July 31st, 2019: ESR3 and ESR4 secondment in Florence is complete

Our PhD students Xavier (ESR3) and Kéo (ESR4) have completed their two-months secondment periods in Florence, which began June 1st.

Following the workplan of the project, Xavier had the great opportunity to spend June and July in Florence where, together with his academic supervisor (Prof. Debora Berti) and all other SAMCAPS teammates on CSGI, he did progress on the understanding of polymeric capsules formation and stability by use of a brand-new temperature-controlled UV-Vis, as well as optical and confocal microscopes. Moreover, the fact of being in a different work environment helped him to understand better the differences between industry and academia, appreciating different features from each workplace. Additionally, this stay was not only useful from a research point of view but also satisfactory and fulfilling for Xavier, who affirms to have fallen in love with the region of La Toscana. Among others, there he enjoyed from delicious pasta, romantic towns, sunny weather and a very warm environment which, coming from Spain, felt like home to him. In conclusion, this secondment was enough for him to know that the second half of his PhD will be both productive and delightful.

Spending 2 months in Florence for Kéo’s secondment has been a truly exciting experience to her. Coming from an industry-oriented background, she had the chance to get a first exposure to the academic research environment and the differences between both workplaces. She had the opportunity to work hand in hand with her supervisor Prof. Massimo Bonini and her tutor Dr. Claudio Resta, and learned so much in such a short period of time! Being surrounded by other PhD students and postdocs also enabled her to interact with people in the same situation and who shared with her their own experience of the doctorate. Aside from the professional environment, Kéo discovered the beautiful city of Florence during this summer. She got to complain about the highly crowded city center, the very warm weather (which was a huge change from Brussels’ temperatures), but most importantly, she enjoyed the amazing Italian food (and probably gained a few kg during her stay…)! She took the time to visit other cities of the region as well and now cannot wait to go back there and explore even more. All in all, she is truly looking forward to completing the other part her PhD in Florence and realizes more and more what a great opportunity the SAMCAPS project has been to her.