Hello and welcome to my second FoodSmartphone project blog! I am slowly getting used to life in Netherlands so far it has been an awesome experience. Despite, the rainy weather I manage to catch some sunny days to do some sightseeing. I bought a season train ticket that allows me to travel for free around the Netherlands during the weekends. Thus, I mostly try to see as much as possible on weekends 🙂 I have managed to see major cities and landmarks of Netherlands, I have also travelled to Antwerp, Belgium. The Netherlands has a great transport infrastructure that allows to travel around the country fast and easy.
A nice advantage of living in Netherlands is an extremely warm autumn and beginning of winter. The temperatures in my home town Lviv are close to 0oC and it is already snowing there, while the weather in Netherlands is still relatively warm (on average 8oC). Despite the warmer climate, strong wind and showering rain may be much worse than cold and snowy weather 🙂
I have also started language courses like Aris did. The Dutch language is similar to English and German, and even some words are similar to Ukrainian. However, the pronunciation is also a struggle for me. My current Dutch classes provided by Vlag Graduate School are really nice, thus I hope in year or two I will be able to rather freely speak Dutch 🙂 My Dutch class gathered rather international students, and PhD students who work and study Wageningen University & Research or its surroundings. The Dutch class is also nice opportunity to discuss difference in culture and traditions.
The Aquamarijn team is incredibly helpful in my research and tips regarding what is the best approaches for creating new versatile antifouling surfaces. I work mostly on optimization different light triggered surface modification techniques now. The creation of surface that will resist to non-specific attachment of proteins is challenging but incredibly fascinating task. Further this surface will be modified and functionalized with antibody or any other receptor. This bioactive surface will become the heart of future biosensor.
We are also in constant cooperation with Wageningen University & Research. I have also get acquainted with PhD and master students in Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in department of Organic Chemistry. They conduct really interesting projects on modification of surfaces and “click” chemistry. I have also done short introductory presentation about me and my work in Organic Chemistry department (ORC). Since, I enrolled as a PhD student in this department, I regularly visit ORC for discussions and do some measurements.
The time really flies fast in research world as especially when you doing things that you are passionate about. It feels like only couple weeks, as I have arrived to Netherlands, but it is almost half a year since I started working for on my research project.
That probably all news from me. Thank you for reading till the end.