I like the idea of working on an unsolved problem
'I had to write a research proposal as part of a Master's in Nanoscience. I submitted the proposal to NWO and they gave me a grant for my research!
I work at the interface of Physics and Chemistry, studying perovskite materials which are used in solar cells. We are not sure exactly how they work, which is why we are studying their structural properties. I’m regularly at my desk reading or drawing graphs, but I also use several laboratories on a daily basis to do chemistry experiments, X-ray diffraction or to measure the electrical properties of the material. I also give tutorials and I’m supervising a Master’s student. I like it here; I like the idea of working on an unsolved problem. And we have a close-knit research team; we have lunch together every day.’
Machteld Kamminga - PhD student at Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials
Skills and common sense
Hedde studied Applied Physics and works for Thaesis, a consultancy in Utrecht. As a strategic advisor, he operates at the interface of the consultancy's various activities. He advises on everything from company transformation processes to mergers and acquisitions. Although this apparently has little to do with physics, he benefits from the analytical skills he learned, as well as a good dose of common sense.
I think I'm getting a far better education than I would at home
“I would definitely recommend future students from the UK to study abroad! Moving to Groningen was a big step; however, the university and people were very welcoming. When I arrived there was a – very humourful – welcoming ceremony for international students, which helped to introduce me to the university, the city and life in the Netherlands.
The application process is different to that of England, so that was a bit difficult. Finding an accommodation, on the other hand, was no problem at all. The university recommended me to look early and make use of the Housing Office, which turned out to be really helpful. The university itself is fantastic! My Physics course is difficult but engaging and the lecturers generally speak very good English. I think I'm getting a far better education than I would at home, as the teaching standard here is excellent. The mix of cultures and educational backgrounds is interesting and rarely acts as a barrier. It offers me the chance to see a new culture and all its quirks, something the Dutch culture does not lack!”