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 December. You can also read the previous article of November here.
Today is November 30th, and another month is ended. The daylight starts to be very restricted. The sun rises after 8 and the sunset is near 15. It is a little strange and furthermore the sun is weak and during the night hours is cold.
I have almost finished with my simulation for my thesis project and now is time to post-process and analyze the results. Then I have to write a final report and the thesis. The results seem to be really interesting and I will show them to other experts in this field.
Furthermore, a new opportunity has arisen from this vascular biomechanics environment. Several days ago I was contacted by a Wolfram team for an internship in the Algorithms R&D department. Now it become concrete and I will work as Bioengineering Application Developer for Wolfram Mathematica. And in case you don’t know, Wolfram Mathematica is one of the most advanced scientific/engineering software that exists.
December 1st, Christmas is near!
Stockholm is not so Christmas enthusiast, however, a lot of Christmas light has been placed in the city center. You can also find a map with all the light installations around Stockholm at stockholmsjul.se.
This year I don’t have any advent calendars with chocolates however I discovered a more interesting one. It is an online event held on adventofcode.com where every day a new challenge is released. The challenge is relatively simple to code but it is interesting to solve with some problem-solving skills. You can use whatever code languages you want to answer the daily questions and unlock the draw behind the grey text symbols. May it be a hidden Christmas tree?
The Finite Element simulations are almost concluded but this week will be very interesting. It starts with two meetings with the company to meet the head of Research and Development and with my groups. It is really stimulating to work in a so advanced team with state-of-the-art computational software. I have a lot to learn both in Mathematica and in advanced numerical approaches.
Wednesday, December 7th. Today is a really important day and I have to show, together with my supervisor, the results of the thesis project to vascular surgeons and researchers from the Karolinska Institute. It is between the world’s best medical schools with one of the most advanced hospitals. The vascular department is strongly involved in research in both the development of vascular disease as well in treatment approaches.
What a small world. A girl, a friend of a colleague of mine with whom we did the same degree course, came to Stockholm to work at KTH. She comes from a different research area than mine and works as a researcher in biotechnology. In the meantime, the cold gets harder, now it is between -15°C and -8°C. Everything is frozen and it also snowing, not continuously.
Thursday, December 8th, after a long week it is time to relax and today the Solid Mechanics department has organized a special event. It is a wine tasting focused on white wines with sommelier expertise. Leitz Magic Mountain, Albariño de Fefiñanes, Les Vieux Murs, Simonsig Chardonnay, Sauvingon Blanc, Vouvray, Francois Villard. I’m not a wine expert but it is really interesting to taste wine from a different area of Europe. Especially considering that in the Nordic Countries you can drink and import wine but it’s not so easy to buy it, there are often restrictions.
It is also a night to say goodbye to Joey. He finished his internship and he will come back to the Netherlands to conclude his master’s degree. Tomorrow will be his last day. Furthermore, tomorrow I have a call with the Italian supervisor and then I have to pack my suitcase because I will come back to Italy for my brother’s graduation.
I know, my internship is not finished yet and I have the final Christmas holiday in two weeks, however, the graduation was absolutely improbable when I booked the flight, and both I and my brother have only now found out. So I think it will be nice to come back for the event.
Pizza, lasagne, polenta and Mediterranean fish, it was nice to come back and eat. However, now it is time to work on the final report for my project. I started working on it at the airport and during the flights. What an experience, first a zoom call with the company at the airport, then some work in the working area near the gate and finally writing the report during the flight.
I’m back in Stockholm and I want to use these last days to write as much as possible for the final report. For the first time, I found a disruption in Stockholm’s public transport, the commuter train skips a few stops during the day, including the airport stop. Says due to lack of staff. Luckily it was a problem for me only in the departure, but on return, everything worked out, and now I don’t have to take it anymore.
Temperature is more than 20 degrees lower than in Rome. It was shocking on the first day but I come back with my ski jacket, ready for the real winter. However, the cold is not such a problem, all the buildings here are quite warm.
I made some progress both with my thesis and with Wolfram. Everything is going well. For the thesis, I have done a lot of accurate literature research for the background and methods section and now it is time to describe all the results.
So many things to do but on the weekend I can still go to the gym or take a stroll in the city center. Unfortunately this week it was difficult to maintain my gym routine and I had to give up something to travel, work and do my research.
Another week and the same kinds of stuff. A lot of work to do. For the final report, it is important now to export all the results in a proper way in order to highlight the appropriate conclusions. This experience, working in an international environment with the best experts in these fields definitely teach me a lot of valuable skills.
This week I also have my comeback flight for the Christmas holiday. So only a small sentence to say Merry Christmas.