The journey so far has been unique from day one, and I hope it stays like that. I applied for the position in April, but did not hear anything until August, when I was invited for an interview. Two hours after the interview, I was told I was selected as a candidate. At least the anticipation did not last long! It was one of the happiest days of my life. And from this moment the events really snowballed. I got my office, my lab space (my own Dexter’s laboratory), I started with courses and lab work, and before I knew it I had to hand in my three-month PhD plan. The biggest help during this adjustment period have been my fellow PhD colleagues, helping me with very simple things such as where I can find a printer, to much bigger tasks such as registering for courses. It has been a real joy working in this environment, people are absolutely fantastic and so pleasant to work with, and the feeling of achievement and working for the good of science and society is something you cannot really put a price on.
By background, I am a geophysicist, but my PhD is registered under Petroleum Engineering. The project focuses on what effect heating-cooling cycles have on rock strength, and to what extent can thermal expansion at grain level lead to degradation of the inter-granular cementation, and potentially reduce mechanical strength of a rock. In this project, we study whether the difference in thermal expansion coefficient at the grain contact level will cause weakening in chalk, sandstone and shale. So in short, I am working with temperature variations, which, if you think about it, is a physical property ?
Again, I cannot emphasise enough how happy I am to be forking for The National IOR Centre of Norway, and also to live in Stavanger. I have lived in Belgrade (Serbia), Toronto and St. John’s (Canada), and London (UK), but Stavanger has this charming feeling of a small town but still so much going on, great street art, and so many amazing nature adventures just minutes away. I love the active and outdoorsy lifestyle here!