Midterm review in Seefeld, Austria

Jan 20, 2015 No Comments by 1652 views

The third meeting of the CO2 React Network took place from the 04th to the 09th of December, 2014, in a little skiing village in Austria – Seefeld. Most of the PhD students had only started a year ago, so it was a little intimidating to realize that this meeting was actually the mid-term review for the EU project.  It was also the first time that the CO2 React network did not meet up on a volcanic island, or with the fellows of the MINSC network. This made the meeting feel a little bit different, but still eventful.

Seefeld is a lovely small town in the Alps, and if you arrive from Innsbruck airport, the flight over the Alps is breathtaking, and despite dreams of networking in a winter wonderland, the snow was confined only to the very tops of the mountains.

IMG_3509However, because of the relaxing atmosphere of the village it was the perfect location for the meeting, which consisted of a workshop and networking events covering 1) presentation and communication skills; 2) management of a research project; 3) the actual midterm review and 4) networking.

The meeting started off on Thursday the 04th with an Icebreaker dinner, but since many in the network were good friends, it should have been called a reunion dinner instead! There was no awkward silence/ice breaking. From Friday morning onwards, the meeting began in earnest, with the workshop exploring issues such as the do’s and don’ts of scientific presentations, organization of research projects (now and in the future) as well as talks from experiences researchers from both industry and academia. These last talks helped to give the students a broader view and understanding of the career paths open to us.  In the afternoons, the networking took place in the outdoors, with hikes, ice-skating and a chance to create a mini-musical to entertain the supervisors. These activities not only got us outdoors but also gave us a chance to get to know each other better and to grow as a group.

IMG_3559 For the midterm review on Monday, Francisca Martínez Ruiz from the Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (CSIC-UGR), joined us as external reviewer. Her role was to evaluate the progress of the CO2 React project. To help her, each PhD student prepared a talk about their project status, using the new skills gained from the workshop. The presentations went without a hitch, and helped everyone in the Network gain a deeper understanding of the different aspects and approaches used to solve the research goals related to CO2 storage.

I think I can speak for all the PhD students in the Network when I say that these meetings are not just very useful with regards to gathering new skills and knowledge, but also to meet people with a similar scientific goal, build a support team for our research and simply enjoy the great company of each other. I am looking forward to seeing you all in Tuscany.


sandy_boehnertAbout the author: Sandy Boehnert is a first year PhD student working at Maersk Oil and enrolled at the Nano-Science Center, University of Copenhagen. Her PhD research interest is focused on the effects of CO2 injection on the pore structure of depleted North Sea chalk oil fields, as part of the ultimate goal to validate the feasibility of CO2 sequestration at those sites. In order to understand the mechanisms of chalk solubility she uses a variety of geochemical techniques, including high pressure/high temperature reactors.

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