And how are things in Hamilton?24 May 2017
For my internship I travelled to Hamilton, New Zealand. I’m doing research on wood fiber reinforced polymers at the University of Waikato. As a mechanical engineer, of course I'm interested in the material's mechanical properties, but much more than this is involved in producing composites of this kind. This makes for a very interesting and challenging project from which I’m learning a lot.
When I first got to New Zealand I had to adapt a bit. Everyone here talks really fast. They speak English but the Kiwis pronounce almost everything differently than I’m used to. That doesn’t change the fact that the atmosphere is amazing, everyone is open to talk to you and that makes it easy to meet new people. As a supporter of integration I had to adapt to the New Zealand culture. I tried my best by learning how to ride a longboard, jumping of a bridge, and practicing to sing the national anthem in Maori.
During my internship I’m living in Student Village on the university campus. I can recommend this to everyone: only having to walk 5 minutes to get to the lab and every meal is cooked for you. Approximately 300 students live in the village which makes it a place where there is always something going on.
There are a lot of organized activities like sports tournaments, quizzes, and some trips to show the country to the international students. One of those trips was to Mount Maunganui and the 2 hour bus ride was definitely worth the trouble. The Mount is a volcano at the end of a sand bar in the sea. From the top there are some amazing views (as can be seen on the photo) and after the climb the beach is a good place for a refreshing swim.
My internship has almost come to an end, but luckily I will stay for a couple of weeks more to explore this beautiful country!
The quality of education seems to have slipped at TU/e. In the latest Dutch-language guide to universities (Keuzegids Universiteiten), Eindhoven's university has dropped from third place in the overall ranking to seventh place in the course of a year. "It's understandable but it's not good," says President of the Executive Board Jan Mengelers, "and it is all the more reason to push on with introducing an upper limit on student intake to our programs. This is a result of the strong growth in student numbers."
Eindhoven's iGEM team has arrived in Boston. In the coming days, the students will participate in the Giant Jamboree, competing with nearly three hundred teams from all over the world. Their competition entry is their project GUPPI, in which they propose encapsulating tumors in a gel to prevent them growing and spreading.
As well as professors, from now on associate professors (UHD-1) at TU/e may also confer doctoral degrees on PhD candidates. Sixty associate professors were awarded the right to confer doctoral degrees at the start of this academic year after the move was approved by the Upper House of Parliament in the Netherlands shortly before the summer recess. “We couldn't wait to introduce this here.”
Before you google yet another one of my invented diseases and subsequently begin to question the title of this story, let me tell you this. With a new academic year having begun and a shiny new batch of freshmen accompanying it, the university is full of people suffering from the so-called octopus syndrome.