Glenn Otten

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!

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. 

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.