Author Archives: Giacomo Damilano

Do not waste your waste

Circular economy chart [1]

“Do not waste your waste” was our slogan in the “Zero Waste Management Dubrovnik International ESEE Mining School” of November 2017. The school was organized by University of Zagreb Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering Department and supported by EIT Raw Materials. There was a huge participation of 39 researchers coming from all over Europe (Austria, Finland, Croatia, Germany, Poland, ...

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Secondment in KU Leuven: a fruitful experience

Picture of the electron probe microanalyzer (EPMA) of KU Leuven

The Marie Sklodowska Curie European Training Network SOCRATES offers a unique training programme for 15 early stage researchers (ESRs), bundling and strengthening European skills and knowledge through an intersectorial and interdisciplinary cluster of excellence. That is our projects’ nicely put slogan or baseline. In this blog, I will describe how the SOCRATES project puts these nice words into reality. SOCRATES ...

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Catalysts and Dragons

Credit: 2010 Chemorphesis

“Once upon a time there was a family living in a small town at the base of a big mountain. On top of that mountain a tremendous dragon, unbeatable by any man, guarded the only known passage to the next valley where a treasure was located. One day, the two sons of the family decided to try to find the ...

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Deep eutectic solvents – A warm relationship

Ionic Liquids and their properties [2]

If you have read my previous articles, you might have noticed that my PhD is about deep eutectic solvents and their application in electrochemical extraction of critical metals from industrial wastes (quite a mouthful, but allow me to explain 🙂 ). Metallurgists and Chemists might be wondering “Why deep eutectic solvents for extraction of metals? Why? I could just use ...

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The priceless metal: Gold

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  “Gold is money. Everything else is credit.” J. P. Morgan Why is gold one of the most expensive metal in the world? Have you ever thought about it? As I have been working with gold, I thought, maybe it is a good idea to write about this gorgeous metal. I hope you will be more interested in gold and ...

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It’s my life

It has been a year since I started my PhD in Leicester. Many people said it would have been an adaptation year since I moved to a foreign country and started living on my own. Well not completely, I have a lovely housemate, Marianna (ESR 2). She helped me a lot throughout this year, teaching me how to be independent (mostly in the kitchen!). ...

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An exceptional woman

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As SOCRATES researchers, we were appointed under the aegis of one of the most prestigious European bursaries; a Marie Skłodowska-Curie action. But, who was Marie Skłodowska-Curie and how she became the first woman to win a Nobel prize? (actually two). Today, on international women’s day, I decided to share part of her bittersweet life, which made of her an example ...

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I am living in Freiberg, not in Freiburg!

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– A: Hey! I am living now in Freiberg – B: Ohhh, you are living in the sunny city of Freiburg, so close to France and Switzerland! – A: No, no, I am living in Freiberg, with “e”. – B: Aaahh, so, where is Freiberg? I cannot remember how many times I have had this funny conversation. Therefore, I feel ...

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How to manage a healthy PhD life?

phd020314s

Though doing research as a PhD student is often fun, exciting and enjoyable, it can sometimes get very stressful. Especially when deadlines are on your neck. If you ask a PhD student how long does he/she work in a week, the answer may vary from about 40hrs to 60hrs. Most of their days will be spent either tied to their ...

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The cocktail bar statistical analysis

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Dear readers! I would like to describe some of the concepts of my everyday work by comparing it with a well known social activity: going to a cocktail bar! First of all, me remind you what my job is. I am a theoretical chemist, also called computational chemist, or nerd, and my work is to simulate chemical systems, just with ...

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