From the 1st to the 4th of October the 6th MAINZ student seminar took place in Lisbon, Portugal. Our travel started in Frankfurt airport where the students from Mainz and Kaiserslautern met to fly together to Lisbon. Around midday we arrived at the hotel and, after a quick lunch, the main integration activity of the seminar took place. The students and members of the MAINZ office were organized in random groups and asked to fulfil a list of ten tasks. The tasks took the groups to visit some of the most famous landmarks in Lisbon, to learn about Portugal culture, and to try the famous “pastel de nata”. The last task on the list was to come to the “S-Restaurante & Petiscos”, where we had an amazing ten “tapas” dinner, which took us through a trip through Lisbon cuisine.
On Friday, we started our academic program. We had first a talk by Dr. Michael Fuchs, the general manager of MAINZ, about the future perspectives for our graduate school, and about his own career path. Following, we had three general talks about the main MAINZ research areas. These talks were given by Thomas Lenz, Felix Schmidt and Hagen Söngen. In the afternoon, we had the talk from our first invited speaker, Prof. Freitas from the INESC institute, and students talks about their research projects. Our second day ended with the poster session, in which a lot of interesting discussions took place.
Saturday was our invited speakers’ day. We had talks from three invited researchers from Lisbon and Porto: Dr. Kakazei from the University of Porto and Prof. Roque and Prof. Martins from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. We also had three talks from three MAINZ alumni: Dr. Kerstin Wiss. Dr. Eberhard Jakobi and Prof. Nicolas Vogel. The alumni talks became the highlight of our program, they constituted a perfect opportunity for the students to ask themselves about their career path and learn from the professional experience of the invited Alumni. After some free time, the Saturday ended up in Portugalia, an old style typical Brewery. There we enjoyed Portugal beer and food, with the company of some of our invited alumni.
In our last day, we had some more students talks on their research project and discussion on the future MAINZ’s activities. We decided that the next student seminar will take place in Dublin and that we will have an alumni-students BBQ next summer in Kaiserslautern.
(Copyright all three prictures: Maximilian Staab)