More than 100 PhD and master's students have attended the fourth PIER Graduate Week from 9 - 12 October 2017 in Hamburg's Center for Free-Electron Laser Science.

The four-day workshop and lecture week, in which national and international speakers had offered a wide range of introductory and focus courses in the PIER research fields Particle and Astroparticle Physics, Nanoscience, Photon Science, and Infection and Structural Biology was well received by students and speakers alike.

The graduate week's main objective was to introduce PhD students to neighbouring research fields, and to offer stimulating specialists' lectures from both national and international experts, thereby broadening the interdisciplinary understanding and exchange among young scientists on Bahrenfeld campus.

A scientific colloquium, a business lecture and workshops on communication and scientific writing skills complemented the programme. During the graduate week, joint coffee breaks, lunches and get-togethers provided opportunities for informal discussions, exchange of ideas, socialising and fun.

Poster prize

To promote the interdisciplinary exchange between the students, the participants of the Graduate Week were invited to present their research projects in a poster session. A jury, consisting of Dr. Jeroen Mesters (Lübeck), Prof. Dr. José Igancio Pascual (San Sebastian), Prof. Dr. Celine Boehm (Durham) and Prof. Dr. Axel Knop-Gericke (Berlin) awarded four PhD students with a poster prize: Parisa Bayat (Center for Hybrid Nanostructures), Deniza Chekrygina (AG Wurth, UHH), Hendrik Schlicke (Institute of Physical Chemistry, UHH) and Thomas Kotzott (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, IV. Physikalisches Institut). Congratulations to the four awardees!

Industry talk and scientific colloquium

In the evenings, two speakers addressed a broader audience: Prof. Dr. Roland Wiesendanger (Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center Hamburg and Center for Optical Quantum Technologies, Universität Hamburg) talked about "From Skyrmions to Majoranas: Nanoscience Inspired by Particle Physics Theory". Prof. Wiesendanger focused on the discovery of single chiral magnetic skyrmions in ultrathin metallic films, made at the University of Hamburg in 2013, and their potential applications in future ultrahigh-density magnetic memory and logic devices.

In the business talk, Dr. Carsten Claussen, director of Hamburg's Fraunhofer ScreeningPort discussed "Career paths in science and beyond" with the PhD students. He addressed issues such as "Can you plan a career? How to become happy? Can you calculate your business success?". Based on his own career, Dr. Claussen talked about the demands of big and small industry, as well as of research in and outside universities. He also discussed and sharpened “good advice” such as generating chances, networking, implementing own visions, diligence and endurance, the ratio of fun & frustration and the salary’s worth using positive and negative examples.

The graduate week's scientific speakers included Florian Bertram (Hamburg), Celine Boehm (Durham), Karsten Büßer (Hamburg), Henry Chapman (Hamburg), Carsten Claussen (Hamburg), Ann-Christin Dippel (Hamburg), Sonia Francoual (Hamburg), Florian Grüner (Hamburg), Rolf Haug (Hannover), Michael Hauschild (Genf), Thomas Ihn (Zürich), Axel Knop-Gericke (Berlin), Martin Kroner (Zürich), Michael Kuhn (Hamburg), Dirk Lützenkirchen-Hecht (Wuppertal), Jeroen Mesters (Lübeck), José Ignacio Pascual (San Sebastian), Michael Rübhausen (Hamburg), Martin Stieben (Hamburg), Rob Thompson (Frankfurt), Vedran Vonk (Hamburg), Roland Wiesendanger (Hamburg), Carsten Wrenger (Sao Paulo).

Icon Programme Flyer (160KB)

Impressions from the PIER Graduate Week 2017

Photos: Marta Mayer/DESY