Thing 23

Oh wow I actually can’t believe it’s the end of the 23 things! I get a certificate and party soon!!!

It’s been a really useful exercise for me in making my online presence better and opened up my eyes to a variety of mediums that I probably would have never thought of before.

For sure I am going to carry on with LinkedIn religiously, and I am more aware of how my antics on Facebook etc. can effect my career.

Still not sold on Twitter to be honest but I will probably give it more time and effort.

It’s doubtful I will carry on blogging but this page will be kept up if for no other reason than to remind me of the many different “Things” that have been touched on for if and when it may be more of use to me. Maybe someone by chance will stumble upon this blog and find it a useful mode of learning in a fairly informal manner.

Thanks for listening (well reading I guess) through the weeks!

See ya.


Things 21 and 22

23 things is coming to and end soon, but this week we looked at life after the EngD.

*Research and EURAXESS

Do I want to be in academia or industry? Personally I want industry – it’s one reason why I chose EngD over PhD! So these cites may be less of use to me as they are based on research opportunities available that I may like. But obviously, in a company there are issues that they know are there and need research for! However, an interesting thing about using *Research is that it could be used as a method for seeing what others are doing now. Check that nobody else is planning on doing the same as me… or be naughty and use it as an idea and start a research race… Nah I wouldn’t do that would I?

My website(s)

So what happens when people I apply to try to Google me now? I typed in “Scott Matthews Engineer LinkedIn” and I was the 10th hit. This is much much better than I had at the start of the 23 things which can only be a good thing… if what is there is actually a good thing for me!

I’m trying to make my LinkedIn site my professional main page (as its OK for industrial profiles). So I have spend some time on making my profile look as professional as possible. I’ve got a picture that (although I think makes me look pretty fat) has a good work feel to it. I’ve filled out my history with projects and jobs, my grades and sorted my contact details out.

It’s still a bit of a working progress but it’s getting there. Need to think of a summary for myself which:

  • is less than 250 words
  • is written in a personable way
  • tells people who I am
  • tells people what I’ve done
  • tells people what I hope to do (in life and research)
  • explains my motivation
  • Doesn’t make me sound like an idiot who is TRYING to oversell myself!!!

It can be used as a link to other pages but clearly this blog isn’t written in a massively professional way so I have kept it pretty separate. But, if you think back a fairly long time ago, I made a professional twitter account. This has a link in my LinkedIn page.

God forbid they find my Facebook page! I have now changed the privacy to make it so people cant see anything but my name and current profile picture without being a friend though. That’s a start I guess!

Things 18, 19 and 20

Hey! So this time the tasks seem to be more about on-line learning, planning and saving. First, its about webinars, then online scheduling, and finally making use of online servers as a backup space.

Adobe connect

First of all for this project I had to understand what a webinar was -had never heard of them at all before this week. It seems to me that basically it is a multi person webchat where people can discuss differing topics in an open format… but don’t quote me on that.

Now to adobe connect. The uni have the ability to use this software if it is requested for. You can webchat, type, and effectively teach through “whiteboards” and document sending. It can be an effective method of communicating concepts to a group of people who cannot all be in the same location or as a means of explaining a project direction to someone in a more interactive format.

Looks like it could be fiddly from the pictures but it may be an effective programme.

Doodle polls

So after thinking about webinars and webchats you decide it would be better to actually be in the same room as the people rather than on the computer. How can you organise meeting people when you don’t know their schedules?

I guess you could be the annoying person who just keeps sending a new email to all and schedule around. But lets be honest, you will annoy people like that, and it causes a good chance for errors to happen. So you think you will just organise a meeting and tell people its time and location and hope they show up. Great! now you have organised food, drinks and a room and you are there alone because nobody was free….

The best thing to do is to try and ask people what days could be good for them in the form of a poll. Now if you are going out with friends then you do this by making an event on Facebook and ask whats good for people. But in the workplace you can’t really do that and not look like a fool!

In steps Doodle polls.

Doodle is a free event planning website which allows you to create a large number of options and invite all the people to partake in the vote. The people can say yes, no or maybe. Then all you do is go through and (fingers crossed!) there is at least one block which suits all… Or at least almost all. Send a mass email to all saying something like “thanks for competing the poll, blah blah blah, the event is booked for…”

Quick. Easy. Effective.


Onedrive, Dropbox, Googlebox, they are all pretty similar ideas. You “own” an account online which can store documents as additional external memory locations. As a personal file store, they can be ok (and very useful if you need a document but don’t have the memory stick etc. with you) but in my own opinion I much prefer holding onto the documents personally.

However, I can definitely say that Onedrive was a life saver in my final year group project. People NEVER wanted to meet in person, but I had to put the whole document together. Onedrive allowed people to upload their sections to a group folder which allowed me to download their work and create the master form.

When it works and people don’t cause issues it is amazing! BUT all it takes is a couple of people to attempt to edit the document whilst others are also editing and the whole system crashes and the work is lost! This is due to the documents online being active files and can be edited in the web-server. Another issue I had was with people thinking that the document online was the most recent when actually I had downloaded the document to my personal space (to stop the crashing issues), so people actively changing the online document did nothing to the final report!

So basically, this file sharing method is absolutely fantastic so long as people talk and work together!

Things 14,15,16 and 17

Sorry I have been late. Easter holidays came first in my things to do.

Open access and Surrey research insight

The first task this time was about sharing of research and understanding the impact rating of a piece of work. It was pretty interesting to read about and I would recommend the 23 things blog to understand it further if it applies to you.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been in the field of research too long and haven’t had a chance to write anything (let alone publish it!) so the task of checking whether my papers are in an open access format was pretty impossible.

However, when I finally get to write (and need my references) the use of Sherpa/Romeo might be useful to make sure I am not breaking any rules for the journals.

Research impact

Next up is to look at how you can know whether a paper is “good” or not by it’s impact factor. I’m going to look at three publications I’ve found during my research and see if it’s found on a range of websites and how many citations it has on each:

23 things


Above is a table of three I tried (I know its pretty dark but trust me its fairly boring!). There is a little change between the search engines but not that much. The strange one was that Scopus was missing the final document. To be fair, they haven’t got too many citations BUT these are pretty specialised literature areas.


A new version of finding papers might be through alternative avenues like blogs and other stuff. I am not so sure this is going to be useful to me and I am hoping people aren’t posting many papers about armour onto blogs. However it’s quite interesting that it now seems acceptable to find stuff from these previously avoided sources. For now I think I prefer the old school methods personally. Can’t go wrong with a bit of tried and tested methods… Then again I guess technically I’m meant to be pushing onto new avenues. I’ll think about it I guess.

Creative commons copyright

Onto the last bit. Sorry it’s been a long post!

Five Guys Burger

[Flickr photo shared by Lodigs under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license]

I had to find a picture from Flickr that was able to be shared with the creative commons license. Since I started my super strict diet before the summer comes all I can think of is good food! So the first thing that came to mind when searching for a picture was a MASSIVE GREASY BURGER! 5 guys didn’t fail me!

Now to just sit here and cry at the fact I still can’t eat it.


Things 12 and 13

Making and sharing media

Firstly, I looked at the idea of videos and pod-casts. I think most people have made use of these sorts of media (even if they don’t realise they have!). I’ve seen so many software walk-throughs for various things I didn’t understand using screen-casts. My old lecturer also use to upload weekly audio clips of his lectures so that students could relive the lessons.

As for me doing them currently, I would argue there would potentially be more scope for it when I get more confident and experienced myself. However currently I think it may be more of a case of the blind leading the blind!

On-line presentations

Presentations need to be interesting, there is no point in making people bored out of their minds wishing they were doing but listening to the topic be presented about! This can be fairly easily achieved when the presenter is in front and talking to the audience. They can be lively, crack some jokes, even have objects/tasks to be done in front of the listeners.

But what about the presentations that are not given by a person? The ones that anyone can find on-line. They have to understand these, whilst not running off to find something less horribly boring and must make the user avoid the temptation to play on their phones! How can these be made informative but also interesting and lively? It’s not easy.

One way is to use videos, colour schemes and images. Another can be to use newer presentation tools such as ‘Prezi‘. For my final year project I actually used this software to give the presentation a bit of an edge and to make it stand out as different. Granted, the presentation I did was relatively simplistic and did have me in front, talking about the project. However, the point stands that it was much more interesting than, say, a powerpoint version of the same stuff.

Here is a link to the presentation: Aspects of adhesively bonded wood for security applications

Obviously, if this presentation was to be used for online help, the slides would require more details as to the reason each bit is said and what it means. However, the example does show how much more interesting a Prezi presentation can be – and how much more freedom it can give you to be captivating to the audience.

Things 9, 10 and 11


Like so many people nowadays, I know and use Wikipedia LOTS. It is often the first port of call if I don’t understand something that is being mentioned, or as a reminder to me about things I should know but have forgotten. However, in terms of research it has always been said that it is a poor option to use, and is really not very trustworthy. That in mind, it can help to find sources that can be classed as acceptable for my writing and research – so I gave it a go, I looked at a few topics that are linked to my project and here is what I can say about the pages:

  • Digital image correlation: Had useful info on the basics of the technique and what it can do. From what I already know, I didn’t see anything glaringly wrong, however the equations I would be tentative in accepting without another source that it is stated in. There are 8 references with it which could be useful, as they (at first glance) look like genuine sources.
  • Kevlar helmets: There wasn’t a specific page on Kevlar helmets, however the personnel armour systems for ground troops page appeared. It actually has lists of helmet varieties which I have heard of and actually has much more info that I would have thought would be there. Having said that, the references look a bit dodgy! There are 2 links to a navy website and then a YouTube video… So trustworthy…
  • Call of Duty: OK so I’m a guy and so I totally love Call of Duty (CoD)! As such I found a reason to be searching for it in this task – my work is on military armour, so obviously I’ve got to understand war… right? To be fair, this link showed me why Wikipedia can be useful! It has tables and states for all of the CoD games made, and states details even I didn’t know about the franchise! It’s perfect to prove just how good this site can be for a method of initial ball park figures and knowledge. That and there are 57 references to either ‘back up’ what is said, or for me to find an avenue for further CoD related knowledge.

There’s a ‘talk’ and a ‘history’ tab?!? Who knew? Checked out the talk tab on the CoD page. It did make me laugh that someone wanted to make a point that CoD effectively ripped off Medal of Honour. But I think this could be useful for different topics of genuine scientific argument. It also could show me if there is any people with a view that goes against what many except to be correct – I’m thinking the history tab could be very similar.


Yep well this would have been pretty useful for my 6 month report as a literature review! Instantly I found a presentation on digital image correlation (DIC), which would have helped me massively! It also had a VERY simplistic presentation on Kevlar uses – OK so I wouldn’t have used the stuff directly BUT it really could have helped me with a starting point.

Oh well live and learn!


I probably should start using a referencing site soon, as the papers begin to increase, as I read stuff and then forget where from if I haven’t put it straight in a word document. I am going to start using RefWorks I think – basically because its what the library guys at the uni told us to use during our induction.


So I fail at writing so I’ve been trying to do little tasks to get into writing moods and start thinking of ways to express what I need to say as quick and correctly as possible!

To do this I tried dabbling in the art of Haiku poems about composite materials… Don’t judge too hard!

For those who don’t know, a Haiku is a traditional Japanese poem which consists of three lines and has the first and third line with seven syllables and the middle line has five. Luckily for me they don’t tend to rhyme! So here goes…

First go

Two or more types of

material – one adds

strength, the other toughness

Second go

Many fibre placed

within a matrix to give

high strength and stiffness

Third go

High strength and stiffness

has many applications

hard guessing failure

Forth go (this is my favourite! It links to my work)

How can breaks be seen?

It’s an ongoing issue.

Scans? Sound? Light? Maybe…