Glenn Otten

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When I started planning my internship, I definitely wanted to go abroad. But, like many others, I did not know where to go. Because I wanted to stay in Europe, Patrick gave me a list of possible locations in Europe. From there I made a choice for a university that works with polymers and is located in a country with a warm climate. Portugal seemed to be a good choice! I made a contact with José Covas at the University of Minho, located in Braga and Guimarães. A few months later I joined the Department of Polymer Engineering in Guimarães.

Guimarães, the cultural capital of Europe in 2012, is a small historic city located in northern Portugal. It is a beautiful city with about 50.000 inhabitants and due to its smaller amount of inhabitants, compared with Porto, Lisbon and Braga, I truly experienced the Portuguese style of living. Despite most of the Portuguese people don’t have a lot to spend, they love to go out and have fun. Even midweeks, most of the restaurants are full of people and the Portuguese food is delicious. Especially the Francesinha!

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he university is divided into two campuses located in Braga and Guimarães. The university in Guimarães is a bit smaller than the TU/e but there is a good co-operations between the universities. One of my interests is the processing of polymers. In order to monitor, predict and optimize the properties at the end of a process, it is important to know the evolution of the material during the process. My project was to design a mechanism that captures material along an extrusion line and form it into a usable sample for rheology. The subsequent project was to make a start with the design of a mechanism that directly perform an experiment with the captured material. 

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Next to the internship I made a lot of friends and undertook a lot of activities like visiting other cities, travelling through Portugal, explore the beaches in the South, watch a soccer game, going out and visiting festivals. I really enjoyed the experience to live abroad and I would recommend everybody to do the same.