“I would like to nominate Professor Dominik Weiss from the Earth Science and Engineering department for the best supervision award. He is just a great guy and I am lucky to have him as my supervisor! I am coming towards the end of my PhD and I couldn’t have done it without him.
Dominik has always been there to support me throughout my PhD. He provides just the right amount of advice to push me in the right direction without taking over or preventing me from learning new things. He is extremely open to collaborating with different people from all over the world, by both suggesting people to collaborate with, and by allowing us to find our own collaborators. For example, he has helped me to collaborate with Gaussian, a company which develops the software I use for my computational chemistry calculations. My research was supposed to focus on experimental methods, but because I was interested in computational chemistry, he actively encouraged me to develop my skills in this area. He went outside his comfort zone to learn this discipline with me, and how to apply it to environmental problems. This is a trait of all great researchers and supervisors. He has now incorporated the discipline into other PhD student projects.
He encourages all his students to explore areas outside of academia. He regularly tells us about internships he comes across which he thinks we will find interesting. I ended up doing a 6 month internship at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy which provided useful insights to life outside of academia. He supported me when it looked like there would be funding issues, and did everything in his power to make sure I could do it.
The most important thing though is that he always puts us first before the research. He always wants us to have a good work-life balance. This can often be forgotten by PhD students like me who get absorbed in their research! His door is open regardless of whether you want to discuss research or a personal issue.
Ultimately, he is no longer a supervisor, but a lifelong friend.”
“As a supervisor, Dominik is so generous with his time. He always finds a way to fit in a meeting to discuss a problem you may be having with research or to write a letter of recommendation for a grant you might have applied for. Equally, if he needs to set aside a whole day/week to come down to the lab and help you, he will. He is always prompt at marking reports and giving feedback on drafts of papers. Even when he is out of the country on a visit to another institution or on a well-earned break, he will still be contactable. He also recognises where a problem is beyond his field of expertise and will introduce us to another academic at the college or beyond who is better suited to help (I am currently on a 9-week research trip at the University of Valencia, learning a new electrochemical technique).
Beyond purely academic supervision, Dominik is a genuinely kind person who always looks to see the best in the situation - for example, even when our lab flooded, he was able to see the brighter side and joked about the opportunity it presented to give it a good clean. He takes an interest in the lives of his doctoral students outside of the college and is a pleasure to share a coffee with (and he always buys the coffees).”