I am a second year PhD student at Imperial College London, researching hybrid materials for use in cartilage replacement applications. Receiving a travel award from UKSB allowed me to attend the ESB 2017 conference in Athens and to give a presentation of my work. This was the first presentation I had given outside of my home university, and as such was a great experience in building confidence in communicating science and speaking in front of an international audience. ESB represented an important opportunity for discussing and developing my research with other researchers from a range of backgrounds and with a huge variety of expertise in the field of biomaterials. The feedback and scrutiny my work received has been a stepping-stone in developing the project into the final year of my PhD. Additionally, as a result of a meeting at the conference I have begun a short secondment in Chile, an amazing opportunity which would not have been possible without attending ESB.