Summer School Program

Program high-pressure microfluidics and flow chemistry symposium

During the summer school hosted by ICMCB Bordeaux a symposium on high pressure microfluidics and flow chemistry will take place. Click here to download the program!

 

Anca’s blog

Anca's KU Leuven BicycleIt has been more than a year since I joined Simon Kuhn’s group as a Ph.D. student at KU Leuven and became part of the Photo4Future (P4F) ITN. This year was an interesting ride for me which has started when I moved to Leuven, Belgium. Leuven is a beautiful historic city and I could describe it as being big enough to find everything I need and small enough to bump into my friends during a walk in the evening. In the beginning, I had the impression that all the inhabitants study or work for KU Leuven. Firstly, because I could recognize its logo on the bikes, cars and buildings all around the city. Secondly, because the city has a break from the lively nights during weekends and holidays just like its students.

Meeting whiteboardWe are eight people in the Transport Phenomena and Multiphase Systems team (which is included in the larger ProcESS group) and only recently I have managed to visualize how our topics relate to each other. This was not straightforward for me as the leitmotifs of our regular meetings belong to different research fields e.g. mesh, Green’s function, slug, cohesion force, LED. Happily, Simon let me digest the start at my own pace, giving me a push only when I got stuck in the details. In addition to being ”experts” in our topics, the members of our group enjoy spending  time in “meaningful” discussions such as finding a solution to avoid opening the window when it is cold outside (see the second point on our office whiteboard).

My daily routine at KU Leuven is generally broken every six months to participate at the schools organized within the P4F project. In addition, this spring I had the opportunity to do my first secondment in the group of Dorota Koziej (Laboratory for Multifunctional Materials) at ETH Zürich. The purpose of my stay was to investigate the temperature profile for the designed LED light source during its operation using a thermal imaging camera.

Plastic cow near ZürichseeAs expected, the first place I went to see in Zürich was Zürichsee, the lake with white Alpine peaks at the horizon. The promenade near the lake and along the river (Limmat) together with the narrow streets of the old town make a charming route to wander around. I was also surprised by the multitude of cows in and outside of Zürich: real cows, metal cows, green plastic cows and, of course, the well-known purple cows. My enthusiasm had started being mixed with despair when I observed that my set-up was not operating within the expected parameters. Fortunately, people from Dorota’s team and from KU Leuven (to which I remain grateful) helped me to understand and solve the problem so I could carry out, if not all, most of the planned experiments. Meanwhile, I had the chance to participate in a meeting of the journal club, where usually the master and Ph.D. students supervised by Dorota choose, present and discuss a scientific article. This was a new concept for me and I have seen it as a good exercise for critically evaluating published research.

I am thankful to Dorota for hosting me as I returned to Leuven with a better understanding of the thermal behaviour of my LED light source and more confidence to deal with
dicted difficulties which might appear during my next secondment.

Philipp’s blog – Scientific exchange at AGH Krakow

During my really short but intense time in Krakow I acquired valuable scientific insight but also met many wonderful people at the Academic Centre for Materials and Nanotechnology (ACMiN) at the AGH Krakow.

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From left to right: Marcin, Dorota, Katarzyna H., Aleksandra, Katarzyna B. (back) Philipp, Magdalena, Kamila, Antoni (front)

Prof. Marcin Sikora kindly hosted my stay as a recently joined partner in the Photo4Future project and I’m truly grateful for his scientific advice and support during my time in his group. His research interest lies in the exploration of magnetic materials with the help of synchrotron based X-ray spectroscopic techniques. Thus there was an extremely beneficial overlap with my PhD topic on in-operando studies of photocatalytic materials using X-ray spectroscopy.

He helped me a lot with his insight into how to analyze and treat the huge amount of data collected during my beamtime at the Swiss synchrotron (SuperXAS, PSI). I was introduced to the basics of how to simulate X-ray spectra with the help of computational tools which appeared to be more fascinating than I thought, really! Quantum chemical calculations seemed always like a black box to me because of the highly complex theory behind it. Also, educated as an experimental chemist I was trained to be rather suspicious of purely theoretical results. But recent advancements in computational tools and a basic understanding of quantum physics and solid-state chemistry provide exciting opportunities to compare theory and experiment.

Additionally I got a good overview about the research center itself, its scientific direction and equipment. Investments of the Polish government and the EU established a really attractive research environment with high-end scientific instruments.

I’m looking forward to my secondment in Bordeaux working together with Sam and Prasaanth.

Cecilia’s blog

Cecilia BottecchiaOne year has passed since I first moved to Eindhoven, to start my Ph.D. in the group of Dr. Timothy Noël.  One year is maybe a good timeframe to try to do an analysis of this new life…

How’s the work? Highly demanding but rewarding, just like a Ph.D. should be! Moving the first steps in the world of scientific publications wasn’t easy, but the excitement of receiving the first positive comments from a reviewer makes the effort all worth.

How’s the Boss? Timothy for sure represents the most driven person I have ever met, and the determination and enthusiasm he shows in his job is contagious for all of us in the group. Thankfully, he also has a human side, which makes it easier for us to deal with his high standards!

What about Eindhoven?  Definitely not my favorite place on earth, its grey buildings and the almost constant pouring rain make it really hard for me to call this place “Home”. But there’s always a silver lining: cycling all around town is super easy, and the nightlife in Stratum sometimes is just what you need at the end of a tough week…

How are the colleagues? Well, it’s nice to say that I consider good friends most of my colleagues, and working with them is always a pleasure!

TU/e and EU flagsThe cherry on the pie? The project I work on is part of the Marie Curie Photo4Future ITN (Innovative training network), which means that every six months all the students and professors involved in the network get to meet  in a different location to update each other on the latest progress. So far, I had such a great time in the first two meetings, and I genuinely appreciated the time spent with the other students in the network.

Therefore, it’s right to say “So far, so good’!

Cecilia