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Internship Field: Matierial Science, Physics

Major: Physics

Host: Institut für Raumsimulation (space simulation), Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR)

Location: Köln

Duration: 6 months in Spring/Summer 2003


Description: 1. Group "Polyphase Solidification", 2. "Thermophysics" group: (1.) "I was responsible for researching and developing a light fiber reinforced material. I did some research on the matrix material -- aerogel -- as well as experimenting with different possible methods for producing the composite /.../ The goal of my work was the production of new samples to be tested for their tensile strength and flexural strength". (2.) "My first job was working on analysing data from the parabolic flights that took place in July. I had to transfer the data from video to digital, producing bitmap images that the analysis program could understand. I also tested the analysis program, written for different input images, to try to determine whether or not it could be applied to the new format. /.../ The next project I did involved experimenting with different methods of processing the raw signals to determine the most reliable system for analysis. I did this by working with a signal that modeled our data. I then composed a report on the results of this work for future researchers. The last project I worked on was an experiment to determine the density of an alloy using containerless processing -- leviation".

Comments: "The internship gave me valuable work experience, and helped to narrow down the type of work I would like to do in the future. It also gave me a good idea of professional relations and how science institutes work (differently from a university) -- both the frustrations of beaurocracy and the force and dissillusionment of professional commitment. /.../ I enjoyed working with and talking with my coworkers. The opportunity to work on experiments and data analysis will be very helpful in my future career. The opportunity to live in Germany and travel was especially rewarding, and I met a lot of very interesting and friendly people over the course of my stay. I gained some more accurate views of how society and politics work, as well as being able to compare experiences with several German students/ interns".

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