Yesterday we had our last StratoClim measurement flight here in Kathmandu. Currently no follow up project with the Geophysica is planned. During the preparation phase on the apron it was raining, matching the mood of seeing the Geophysica taking off for the last measurement flight.
Yesterday we had a measurement flight going over India to the Bay of Bengal region. The whole flight procedure was according to schedule (i.e. the take-off was planned for 1 pm and also actually happened at 1 pm). It was a successful flight and the data look promising. It is a fairly calm day today and the preparations on the instruments for the next flight have started.
If a flight is planned, the day can start very early (i.e. waking up at 3 am might be necessary for some people). Breakfast at the hotel starts at 6 and we have the choice between curry and western breakfast. The people at the hotel are extremely nice, even the decoration during breakfast is made for us (picture) and they plan a traditional Nepalese evening for us with live music.
Every day a flight planning group sits together and discusses the current and forecast meteorological situation in and around Nepal (in the Asian monsoon region). The position and development of the Asian monsoon anticyclone, incoming typhoons, temperature at different heights and enhancement of different substances are looked at.
After what seemed to be a slow beginning (delay of the research aircraft arrival, delay of EMC tests and also delay of equipment shipping to the campaign site), the campaign is now running at full speed and already three successful measurement flights took place (July 27th, 29th and 31st )!
Prior to the first measurement flight an EMC-test is scheduled to ensure e.g. that no measurement instrument on the aircraft interferes with the aircraft electronics. For this purpose the Geophysica is rolled out together with all measurement instruments, engines of the aircraft and the instruments are switched on and the electromagnetic field around the aircraft and at the cockpit control is measured.
One year can pass by so fast…. And now we have two newly elected representatives, which I would like to introduce today. Maybe you remember that we, the doctoral researchers, determine one delegate among our peers in every institute, who then represents his/her colleagues at the so called DocAssembly. At this event, which takes place twice a year, these delegates are allowed to elect the new spokespersons. If you remember further, at each assembly two new representatives are elected, one for the internal affairs and one for representing us on the Helmholtz level. As conclusion this means, our Newbies from November 2016 became the Oldies now and have two new fellow campaigners. Who they are and how they divided all the tasks between them, you can read below.
Finally after years of challenges and struggles the main campaign of StratoClim to investigate the asian monsoon has started!! The research aircraft M55 Geophysica landed at the campaign site in Nepal, Kathmandu today (see picture) and is now ready to carry our atmospheric instruments into the upper troposphere and stratosphere during the asian monsoon.
Besides the SC17 conference logo, tag line and preview video, which were introduced at past year's conference, we (that means my communication team ;-) ) is also producing a series of short videos around the "#HPC connects" conference tag line. They will showcase five large science projects which are "connecting people, systems, and science". Once produced, the videos will be published at the SC Youtube channel and of course will also be shown at the conference in November.
Luckily, Denver is a really nice city with a European-style pedestrian shopping area and many excellent restaurants in the city center, otherwise it would be become boring coming here so often. I came here for the Technical Program Paper Selection meeting on June 5 and 6 as well as our next SC planning meeting on June 6 and 7. In addition, there as a meeting of the SC Steering Committee on June 9.
Doctoral researchers are mostly enthusiastic, friendly and prying into interdisciplinarity and interculturality. Therefore, the DocTeam supports the idea of a central mission statement for the FZJ. Finding such mission statement, which represents our visions of an ideal FZJ and nevertheless be livable, is a long process and still in progress. In addition to the vision, the mission statement briefly describes, shortly and concisely, the core values and strategic objectives of FZJ. To live such a mission statement and therefore a better FZJ needs time. However, the doctoral researchers in general, and the DocTeam in particular, do already a lot to promote and support these core values. That’s why we will take a closer look at a few statements today.
JCANS, the Japan Collaboration of Accelerator driven Neutron sources is a network of Major and Minor sources bound together for mutual exchange and support. This is at first not surprising and similar structures already exist in Germany (e.g. the KFN Committee for Research with Neutrons) and other European countries, but at a second glance some real differences surface.
On March 21 and 22, 2017, we had our 6th SC17 Planning meeting, again in Denver, Colorado. Wow, time flies, I still remember getting some rest over the Christmas holidays and then spent a nice week in the US at the SC16/17 Turnover meeting in January. Where did the past two month go? Now there are only 235 days left until the opening of SC17 in November. Saying it is still 5640 hours is not really helping ;-)
Last week, we hosted the first GPU Hackathon of 2017. It was a super intense week full of programming and discussing. It was great coding fun! The GPU Hackathons (at times also OpenACC Hackathons) are workshop-like events happening around the world. Five of them are planned in 2017 – and the first one was at Jülich Supercomputing Centre last week. Organization is coordinated by Fernanda Foertter from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, who also joins the Hackathons to guide through the week.
Being a doctoral researcher is more than just doing science, working in a lab or programming simulations! Being a (young) scientist means also to be able to communicate with other scientist, publish as many of your results as possible in scientific journals, make yourself a name within the scientific community and deepen your knowledge about special methods used in your field of research! But these skills are usually only taught partly at university during your study program. Especially, how to write a scientific paper in English is something, a student does not always learn during his/her studies in Germany. Therefore, so called graduate schools are established, which offer courses in different areas and provide doctoral researchers with transferable and methodological skills.
After three to four years a doctoral researcher is at the goal of his/her dreams – getting the doctoral degree! But after the PhD is before the new job! The big question is “what is next?” “Do I want to go into industry? Do I want to stay in science? Should I go into science policy or management?” Well, that depends on the preferences of every single doctoral researcher, but the FZJ often wants to keep its excellent doctoral researchers a bit longer and offers them a postdoc position (meaning a position for a young scientist, who just finished his doctoral degree). If you are, right now or in a few years, in this situation – congratulations! However, you should know about some aspects, which have nothing to do with science. Before we get to the actual topic, you should know that this is not just of interest for scientist who want to become a postdoc, but for everyone working in the civil service (öffentlicher Dienst) with a union agreement (Traifvertrag) within Germany! So, read the next lines carefully!