For my second secondment, I went to the University of Coimbra – Portugal for two months (April – May 2019). This new “adventure” starting with a road trip. Driving from France to Portugal was awesome. Three different landscapes and colours: green forests in France, yellow/brawn lowlands in Spain and brawn mountains in Portugal.
During this period, I worked on the effect of compression loads on thermal conductivity values using the hot disk method. I think the most impressive aspect of this stay was the lab. I spent the entire stay in the Civil Department. For someone used to chemical-material labs, it was quite strange to change from gloves, glass protection to helmet, and safety shoes. Fortunately, I had a huge help and support from my secondment mentor Luís Laím and all the technicians.
Thanks to an international office, I also benefitted from the experience of other PhD and master students doing exchange studies in the same period, mostly from Romania and Hungary.
A nice aspect of the stay in Portugal was also the possibility to visit other ESRs, Pratik Gajjar and Thaís Soares, at University of Minho in Guimarães. As well as to travel around this amazing country.
from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant