Hi there, my name is Jonathan, originally from Indonesia but I am an undergraduate in Singapore. As a student, my scientific interest lies in the field of metallurgy. While my home university has an excellent materials department, there is little focus on metallurgical sciences. When the opportunity to apply for ERIP came across, I was very excited. After having a short online call with Prof. Andreas Mortensen from the Laboratory of Mechanical Metallurgy where he introduced his laboratory, I was really eager to be working under his supervision.
My research involves the characterisation of oxide inclusions in ferrous alloys, which are micron-sized ceramic particles embedded within steel formed during steelmaking. The materials scientists among you might think that any topic within the ferrous alloy research field is pretty much done and dusted. However, unlike what has been done commonly so far, our laboratory aims to understand the intrinsic properties of the inclusions themselves instead of the iron matrix using nanoindentation. I managed to get my hands dirty doing many experiments and learning the usage of many new instruments within my 6-month stay, including electron microscopes, different melting equipments, and nanoindentation machine. We are also currently working towards publishing the results of my experiments combined with the previous work done by my mentors.
In the office, my colleagues from all over the globe gave me a very warm welcome and we share experiences and discussions beyond our work that really shaped my perspectives.
Beyond metallurgy, I learned about the Swiss culture, governance, norms, landscape, economy, politics, technological advances, and others. I found the locals to be helpful and kind although the Swiss can sometimes be a bit bashful.
With top-notch public transportation system as well as navigation and hiking applications (SwissMobility, MeteoSwiss, Swiss Villages), I could travel around the country and immerse myself in favourite local pastimes, in particular hiking. The Swiss landscape is amazing and it is very easy to find hidden gems everywhere.
However, even more important to me was that this trip started my profound appreciation for great engineering works that the Swiss has been doing since the previous century. The different kinds of city trains, mountain trains, gondolas, funiculaires, lifts, along with their accompanying supporting towers, bridges, tunnels, and other structures built at extreme landscapes, altitudes, inclinations, and weather conditions never ceased to amaze me as a metallurgist. When I see these structures, I was often overwhelmed by a feeling of real synergy between nature, technology, and art. The Swiss engineers have been breaking boundaries for decades and harnessed their technical expertise in the real world to create an experience I might not be able to feel anywhere else.
Jonathan Aristya Setyadji, Nanyang Technological University
Laboratory of Mechanical Metallurgy