Midnight thoughts

INFRASTAR project is teaching us how to communicate our science and research. It requires sharing our Ph.D. experience in social media (FacebookTwitterLinkedIn , and our research in open access sources ( Communication makes us visible, makes our ideas and opinions transparent. We spend a lot of time communicating with each other. Sometimes we feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, and sometimes, exited, loved and belonged. You can guess now the topic of my writing: communication and particularly normal life conversations. Lastly, I was discussing with one of my friends how to lead a discussion, and how to make the first step during work or friend meetings to start or change the conversation topic. We were wondering why men lead mostly the discussions during dates and in normal life conversations more than women. Is it a cultural thing, or a men innate skill? In many cultures, we say that ‘a man falls in love through h…

Training school, a trip to Nantes

INFRASTAR projet took us this time to Nantes. Toward lectures and teaching tools without forgetting the most important part: FUN. French gastronomy, a tour guide in Nantes and unforgettable dinners with beautiful people.

The training school was a good experience to design exercises that help students retain information and gain real insight in their fields. I learned how to not be afraid of making mistakes, how to deal with students from different fields and how to provide clear guidance for the exercises. I will be honest, I have never liked teaching, but after this activity, I was very excited and happy to see that my ‘students’ could retain some useful information and come to discuss more the topic after.
People from outside the project join the school to discover our work. It was encouraging to see that many master students, PhD students, engineers and professors from different fields were all curious about INFRASTAR project. And it was also stressful for us because we must give …

Experiments: Behind the scenes

Hi dear friends, I hope you are having a wonderful time with your family and friends.

To finish 2018, I want to share with you one of the experiences I had during 2018, where I had developed a relationship of hate and love with my Ph.D.

It started when I made the decision to install a monitoring system in a Swiss Bridge, in December 2017.
I prepared at the beginning of the year the statement of work to ask for funding from my school.
I contacted the companies selling the monitoring system in Europe to compare the prices.
I submitted a rapport to my school to ask officially for the funding.
And I waited for an answer.

In June, I got the money, I was very very happy, thinking that it is the end of the story. But, wait it just started.

To use the funding I should find at least 2 offers and take the best one for me and for my school
It was not easy to decide with different opinions and similar functions, but I made my decision and I have chosen one.

In July, we had sent by post the last …

Denmark, the world of probability

My second secondment was in Aalborg, direction Denmark πŸ‘‰, in one of the best universities in reliability. The research teams there were involved in different fields, including wind turbines, tunnels, buildings, fire security and more. They aim to change the deterministic world of engineers to a probabilistic world! It sounds like a noble goal.
When we apply the rules and the equations given by standards like the Eurocodes, we often think that the result is certain, neglecting the fact that our world is full of uncertainties. In mathematics, it is possible to have a certain fact which will 100% occur, and variables with exact values. However, when we move to reality, nothing is certain or exact. Parameters in engineering fields do not have an exact value because of the uncertainties such as physical, statistical or model uncertainties.
That is why, as engineers, we should not see problems and their solutions as being deterministic but learn how to deal with the associated uncertaintie…

My PhD in 6 minutes πŸ˜‰


The 'outside view' of INFRASTAR project

Hi dear friends, I come back to my blog 😊. This time I want to tell you about a special experience I had last week in Cologne (Kâln), Germany.

It was the first implementation day in the context of INFRASTARproject. The idea of this event was meeting the advisors (people who evaluate the progress of the project) and other external people doing research and from different industrial fields.
For me it was an opportunity to meet again the big INFRASTAR team.

After presenting our topics, we had the opportunity to discuss questions and answers with the advisors and the 'external' experts. Round-tables were organized for this aim.
During our discussions, I saw INFRASTAR project and my PhD topic from an 'outside view'.
Those experts had spent their life searching for practical solutions to the principal objectives of our project. They didn't find direct answers and ready solutions but either, ways to deal with each problem. Today, they are opening the doors to new genera…