Divya Jayasankar, EuMA Internship Award Winner 2021
Q: Why did you decide to apply?
I wanted to move out of my comfort zone because that's where growth happens, and this internship stands as an example for me and any aspirant.
Q: How did you choose your host?
I was intrigued when Prof. Emma MacPherson from the University of Warwick suggested 'Terahertz metrology' as a topic of interest. Working with terahertz (THz) time-domain spectroscopy (TDS) would complement my current work on traceable S-parameter measurements up to 1.5 THz. Also, a new lens that could show diverse applications of THz.
Q: What was your experience like during your internship at the hosting organization?
It was a rewarding experience. I had a great time at the University of Warwick. A big shout out to my colleagues Jacob Young and Goncalez Costa; they made me feel very welcome and helped me to get settled in. Thanks to Dr. Arturo Hernandez Serrano and Dr. Rayko Stantchev for helping me get started with the experimental and post-processing work.
Q: What projects did you work on during your internship?
I worked on characterizing hydrogel skin phantoms with different water concentrations using THz-TDS technique and compared it with in-vivo skin measurements. The frequency-dependent properties of the hydrogel phantoms were similar to that of human skin. They showed promising prospects of being utilized as a skin equivalent.
The measurement setup
Q: What were the outcomes of your projects?
We published a paper on 'Investigation of Hydrogel Skin Phantoms Using Teraherz Time-domain Spectroscopy'. I enjoyed presenting it at the European Microwave Week Conference in Milan, Italy.
Q: What was your favorite part of the internship?
The internship amalgamates everything a student could aspire for. The best part was the experiments I did and participated in as a volunteer. It was fun to able to measure your skin.
Q: How did you find the supervision?
I am happy to have worked with Prof. MacPherson. She was encouraging and supportive from the interview until I presented my work at the EuMW conference. I also want to thank my supervisor Prof. Jan Stake, Chalmers University, for his support and guidance.
Q: How will the internship affect your future career?
I knew the challenge and the necessity to learn new things. I took it up with grit, and the best part about the challenge is overcoming it and crossing the finish line. The project's outcome was a success, and I had the opportunity to present it in Milan. This entire escapade gave me the confidence to foresee my career in academia.