre for Computer Animation at Bournemouth University. He has undertaken research in many areas of Computer Graphics, including dynamical modelling, fluid simulation, geometry processing, virtual reality and real-time rendering. In collaboration with partners in the Visual Effects industry, he continues to develop high-performance and practical solutions to many problems related to film production.

Getting Here

One Birdcage Walk. London SW1H 9JJ. Contact: 020 7973 1248

Overlooking St James’s Park and located just minutes from HM Treasury, the Houses of Parliament and Horse Guards Parade.

Arriving by train – Closest mainline stations

Victoria, Waterloo and Charing Cross mainline stations are approximately a 15-20 minute walk from our venue.

Arriving by tube

Westminster tube station (5 minute walk), Jubilee and District and Circle lines

St James’s Park tube station (5 minute walk), District and Circle lines

PRGs – you will be contacted by your local CDT administrator regarding your travel arrangements.

Access arrangements

Due to the age and configuration of the building, every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate access requirements. Should you require assistance, please contact [email protected]


For those that have requested accommodation, this will be at the Holiday Inn Express Southwark.

What is available in your room

Hotel Amenities

Please remember to bring anything you will need for an overnight stay (including toiletries as these will not be supplied by the hotel).

Please contact [email protected] regarding any accommodation requirements.

Joining Instructions

You can find all the information you need in these joining instructions:

Full Event Attendee Joining Instructions

CDE Dinner only Attendee Joining Instructions

This is a guide for those attending the event, but if you have further questions please contact the event organiser Zoe Leonard at [email protected].

Social Media

Twitter: @centre_digi_ent,  @bournemouthuni, 

@BU_research, @DoctoralBath,  @UniofBath,  @EPSRC

LinkedIn:  @centre for digital entertainment,

@university of bath, @EPSRC

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