SCENT Summer School II

First in-person project meeting after Covid break

Finally!  After a (too) long Covid break SCENT ESRs and their supervisors were able to meet in person during the Second SCENT Summer School, held at the University of Zielona Góra in Poland. That was a joyful time for all those attending – not only SCENT ESRs but also researchers from the sister-project “ETOPIA”. The summer school took place in the week 30 August - 3 September and consisted of different activities, both work-related and also aimed at strengthening our social relationships.

The whole event started with a visit to Science and Technology Park in Zielona Góra, during which we were able to see their facilities such as anechoic chamber, as well different rooms for testing the sound resistance of building materials. We also had an opportunity to visit our industrial partner Ekoenergetyka, who is known for building electrical vehicle charging systems, and drive one of their test cars. At the end of this day, we had a lecture from another industrial partner: Enea Operator, during which we learned about the capabilities of their data analysis system OrigaMI.

During the next days we spent more time at the University of Zielona Góra itself. Our hosts: Hermes, WaseemMarshall and Douglas (from ETOPIA) provided interesting and inspiring talks about their work. Some of our colleagues joined us online during ESRs' presentations. Not only that, but there was also a lot of room for collaboration. Just look at the keen faces of our researchers!

Summer School allowed us to conduct measurements at the bus charging station. Almost all buses in Zielona Góra are electric and the charging infrastructure is provided by Ekoenergetyka. This event didn't go unnoticed. Our ESRs and supervisors gave interviews which were later published in: the national TV broadcasting station TVP (both at local and national level), local newspaper Gazeta Lubuska, local edition of the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza and local radio station Radio Zielona Góra. Information about the Summer School as an event bringing people from different countries was also broadcasted earlier in Radio Zielona Góra. All these broadcasts were important for the outreach of the project; because we could efficiently reach a wider public and stress the role and position of science in everyone's life in modern societies on one hand, but also talk about the importance of international cooperation, especially with regards to possibilites offered by the European Union on the other hand.

But of course SCENT is not only about science and scientific collaboration. One of the aims of international programmes is to strengthen relationships and understand each other better. Additionally, who says, we researchers, cannot have some fun? Fortunately, during this Summer School we had lots of opportunities to relax and just spend some time together, chatting, laughing or even competing! For instance we took a boat trip on the river Odra, after which we visited one of the local vineyards of Zielona Góra. We had the opportunity to taste the local wine, beer and cuisine. Some of us also visited the ruins of a palace, learned polish words, and organized a little bowling competition.

Summer School II was a very enjoyable event, filled with lots of activities related to our research, but it was also one of the first times we could actually spend some time together as a group, after a long Covid break. The next Summer (or Winter?) School is planned for January 2022 at University of Nottingham. We definitely can't wait to see each other once again. In the meantime, we need to return to our daily research activities, charged with a positive energy.