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About me

I am an experimental geologist and beamline manager at DESY, Hamburg. My beamline is an extreme conditions beamline hosting a Large Volume Press for in situ studies on materials at high pressures and temperatures using synchrotron X-rays.

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General news Posted on 2010-02-14 13:52

It has been raining for two days non-stop now. Temperatures haven’t even reached 20C. Definitely feels like autumn is coming. It’ll still get warm later on though but not warmer than 30C anymore.

I’ve been playing some good old Quake. Wow! That game takes me back. I don’t remember whether my dad gave it to me back in 1996, but it was my all time favourite for a long time. I was playing it on our pentium 66 MHz computer with a 2MB S3 video card. I still remember saying to my friend “I bet, in the future, these huge ugly pixels on the walls will look so much better!”. Not surprisingly the bilinear filter was introduced not much later to smoothen out pixelated textures. I also obtained a copy of Quake 2. That was such a cool game too. I remember the computer could *just* run it. The graphics were slightly better and hence more hardware demanding.

Today it’s valentines day. This must be the first time in my life i actually care 😉 Best wishes to everyone.

Xin Nian Kuai Le

Fun Posted on 2010-02-13 11:02

Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

It is the year of the white tiger. An important financial year since white is linked to metal, one of the Chinese elements in the zodiac. Metal -> gold, money, etc.

I have no idea how predictions are made based on what element and animal you are, so I’ll just leave it at that. I’m not superstitious anyway.

Nonetheless, I wish all the best to those who celebrate this important event. Let 2010 be a prosperous year!

Gong Xi Fa Cai!


Study Posted on 2010-02-10 19:51

Here is an overview of all the exciting things I’ve been up to.

Yep, pretty empty. So what have I been up to you may be asking? The answer is experiments and thesis writing! After experiencing a whole variety of problems with the apparatus for the last 4 months (I’m not kidding), I finally have a successful experiment. Hopefully the next one will go well too. The last two of the four will have to wait until May because we have a visiting student who also wants to use the apparatus.

These experiments are killing me though. Four weeks of non-stop day in, day out productivity in the lab. The only rest i get is 7 hours sleep. I have to start experimental runs at 10:30 pm and have to be back at uni at 8 am to finish that run and start the next set of shorter runs during the day. Somewhere in between that time I have to finish a paper that has been sitting on my desk for over 6 months. And lastly, of course there is plenty of thesis writing to do. After these experiments in June, I still have quite a bit of sample characterization to do. That means more days behind the Scanning Electron Microscope.

There is a conference early July which I am attending but my supervisor wont be here. He asked if I present a poster of his research of which I know hardly anything about. I kinda wish I didn’t accept this request now…. after all I will be giving a talk which is quite enough. My thesis submission deadline is 20 August. My last bit of responsibility towards the academic system.

So in a nutshell. The life of a stressful PhD student.

To the low lands!

Fun Posted on 2009-09-27 19:58

The last week of my journey brought me back home to the Netherlands. It was a quiet relaxing time. Some old friends came over towards the weekend which was great! I couldn’t travel more knowing that I would still have to make the longest journey back to Australia a week later.

Here are some photos from a walk in the neighbourhood and of the house:


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