Enrichment of professional and general life experience: TPU student about internships in Germany

Every year hundreds of Tomsk Polytechnic University students go for internships abroad. This summer, students from the School of Nuclear Science & Engineering who study chemical technology of materials in modern power engineering have taken internships in Germany. 

Evgeniya Bogdanova took her internship at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. The student worked at the Institute of Functional Interfaces under the supervision of Dr. Tawheed Hashem. During five weeks she was involved in a new study area of metal-organic coordination polymers (MOCP). 

‘During my internship, I got to know different types of MCOPs and their surfaces. I learned to synthesize them using condensed, layer-by-layer and sputtering techniques, analyze the obtained products using X-ray phase analysis and scanning electron microscopy as well as to study the surface stability of the polymers at different pH,’

says the student.

In addition, Evgeniya completed the course on preparation and characterization of thin organic films, where she gained useful knowledge and skills of the synthesis and surfaces of MCOP. Every week young researchers reported about their progress at the department meetings.

‘Free time was also very interesting. I was fond of archery, looking after rabbits, hens and parrots at a farm. Also, I visited an ancient and very beautiful town of Heidelberg, fished, played bowling. The atmosphere was very friendly. On our floor, there were two kitchens and a small lounge in which Muslim professors and students could freely pray which was especially important for me. I felt comfortable. 

This internship gave new knowledge and skills, during the training I met professors and PhD students, improved my English, gained experience in training and living abroad as well as improved my soft skills such as self-confidence, public speaking, sociability, and the speed of decision-making,’

shares Evgeniya.

Anastasia Bekareva is still continuing her internship at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, the University of Cologne.

‘Thanks to the cooperation of the Professor Matur group with TPU Research Center Physical Materials Science and Composite Materials, I was lucky to join this powerful team. Under the supervision of Roman Surmenev, we are engaged in the designing of different functional materials and their applications. During my work in Germany, I have been tasked to carry out the chemical synthesis of nano- and microparticles with adjusted morphology. Within this framework the compounds synthesized will be used in obtaining compositions with the enhanced piezoelectric response,’ says the student.

According to Anastasia, you need independently to plan your work at the Institute, taking into account the objectives. There is a wide range of equipment available, however, you need to book it in advance. So, you should carefully plan your day to do everything on time and not to make other people wait.

‘On weekends, you can take a walk around the city or ride a bike to the suburbs – I just live in the Brueck district, nearby Koenigsforst i.e. Royal Forest. There I found a nursery with deer and wild boars which everyone may feed from a vendor machine. The nature is very rich here, there are many plants and animals. 

This is a great experience for me. The communication with new people in the foreign language, especially on scientific topics, undoubtedly gives a huge impetus to the development of my own competences and the rethinking of many things. Thanks to TPU, I have been to another country for the first time. The trips like these are a real mind-expanding experience for young researchers in terms of professional and personal growth,’

notes the student.