Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Secondment at EPFL: such a great experience

Secondments are one of the most interesting parts of Mari Curie projects. It gives you the opportunity to work with different researchers in different companies, universities, and research centres. 
I performed my first secondment within the INFRASTAR program at EPFL. It was such a great chance for me to stay as a PhD visitor in one of the well-known engineering schools in the world and to live in Switzerland with its magnificent nature and landscapes. What I have learnt during my secondment is not only related to my work, I also learnt a lot about the Swiss culture, people, and the great international atmosphere of Lausanne. 

I joined the Structural Maintenance and Safety Laboratory (MCS) of Civil Engineering depertment at EPFL.  My work in this lab was devoted to take advantage of valuable long-term monitoring data that is recorded by this lab for about two years. It is worthy to mention that three of the shared objects within INFRASTAR are provided by MCS. Chillion viaduc is one of our shared objects and I was working on the monitoring data of this bridge. I have employed Time Series methods such as ARIMA to prepare a new load model for fatigue analysis while there is seasonality effect. This new model can deal with missing data, it can capture seasonality effect, and it can be used to generate fatigue loading for further analysis (more details about this study will be provided later).  

Apart from work, this period was a great opportunity for me to enjoy the nature of Switzerland. What is very interesting in Switzerland is that one can make a plan to visit any place in the country during a weekend, however, there are plenty of beautiful places out there. Another thing that sounds even more interesting in this small country is that they have four official languages and when you visit different regions you will see the diversity of the languages and cultures. 

In conclusion, I would say that my secondment at EPFL was a great incident for me. I could get benefit of the invaluable experiences of researchers at MCS lab. Also, I could add the experience of living in Switzerland in my memory besides all other beautiful experiences that I had in another countries. 

Thank you for reading this article, 

Chillion Viaduc

A trip with MCS members to visit a newly constructed pedestrianise bridge with UHPFRC that is a new material developed at MCS.  

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