Monday just past my friend Jim became Dr Steel. It’s been great to see him confidently going through the procedure of writing up, submitting and arranging a jury. French defenses are different from British ones. Where mine was a private meeting between me and my internal and external examiners in my supervisor’s office with Sophia herself lurking sitting at another table, Jim’s was a public event comprising a presentation (photos on flickr) before the jury panel, colleagues, guests and family after which anyone in the audience with a PhD can ask questions!
No, I didn’t. Apparently it’s not common and anyway I was forced to leave the room at the crucial moment by a coughing fit.