Tycho Schekermans

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From 14th of November 2016 till 3rd of March 2017

When it was time to do my internship, it was very clear to me I wanted to go abroad.  My first choice was Australia, Patrick mentioned he did not know that many people there. But, he knew a professor at the university of Queensland that was willing to give me a spot in his lab to do research. He is a very buzzy man, so it took a while before everything was arranged. Looking back it was all worth it!

 

 

In the winter of 2016 or I should I say summer I went to Australia, to the university of Queensland which is located in Brisbane. I got the opportunity to do an experimental internship in the lab of the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology. By the sound of it you would probably wonder what a mechanical engineer specializing in polymer technology is doing there. Well I studied the rheological behavior of a Dynamic covalent bond hydrogel. Which is a polymer that is able to recover behavior after it has been damaged. I got the chance to synthesize the components of the hydrogel, make the hydrogel and perform shear and oscillatory Rheology on the gel. These gels are interesting because they show viscoelastic properties fit for a gel that cannot recover, but these gels can recover or regenerate. We wanted to also look at the structure and functionality of these gels, however how is often is the case in Science time ran out and we were not able to do everything we set out to investigate.

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Besides the work I also enjoyed being in Australia which is a country brilliant for its nature and people. I was very lucky to be in a lab where activities were organized on a regular basis and had a great group of people. Besides this I went and explored Brisbane on a bike, went climbing, went on a road trip to the great barrier reef, explored Australia’s beaches and so much more.