Testimonials of Selected IGCS Awardees

Paul Boehm, Master Student of Ecotoxicology at RWTH Aachen University

Paul Boehm private

Host

Dr. Indumathi M Nambi

Research Stay

April to End of June 2017

Research Topic

Assessment of the water quality of an urban stream and the ecotoxicological effects of treated waste water and industrial effluent on the same. Potential ecotoxicological effects of chemical pollutants will be investigated by the use of numerous bioassays. In addition, the first steps for the establishment of new bioassays at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras were taken.

Thanks to the IGCS’ support I had the opportunity to visit the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, allowing me to peek into the colorful Indian way of working and living. Dr. Indumathi M Nambi invited me to work in the division of Environmental Water Resources Engineering (EWRE), to get an insight into the current state of drinking water supply and the difficulties of sustaining it. Together we developed a strategy on how and where to collect data, in order to achieve a more sustainable water management in the region. Together with Jonas Daniel, another master student from RWTH Aachen University, I applied the latest method for large volume water sampling - applied in Europe, using the latest model of a sampling device (LVSPE 100) from the Helmholtz Environmental Research Centre Leipzig (Germany). Using biological tests, the water samples will be tested on toxic potential and with an advanced chemical analysis approach, they will be investigated on chemical pollution. With our findings, we are hoping to provide information on sources of pollution, the risk which emanates from those and how to eliminate such. I am enormously grateful for the warm welcoming I received at the IIT Madras and I am very happy to be part of a research group with such an important goal. My great experience will definitely not be forgotten in a long time and I am looking forward to further opportunities of joined projects.

Paul Boehm

Jonas Daniel, Master Student of Ecotoxicology at RWTH Aachen University

Jonas Daniel private

Host

Dr. Indumathi M Nambi

Research Stay

April to End of June 2017

Research Topic

Assessment of the water quality of an urban stream and the ecotoxicological effects of treated waste water and industrial effluent on the same. Its chemical state and potential ecotoxicological effects of pollutants will be investigated using chemical analysis and an effect-directed analysis approach. In addition, the first steps for the establishment of new bioassays at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras were taken.

Supported by the IGCS I had the chance to stay at the idyllic IIT Madras campus for a master’s project work. During my time at IITM I was welcomed by warm-hearted people that will offer help in any situation. Not only it was interesting for me to learn about the Indian culture but to experience working in a new and calm environment. Together with Paul Boehm from RWTH Aachen University, the goal was to take large volume water samples using a novel device. At the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig I will be applying Effect-directed analysis which allows to relate toxic effects to single chemical compounds in the samples taken. Such findings may aid to an improved water management. From the collaboration with Dr. Indumathi M Nambi at the Environmental Water Resources Engineering Division I achieved a better understanding in water management in the Chennai region that will contribute to future joint research projects.

Jonas Daniel

Julia Bauer, Master Student of Applied Geosciences at RWTH Aachen University

Julia Bauer private

Host

Professor S. Mohan

Research Stay

End of March to May 2016

Research Topic

Modelling of Contamination due to Open Dumping of Municipal Solid Waste – Case Study of Madurai City

Julia Bauer, Master student of Applied Geosciences (specialization: Geophysics, Hydrogeology and geological engineering), did project work with Professor S. Mohan at IIT Madras from March to May 2016. The aim of the topic “Modelling of Contamination due to Open Dumping of Municipal Solid Waste – Case Study of Madurai City” was to find an effective and cheap solution to decrease the area contaminated groundwater caused by an open landfill in Madurai by using Visual Modflow.

The IGCS offered me the opportunity to work and live with a lot of intelligent and motivated people. My stay at the IIT Madras was really comfortable and from the first day Professor Mohan integrated me in his research group, what felt like a big new family for me. He arranged a great project in Madurai, which offered me the possibility to experience not only the waste management system of Madurai, I also was able to do lectures in a college and school in Madurai. It was great to feel the motivation of people to get back the pureness of the nature of beautiful India.

Julia Bauer

Dr. Viktoria Schiller

Dr. Viktoria Schiller private

Host

Professor Dr. T.S. Chandra, Department of Biotechnology, IIT Madras

Research Stay

May 2015 to March 2017

Research Field

Environmental toxicology - Application of aquatic ecotoxicological tests to assess and monitor the water quality of agricultural irrigation water and urban drinking water.

Dr. Viktoria Schiller completed her PhD thesis in the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology and RWTH Aachen in 2013. In May 2015 she started her IGCS postdoc fellowship in IIT Madras, where she joined the work group of Prof. Dr. Chandra in the Department of Biotechnology. Her project is carried out in collaboration with Prof. Henner Hollert, Institute for Environmental Research, RWTH Aachen University.

The IGCS gave me the great opportunity to implement a new project at IIT Madras. In the last months, I found an open-minded, helpful and very hospitable work environment. The close collaboration with the colleagues from IIT Madras also enabled a valuable insight into the Indian culture and work mentality. I am looking forward to continue at IIT Madras next year, after my maternity break.

Dr. Viktoria Schiller

Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lars M. Blank

Prof. Blank standing in a group in front of the lecture hall of the Biotechcellence conference privat In front of the lecture hall of the Biotechcellence conference. From left: Prof. Jayaraman (IIT Madras), Prof. Meenakshisundaram (Anna University), Prof. Lars Blank, Prof. Ramalingam (Anna University)

University Professor at RWTH Aachen
The Blank Lab
Chair of Applied Microbiology
Biology Department

Hosts

Professor T. S. Chandra,
Professor G. Jayaraman, Dept. of Biotechnology, IIT Madras

Research Stay

February till March 2014

Research Field

Fundamental and applied aspects of microbial metabolism. Of specific interest is the interaction between the metabolic network and the introduced genetic and environmental perturbations. The research on in silico/in vivo metabolic network operation is aimed at a deeper understanding of cell function, with the ultimate goal of rational cell engineering.

Since 2011 Lars M. Blank is professor and head of the Institute of Applied Microbiology at RWTH Aachen. In his teaching, Blank focuses on the integration of biological concepts with the tools from bioinformatics and engineering. Lars M. Blank is Associate Editor of BMC Biotechnology and Engineering in Life Sciences.

The IGCS catalysed my visit at the IIT Madras in Chennai. I was allowed to experience the research atmosphere of the IITM garden campus located in the middle of the never sleeping 5+ Million Chennai. Several seminars and a student lecture gave plenty of opportunities for scientific interactions. Especially the intense discussions with interested PhD students and their professors of the Biotechnology department was an enjoyable experience. I am looking forward to following common interests in the near future.

Lars M. Blank

Dipl.-Ing. Felix Jacobs

Prof. K. Rajagopal and Felix Jacobs privat Prof. K. Rajagopal and Felix Jacobs

PhD candidate and research assistant at Chair of Geotechnical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University

Host

Professor K. Rajagopal, Geotechnical Engineering Division, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India

Research Stay

January and February 2015

Research Field

Sustainable construction with geogrid reinforced soil – development of an interface for the description of the interaction behavior between geogrid and soil

Felix Jacobs is a graduate of RWTH Aachen University in Civil Engineering (2010) and is part of the Chair of Geotechnical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University since 2010. During his stay, he cooperated with Professor K. Rajagopal, a leading expert in the fields of geogrid reinforced soil and numerical modeling, and his research team at IIT Madras.

The IGCS provided a great opportunity to carry out joint research with a group of skilled geotechnical researchers. Besides the technical cooperation, I had the chance to live and work in a foreign environment, which was a unique experience. The kind integration into the research team at IIT Madras allowed for an impressive insight into Indian culture and society and I came back to Germany with plenty good memories and many new friends.

Felix Jacobs