Category: News

Unforgettable time at Fuerteventura

This time, Fuerteventura, Spain, was the place where the MINSC fellows gathered together for celebrating the mid-term network meeting on February 7th-14th, 2014. We were warmed with a tropical sunlight, fresh wind and great weather, and by nice, friendly fellows from the CO2-React Network. For the first time, two networks were involved, so we were a group 45 people including fellows and supervisors.

We received training in two courses: Scientific Writing Course and Phreeqc. In the writing course, Liane G. Benning and Eric H. Oelkers were the main teachers with a great assistance from Andrew Putnis. They taught through interactive demonstrations how to write properly the different sessions of a scientific paper. Writing is not an easy task, but their didactic method was very helpful and practical, and they showed a funny way to write a paper in short effective time. The Phreeqc course was offered by Manuel Prieto and Juan Diego Rodríguez Blanco, they trained us using the modeling program through interesting and practical exercises and gave the fundamentals and commands for simulating reactions and processes. During the mid-term review, the MINSC fellows presented great presentations, for which we received excellent feedback from all the supervisors. We had also the opportunity to visit a desalination plant at Corralejo, Fuerteventura, a long trip from our hotel with fresh wind and beautiful landscapes.

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On Sunday 9th February’s evening, I received a wonderful surprise from the group for celebrating my birthday. I was really indebted to the group for their kindness and friendship!!! It was really amusing that all were having fun and enjoying the activity with whistles, they made this date a very special, unforgettable day in my life. I am thankful to all my friends!!! In order to cultivate and to flourish more our friendships, we had a super football game on Wednesday’s night on the beach, where we were divided into four teams: Phreeqcindor, Scalingclaw, Carbonpuff and MINSCerin, which represented the four houses of Harry Potter.


This network meeting was undoubtedly fantastic due to the high quality of the training and courses and  the well-organized schedule of the activities in such a way that we had opportunities to network and to interact among us in order to strengthen our social and scientific network.

I look forward to seeing all in the next network meeting in Iceland in August, 2014!!!


Copenhagen time! – The second MINSC Network Meeting

About six months after our first meeting in Seefeld, we all met again in Copenhagen, from the 17th to 21st of June. It was wonderful to see again this big group and we also welcomed two other fellows: Prathap, from Reykjavik, and Taher, from Leeds.

We started with the visit to the Maersk Oil Core Lab, where we were first introduced to the general look and feel of the company. After that, thanks to Finn, we learned about where the oil came from and we could see and touch different kinds of cores drilled from the seabed of the North Sea. We were really fascinated to know that the oil can be extracted from these tiny, invisible pores! Later we had a tour of the laboratory facilities with Bi Yun and a lecture about scaling in pipes with Pernille. In the late afternoon we moved to Bosai, a school of Japanese culture and sports, where we continued the rest of the meeting and we used their facilities for daily meetings and social activities. The location was about one hour away from the city, very peaceful, surrounded by green fields and not so far from the sea.  The PIs gave lectures about fundamentals of thermodynamics and kinetics of fluid-mineral interactions: speciation, mineral stability diagrams, nucleation and growth, saturation states and mineral patterns were some of the topics discussed. We also had a very nice poster session on one evening, where all the fellows could present the work they did so far, and to find out was going on at the moment in the other universities and industrial partners. This was really excellent, a very good thing because we could receive and give comments in a very friendly way, and also made some connections and got inspired from the work of others. In Stevns Klint we enjoyed a sunny weather, admired a beautiful view of the beach, learnt some geology of the cliff and saw the famous K-T boundary, which indicates the end of era of dinosaurs.

Of course, we did not do only science, but we had some fun playing volleyball, table tennis, swimming and doing sumo-wrestling! It was a very enjoyable time, with nice people, in a cozy place and I think we are all looking forward to meeting again in Florence, for Goldschmidt conference, or later for the next meeting in Fuerteventura!

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Paper published June 2013 – Precipitation dendrites in channel flow

Paper published June 2013 – ‘Precipitation dendrites in channel flow’ – EPL 102 (2013) 54001.

This paper studies the effect which advection has upon the morphology of structures precipitating in the presence of fluid flow. A phase field model is used to track the solid liquid interface of precipitating structures whilst the Lattice-Boltzmann model simulates the Navier-Stokes equations. The total system consists of a coupling of these two models. Non laminar Reynolds Numbers are also achieved by implimenting an eddy viscosity subgrid model which allows us to study the effects of turbulent flow in the system.

Ready…. Set… GO – The MINSC kick-off meeting

written by: Daniela Meier (University of Leeds), February 2013

Just before Christmas we braved the elements and headed off to Austria for the MINSC kick-off meeting. All the participants of the network met in the ski resort of Seefeld, where we spent four enjoyable days.

The meeting was all about how to work in a research network. We got an introduction on what it means to be part of a Marie Curie network and our rights and obligations as fellows. Especially valuable in this regard were the talks of Dina and Chris who had participated in a previous training network. They told us about their experiences, about the challenges and benefits of working in such an international team and gave us a glimpse of what life can be like after successfully completing a PhD. To help us to get started with our projects, we had sessions talking about the basic ingredients of a research project and the questions related to doing ethical research.  Many of the points raised during these discussions seem to be obvious and clear. However, spending time thinking about these issues will, in my opinion, help us to better understand and therefore avoid potential problems and pitfalls during our research projects.

The most crucial skills to successfully work in a network are communication and team working skills. Therefore large parts of the meeting were dominated by playful activities in teams to get us to talk to each other and to work together. For example, we had to try to escape from the moon. We had to work together as a team and fulfil the given tasks on time to ensure our safe return to Earth. Luckily, we succeeded in the last minute! But socialising was not over after the individual sessions. During afternoon brakes we indulged in “active outdoor socialising” such as downhill and cross-country skiing, ice skating and exploring the Seefeld region by foot. Many of us were also regular visitors at the local Christmas markets to enjoy a cup of Gluehwein or punch at the end of the day.

We definitely had a good time in Seefeld. I think that many of the activities have contributed to help forming a group out of the bunch of people that arrived on the 15th. Even though we all come from  a variety of scientific and cultural backgrounds, there is definitely potential for a very good collaboration within MINSC and I think I am not the only one who is already looking forward to the Copenhagen meeting where we all meet again!seefeld1 seefeld2