31 May, 2011

Construction site ahead

Now that I began working and started my PhD I am also pondering to re-work my blog. A couple of people know anyways who I am and I would like to return to my roots and blog more personally of what I do. So it might look a bit chaotic here occasionally in terms of layout and design in the next couple of months (work and PhD eat my time). Perhaps I move to my university website. Or not. Though I will keep making posts also - if my sanity is not affected by all the other things that I should be doing (microscopes, XRD training, reading, writing grants proposals, classes and whatnot). There actually is at least one night post in my head about last fridays field trip to some fantastic open pits and industrial minerals (kaolinite, quartz, feldspar, clays). If time is short I might just post photos...

20 May, 2011

PhD - Teaching - Bentonite

Finally things are close to developing a routine at my new university, job and research institution. The last three weeks were almost exclusively consumed by bureaucrazy, organisational issues, orientating in a new city, moving in and unpacking (still in progress), and and and. Since May 2nd I assist in teaching 2nd semester students the basics of geological map recognition, interpretation and use which turned out to be more fun than expected. Also I am going to supervise a little the microscopes of the Chair of Engineering Geology and once I get some time I will be learning how to do X-ray diffraction measurements.

Yesterday was an important day because I - finally - managed to delineate my planed PhD topic and mailed the dean my official application to be put on the list of PhD students of the university. As I meet all criteria this should only be a formality and I expect to officially be a PhD by next week!

My PhD research will be focusing on the formation mechanisms of bentonites, comparing different types of bentonites from different deposits. I am curious to learn how it all works and am quite glad to be have found a topic within the scope of economic geology and industrial minerals that I consider to gain significantly in importance in the decade. Naturally I hope to also extend my knowledge here and work/research on some other issues.

If any of you should have access or contacts to bentonite (or related like hectorite, etc.) deposits, beds or miners/explorer I would be happy to hear from you. Unfortunately I cannot offer much other than my lasting gratitude and proper acknowledgements. Though I might make this into another post with more details...

19 May, 2011

PhD in sight!

Work is consuming all my time but today was an important day: I officially applied to be placed on the faculty list of PhDs! A matter of days and I am officially a PhD student and not only a teaching assistant. Wohoooo! :-)

07 May, 2011

Week One

My first week at work has passed successfully. Most of my office time was invested into finding a place to live but that has been brought to a success yesterday and I can move-in monday or thuesday. Perhaps I got to sleep one night in the office but I'll happily do that knowing that I have a place to go to. Assisting in the lectures is also quite fun I noticed. This semester it will mostly be in the 2nd semester course of "Maps and Profiles" teaching how to read and use maps, especially geological maps, and interpret them. At the end of may I will be acompanying a one-day field trip to one of the best known Kaolin deposits in Germany. It is mined by various companies and has huge open pits. I figure that it might also be my first geological contribution to the blogosphere in a long time. Otherwise, I like the city. It is wonderful. Hopefully after I moved in I can also invest some time in getting to know the nice sides and finally meet some people. Oh and I hope I finally get my contract and ID so that I can login online and do all the useful stuffs at university...

03 May, 2011

First days at work

WOW! I began working on monday at university. I live in a new large city. Everything, literally everything, is new. Met a lot of new colleagues and professors who are all very kind. Bit chaotic situation and unorganised but I have my own office room (still needs more furniture) and keys for all the rooms. Hehe...contract still floating around missing and I still live in a small guesthouse. No room nor flat, yet. This is really tough here. No science done yet but the PhDs/assistants have a monthly and very fun bar meeting. Been tossing around ideas today with my PhD supervisor and had some of my own. Perhaps with one of two of those ideas you my dear readers and followers might be of very practical help. But I will reveal that once it is more thought through. We also plan one or two trips to the USA sometime this or next year. It might be a chance to meet some of you geobloggers out there! But we have no route planed, yet. Just some states that we will certainly see. Till soon! Sorry for any spelling mistakes - currently I practically live in a bar next to the guesthouse and I ain't feeling like spell-checking. :D