4th MAINZ Student Seminar

Långholmen Island, Stockholm (Sweden)

August 8 – 12, 2013


The 4th MAINZ Student Seminar took place in the beautiful Swedish capital Stockholm. In the early hours of Thursday morning we headed off to the airport and flew to Stockholm. Our destination was Långholmen, a nice island in the southern part of Stockholm. Our Conference Hotel was a really special location: Owing to its previous use as a prison, all of us slept in prison cells. After the arrival and lunch at Långholmen, we started off with a general introduction of the seminar and “got to know each other” in the afternoon-session . In the late afternoon we headed off to explore the city with a city rally guiding us through the most important and historical parts of Stockholm. For dinner, a special location was chosen: The high tower of Kaknästornet offering a view over the entire city was the destination.

The city rallye was rainy and difficult. Who solved it?


The second day started with presentations of invited speakers from the Royal Institute of Technology, the KTH Stockholm. The beginning was made by Prof. Malmström who gave a general introduction of KTH and presented some research results. Her talk was followed by Dr. Marten Behm who emphasized on the perspectives of Li-Ion batteries. The last talk of the morning session was given by Prof. Korenivskii on spin lasers. After lunch an interactive session with all participating MAINZ members was conducted in order to collect ideas for further improvement of MAINZ and to set a future strategy. From the collected ideas, many different social activities were suggested by the PhD-candidates such as a ski trip, a barbecue or a bike tour. Thankfully, some of the MAINZ students will organize these events in the future. In the later afternoon, we headed off for a boat tour. We travelled under fifteen bridges and pass through two locks connecting the Baltic Sea with the lake Mälaren. The trip showed us why Stockholm is sometimes called “Venice of the North”. In the evening we had dinner at an Italian restaurant in the Old Town of Stockholm.

The tour guide proofed to be quite knowledgeable about Germany and Mainz. He did not miss an opportunity to give a reference to Germany or Mainz. We liked it very much!


In the morning, two intensive and interactive sessions with MAINZ alumnis took place. At first Matthias Barz who did his PhD in the group of Prof. Zentel in the institute for organic chemistry gave a talk. Now being head of a junior research group in Prof. Zentel's group, he presented an overview over the scientific world after conducting a PhD. He illustrated the benefits and drawbacks of a post-doctoral stay abroad and gave information about funding possibilities. The next MAINZ alumnus talk was given by Frauke Kühn who did her PhD in the group of Prof. Schmidt at the institute for physical chemistry. After her PhD thesis she decided to work in the industry and became a laboratory head at Bayer Material Science. In a stimulating discussion with the MAINZ students, she explained the differences between working at the university and in industry. In the afternoon the MAINZ students themselves presented their work in a comprehensive presentation. For the talks we had two parallel sessions, roughly divided into more physical and more chemical related topics, but the talks were open for all students. In these talks the presenting students gave a general introduction into their research topic and showed the achieved results. The presentations were followed by a vivid discussion with the audience. In the evening the students had spare time and most of them headed to explore the city during the later hours of the day.

Gamla Stan in Stockholm (Old Town). We liked Stockholm very much!


On sunday morning and in parts of the afternoon the MAINZ students that had not presented their work the day before gave a talk. After the presentations, an interactive poster session with around 20 posters took place. This poster session gave the students the time to discuss their research projects individually with other students. Originally scheduled for 1 h, the session was extended to almost 3 h owing to the large interest. In the evening a special meal, a "Swedish barbecue" was served at our residence at Långholmen.

Our venue for the student seminar was a former prison. It was actually very comfortable and the food was especially great!


In a closing session on Monday morning the MAINZ students had the opportunity to give a feedback and discuss the next location for the MAINZ seminar. Afterwards, the students had enough time to explore the city on their own. They visited for example the City Hall which is the venue of the Nobel Price banquet or the Vasa Museum, where the only almost fully intact 17th century ship that has ever been salvaged is displayed.

Mainz, September 17, 2013

Sebastian Golde and Markus Bannwarth

(Student Representatives of the Graduate School MAINZ 2013)