Michael Mangan

Michael Mangan, a PhD graduate in Robotics talks about his proudest achievements and how he learnt invaluable lessons in how to bring an idea from the research lab to a commercial product. 

Name Michael Mangan
Degree Course PhD in Robotics
Year of Graduation 2011

Your time at University

Photo of Michael Mangan

I arrived in Edinburgh during a gap year following my undergraduate studies, and loved the city immediately. I knew I wanted to do a PhD in robotics and was very happy to find that University of Edinburgh had a group specialising in this research, which I subsequently joined. The School of Informatics was truly inspiring and I quickly understood why it had such a renowned reputation. During my PhD I had the chance to interact with numerous top academics and students from a variety of backgrounds. However, I most enjoyed presenting my work at international conferences.

Away from academia one of my proudest achievements has been helping to form Edinburgh Hacklab, which provides a safe place for tech enthusiasts, artists and other interested people to come together and collaborate on various projects. Since its inception it has grown year on year, and has recently moved to new, bigger premises right beside the University.

Your experiences since leaving University

Whilst writing up my thesis I joined a colleague in starting a spin-out company based on his research. This was a great experience; we attended training courses at MIT and University of Cambridge, and were finalists in the Royal Academy of Engineering Young Entrepreneurs Award. The time spent in the start-up scene taught me numerous invaluable lessons required to bring an idea from the research lab to a commercial product.

Since then I have returned to academia as a postdoctoral researcher to continue working on the research initiated in my PhD.

Alumni wisdom

Give it your all, both at work and play. Mostly I never regret things I have done, more so the things I did not.

This article was first published in 2015. For updates on what Michael is doing now, find his LinkedIn below.

Related links

Michael Mangan on LinkedIn