"Show me that you are motivated and you work hard and I will show you that we have a lot of possibilities.” I remember entering Gerrit’ office with this phrase in my mind. I’ve always tried to work hard so I wanted to explore the possibilities he told me about when I joined Polymer Technology. Doing internship abroad seemed like a good opportunity to do that. “So which countries can I choose from?”. Gerrit smiled and said. “If you want to go to Cambodia, I will send you to Cambodia.” This totally got me speechless. Few days later I had my top 5 of countries I wanted to visit. Nr.1? China! Interesting culture, habits, love the food! “China it is!” - said Gerrit and few months later I was on my way to University of Science and Technology of China (USTC).
USTC is located in a “small” town called Hefei (around 7.8 million inhabitants) 500km to the West from Shanghai. My project was to investigate the processing-structure-property relationships of extruded LLDPE films. For the processing I chose to vary the draw ratio and the temperature of cast rolls. This influenced the crystallization of LLDPE which was examined by performing SAXS and WAXD experiments at the National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, located at USTC campus. Finally, the well-known tensile tests were performed to measure the mechanical properties of different samples. It was definitely great project as I’ve learned a lot and it was fun to work practically and see the correlations we’ve learnt at TU/e.
Next to working on a project I also explored China. China is very diverse. You can find a lot of high-tech things like high speed train or Maglev. A lot of amazing places worth visiting, think of the Great Wall, Forbidden City, The Bund with Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl Tower or the Terracotta Army. And a lot of peacefully places including infinite number of gardens or temples.