snippets of blackwings life

Preparing for Canada 2009

After some busy time in Germany with a lot of work and so on the next tour is almost there. This upcoming Saturday I will take a plane to Montreal in order to attend the World Congress on Chemical Engineering – together with some colleagues of mine. Fortunately we all have the chance to give a talk at this international congress. I will have a time-slot at tuesday, 11:50 local time.

After the congress ends on Thursday, I luckily have the chance to do some vacation in Canada. I am really happy that my beloved girlfriend will join me for that time! We have the plan to do some camping and hiking around the Gaspe-region. Our first idea for a route is:

Kanada 2009 auf einer größeren Karte anzeigen

So stay tuned for regular updates here!

Collaborative Scientific Citation Managment

I finally started my final thesis to complete my degree in chemical engineering – and again, I was stuck with the problem of literature managment. Of courseI use LaTeX to write this thesis after the successful try-out during my last years Studienarbeit. The built-in BibTeX system to generate the reference list is pretty good, but it does not solve the problem of how to do your citation managment, namely how to save the PDF files, name them and find them in case you need them. It gets even worse, when you want to share these things in your scientific workgroup… So I found situations like: “Eh, go use SciFinder search for $Author and $Year and then you can find full text”. What I need is a tool like Flickr where I can organize my Citations, Tag them, maybe share those in a work-group and finally export them as a BibTeX file…

So I started searching for a software solution. First I found several commercial solutions using Windows (like Citavi, Endnote or RefWorks) – But all of those did not really satisfy me. After searching for some time I accidently found out about BibSonomy, a research project of Kassel University. THIS is what I was searching for! Tagging of publications like pictures in Flickr, importing stuff via existing Bibtex-file and exporting stuff in various ways: There are countless export methods such as BibTeX, Endnote or even as a HTML Table! You can search by tags, organize your literature and even upload your own full-text copy… People, just thanks for this great tool – It made my day!

exams done – some scientific literature suggestions!

Man, after 4 years its done – No more exams left to get the university diploma in chemical engineering! Just the internship and diploma thesis is open :)
So lets summarize. I just finished my 8th semester with the last three (oral) exams namely in “Membrane Separation Technology“, “Thermal Seperation Processes II” and “Solvent Concepts for Catalytic Processes“. It turned out that finding books to dig into those subjects are pretty hard to find. So here is my suggestion what books & papers might be helpful to get a broad overview:

Membrane Seperation Processes (Prof. König):

Solvent Concepts for Catalytic Processes (Prof. Wasserscheid):

Thermal Seperation Processes II (Prof. Arlt):

Most of these articles are reviews on this specific topic. They had been selected by just searching by Google Scholar. During my thesis (topic was: Measurement of partition coefficients of drug-like-solutes in micellar systems by ultrafiltration) this spring / summer it turned out to be way more useful than the (expensive) SciFinder. Especially the BiBTeX Export functionality really kicks ass (Just activate it by Scholar-Preferences)!

Exploring Lisbon

Sunset in Lisbon showing bridge of 25th april and christo reiSo the first days in Lisbon are over. The course is actually quite demanding – the name “intensive course” is 100% correct. Hours of interesting lectures and finally exploring the city. Currently the wetter is really nice, but during daytime, its hard to survive without air conditioning… Cause its like 35°C and quite high humindity. When it gets to dinner time, it gets really nice: No need to wear a pullover! Perfect weather to just drop into one of the countless street cafe’s or bars.
Yesterday we got the afternoon of, so my fellows from Erlangen and me decided to visit the famous Lissabon Oceanarium. The Oceanarium is located at the former Expo site located in the north-east of Lisbon. The site is easily reachable by metro. We were quite amazed, that the Lisbon Metro is so, lets say clean and well organized. Its just a 15 minute trip to get from Cais do Sodre (Ferry Terminal) to the other side of the city using Green and Red Line.

OceanariumThe Oceanarium was worth visiting. Actually the entrance fee is quite high (8 euro for students), but the big bassin in the middle of the Oceanarium “pays” back for it. Some very nice fish are in there: Most impressive is a large Manta Ray with about 2 meters wingspan. Also some school of white fish were in the. You could just sit down and relax… We spent there some time but afterwards we went to the closeby shopping mall “Vasco da Gama” in order to get some IceCream and drinks.

HPCEP beach time Cause of the weather we decided on wednesday to get to the beach, which is just 15 minutes away from university using the bus. Costa Caparica is supposed to be the “City beach” of Lissabon having nice sand and beach bars :) Although we arrived the quite late (like at 1800), it was warm enough to jump into the Atlantic Ocean with its refreshing surge. Later on we decided to skip the official dinner in Lisbon in order to drop into some beach bar having some wine and fish. Enjoying this great beach view and the nice meal (mussels and cod) we finally got back to the youth hostel…

Arrival in Lisbon

Bridge of 25th April at night. Seen from Almada Youth hostel Right now I’m on the Socrates course on High Pressure Chemical Engineering Processes in Lissabon, which lasts from July 8th til 23rd. Actually I’m pretty busy because of the schedule.
Weather is quite good but in the evenings it gets windy – combined with the air conditioning during daytime this is the perfect way to get a cold. And so I got one…
We are staying in a youth hostel in Almada, which is on the other side of river Tejo. So its about an 30 minute ride using bus and ferry. These bus drivers here seem to think of themselves as formula one drivers, which is correct to some extend, cause busses als have slicks.

While the trip to the city is time consuming, the ride to the campus is just 15 minutes. An additional 10 minutes will give us a ride to the beach (maybe, some afternoon, we will find some time to do that…).

Food here is actually very satisfying. The canteen is way better than the one in Erlangen and the dinners… Lets say it this way…. superb :) A lot of fish, vegetables and so on.
Bonsai beer glasses Yesterday we walked around in the bar district of Lisboa watching the world cup final and having some beer. The girls that had been out with us ordered a small beer. Yes, it was small. Looked like bonsai wheat beer glasses! Actually the “Sagres” beer is pretty good in taste – different but ok. Prices in Lisbon are ok. 2 euros per 0,4l of beer. Stuff related to coffee is ever cheaper. 80 cents is the common price for an espresso. Surprisingly after every meal you get a espresso without question. It’s just part of the meal. Time to start something linke this in Germany!

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