This is my diary about my period abroad to develop my master’s thesis work on Vascular Biomechanics at the KTH Solid Mechanics department. I will tell the whole period in several articles, let’s continue with November. You can also read the previous article of October here.

Week 9

October 31st, today is Halloween. It’s not such a heartfelt party here, neither for me, however the pumpkin cannot be missing. I’m not a great fan of Halloween sweets but pasta with sausage and pumpkin tastes really great. Perhaps it could be the best way to celebrate Halloween, at least from a food point of view.

It is just November. My thesis computational model starts working well. But we have great news, today a new coffee machine was installed in the department. Better coffee, better work.

This week went by quickly and today I’m going to see a hockey game again. It’s a really entertaining sport and the Djurgården, the local team, seems really a good team. On the weekend I can do my classic run along the coast of the island. There’s a really nice track, completely surrounded by nature, between trees and water.

59°20’22.8″N 18°11’19.6″E

Week 10

The computational model of the atherosclerotic plaque works well, including tissue growth. We have implemented this progressive growth of the tissue with a staggered approach between the solid mechanics problem and the growth formulation. The general formulation works but the great non-linearity force me to use a lot of loading step. Furthermore, I have to test different meshes and all this only means that I will have to do many very long simulations.

During the solving time, I can do other stuff and luckily I have more than one computer to use. Moreover, it is true that I need to sleep but my computer doesn’t. It can work for me also during the night. The only problem is related to the noise due to the heatsink fan but just store it away from the bed.

My laptop doesn’t need to sleep and it can solve the simulation also during the night, away from the bed due to the noisy fan.

Today, November 10th, there is the Solid Mechanics Party. It is a special event in the department. It is a party, with dinner, night, and games, for all the students, PhD, postdocs, professors, and general staff of the Solid Mechanics department. A really fun evening with lots of new people.

I have also decided to start CS50, a course from Harvard held on edX online platform about Computer Science. I discovered it from MrRip’s community and I want to improve my coding skills by restarting from some basic concepts to real practical examples. Why not try it between one simulation and another?

During the weekend my classic run but this time towards the northern part of the island. It looks like a more natural area and the pathway becomes less defined, it almost seems like a trekking route.

59°21’11.7″N 18°07’52.3″E

Week 11

Everything is fine. Both Comsol simulations and CS50 lessons proceed straight.

Today, Wednesday, November 16th, my Dutch colleague Joey wants to take me to a handball match. He has been practicing it for a long time and is really passionate about it. There is the local team Hammarby IF Handboll against Redbergslids IK, top-level teams in Swedish handball.

Hammarby IF Handboll

This week the temperature dropped drastically from 10-12°C to 0°C. Near the weekend, it started also snowing. Furthermore, some people I studied with during my bachelor’s degree, and haven’t seen for a few years, are coming to Stockholm. They are visiting some Erasmus friends in Stockholm and we will spend the weekend together in this lovely snowy Stockholm.

Week 12

There was a lot of snow during the weekend and today, Monday, November 21st, public transport has slowed down. I can’t leave Lidingo, neither by tram nor by busses. There is more than 20cm of snow and the snowplows are working to clean the streets. I will be working from home today. Despite this, I can still go for a walk on the awesome path near the coast. It’s all snowy.

Even though I can’t get out of Lidingo I can still go to the gym. I’m going to the gym every working day and now I start to feel the gym bro mood. I have my liquid chalk, I deadlift in socks and bang the barbell, and train small muscle groups to failure. This is 100% a gym bro mood. When we train hard, the body releases hormones and chemical substance that boost your sense of well-being and suppress hormones that cause stress and anxiety. This early morning training gives me a lot of energy.

Black Friday

The next day everything was back up and running. Another week of Comsol simulations, CS50, and a lot of biomechanics. The city is still full of snow and the landscapes seem magical. But this is Black Friday weekend, so why not take a stroll through the Kista Gallery? And of course also the Fika with a long coffee from Espresso House. To be honest, a go-kart challenge was planned with Jouy. However, once we arrived we were told we couldn’t enter before 6pm, despite asking beforehand. It was 1.30 pm, so we just had to go to Fika or do some shopping.

Perhaps the story told earlier about using the laptop both day and night went a little further. Or so it may appear when you look at your computer’s login time from the graph below. A daily average of more than 19 hours. This is really high usage, especially if we think that most of the time the computer was doing Comsol simulations, often with more than 100% of its capabilities.

Another month passed. The computational model is almost done, only a few small refinements are missing. My stay in Stockholm is also coming to an end but we will talk about the following weeks in the next articles.