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|After 5 years I'm home again for the first time for more than a visit.
However, the future is still open. As I'm looking for jobs several interesting opportunities are already taking shape - in Germany, Fance, Canada. Let's see which ones eventually materialize. It will be once again a difficult decision.
Luxury problems - the challenge of freedom! Bring it on...
|Winter hike up the Reintal.
|When will I be this free again?
No job, no home, no girl, no plan; A tent and everything I own in the back of my car.
I've sold my boat, sold my bike; Bought a car, packed the rest of my belongings in the trunk and started driving east. No idea where I'll be next, open for all suggestions, first sleeping in the tent, as it get's colder in the car. No passengers to coordinate with, but new firends at all stops.
A desk in the dirt or a library; No "must do", but enough work to keep me busy: Promoting Megawatts & Marbles, finalizing two publications, looking for jobs and setting up interviews.
Freedom, and yet getting stuff done. The perfect summer! Driving 15.000 km across North America .
|En route East.
that I'm done with the PhD I decided to take the summer off and
actually think about what to do/ where to go next. It seems so easy to
just stumble from project to project and at the end conclude some
career. But I think it's very worthwhile to stop every now and then,
take inventory, see what one has and what you want, take the bearings,
and then conciously move on in the right direction.
Now is the righ time to check the compass once again. Traveling usually creates the right headspace for that.
Six weeks sailing up the BC coast was already a good start. A road trip east will be next. Let's see what the new direction will be...
|Sailing up Jervis Inlet.
||eventually I had enough -
|April 19, 10
done. PhD defended.
It's been good and very productive years (see here), and according to my supervisor the result is "a seminal work", but now it's time to move on!
Thanks to my supervisory committee (Drs. Crawford, Buckham, Monahan) and the external examiner Dr. Bottasso for reviewing my work and an interesting discussion!
Next setp: freedom.
I'll take some time off to think about my next steps. Where do I want to go? What I want to do? So I'm going to spend the summer sailing (here and cruising up north) and exploring exploring, before joining the work force in fall and actually starting to pay taxes.
(Let me know if you have an interesting job - but not too soon, please!)
Crawford, my supervisor, after defending.
||the end is close|
||I'm going to
The date is set, the examining committee informed. I still have two papers in the pipeline, but the results are all in. Everything looking pretty good, and all that's left is writing the dissertation...
||visiting home again
||This fall I
chance to spend a bit of time at home. I was invited to present my work
the Torque conference ("The Science of Making Torque from Wind"), which
was held in Munich this year. So I spent a week before and after the
conference at home, re-connecting with friends, visiting family,
thinking about my next steps after graduation, and probing
connections for places I might want to work at next.
||This year I
summer on the Pacific. I left mid July (for 10 days on Maui, Hawaii)
and then sailed Salient, a Beneteau First 40.7. back to Victoria. It
was a 2600 nm trip, took us 18 days, and was an amazing adventure.
Skipper and crew were spectacular, and it was one of the most
impressive, challenging, fun, and trans formative times I've had in a
long time. After a few days hiking I was back at work beginning of
September - the summer was over. But: no regrets at all!
the Pacific (photo courtesy of Peter Sherk).
getting ready for another conference and editing papers to the
reviewers comments. A PhD student's life at it's best - time to finish.
Besides that our "marbles game" (more here) is picking up interest and I'm presenting different workshops with various institutions. That's fun, but distracting and we work on solutions for the game being played without me and my team being involved all the time. Will be interesting to see where that takes us...
Megawatts & Marbles at CEEA2016.
been a long time, but after a conference in San Diego I took the chance
and went home for a few weeks. It felt good to be home again,
re-connect with family and hang out with the old friends.
but now it's time to focus on work again. And finally my work is
actually progressing. There are a few papers in the works and a
conference coming up soon.
warm, beautiful. Time to be outside. Since my supervisor is on leave,
too I decided to take some time off as well and went sailing for four
weeks Desolation Sound, Nanaimo, Nelson Island. What shall I
said? Beautiful, amazing, gorgeous! These words are all not eup the BC
coast: Gulf Islands, Vancouver, Sunshine Coast, Strait of
Georgia,nough. It was simply beyond!
This land is such a beautiful place, the weather was amazing, and I had the pleasure to spend time with a lot of gorgeous people.
Special thanks to Stefan and Beppi, two of my oldest (and still best) friends.
(photo courtesy of Stefan Morscher)
(which eventually seems to progressing a bit, too) I spent a lof of
time developping a little marble game with a friend. The intention is
to illustrate the struggle of constantly balancing electricity demand
and supply while combining different (renewable) power sources. But
instead of lecturing we have participants play different power stations
(e.g. coal plant, wind farm, etc) and thus experiance our electricity
system. The first test run was beginning of this month at UVic's Ideafest - it was
|Running our marble game at UVic's Ideafest. (photo courtesy of Armando Tura)|
||Winter... not fully yet
nights, Christmas lights everywhere, rainy, and big storms coming
through every other week. I never cared much about the storms, but now
that I have a boat they became more worrisome.
... in the mean time the daffodils are already poking out, getting ready to go flkowering. Hmm, is it ever becoming real winter here?! Luckly we have the mountains close by!
P.S.: that winter never came! I feel somehow betrayed.
||Last bit of cruising and
October brought first a visit of my parents and then two old friends
from home together with the last days of cruising - great times.
Besides that I got my candidacy exam done. Hence, after all the report writing, I can now focus on real work again and push my research forward.
Sailing in Toronto harbour.
have a long time off in summer. Usually Mai till August. Not
engineering students at UVic. They have classes all year round, which
means there are seminars, talks office hours and teaching assistance to
do all year around. But not in August! This is when even engineering
shuts down. As I had a lot of work to do, but did not have any
obligation to be on campus I decided to move my office for this month:
I went to Toronto for four weeks, for A) seeing a friend, and B)
experiencing a new place.
The two times I had been to Toronto before it has not impressed me too much. But this time I was really surprised! Toronto has surprisingly beautiful corners, I really like the small back streets and the brick houses. I was in a community with a lot of green thinking and new technology. Thus I met surprisingly much green tech business (Morgan Solar, Hydrostor, MMB Networks, AVEtec). And on top of that: so much to do - even for me who does not like city life! Sailing, Frisbee, Beach Volleyball, Events and Talks, … I wished the days had two evenings.
Conclusion: Toronto might actually be a place to keep in mind for after my degree.
weeks of work we are finally sailing. More about the project and all
the work in our sailing blog.
Besides this it's the usual work.
And: my paper on bird wing aerodynamics got accepted by Bioinspiration & Biomimetics. I'll link it as soon as it's published.
at Portland Island.
||Back in Victoria
I'm back in
Victoria, back at work, back with my garden.
The veggies have been growing increadible well all through winter and I can could continously harvest food. And now it's already time for starts for the next season. Time flies!
On the other side, school keeps me pretty busy these days. Research, research and more research. But since that is not enough I dacided to buy a boat and get serious with the sailing. After all i spent most of my life inland, and this is the chance to enjoy the ocean. So we found a chaep boat, and start working on it now to get it into better shape. Looks like another awesome summer ahead.
|November-December 2013||Visiting Germany
visiting the research group ForWind at the University of Oldenburg,
Germany, to discuss our research and share our ideas. I am really happy
about this chance to learn here since great work is being done by the
people in Oldenburg.
Besides that I'm enjoying being back in Germany: I have some time to see family and old friends, and it's great to get German food again: real bread, real sausages, real pickles, real milk and cheese, ect.
|September 2013||Last days of summer
The summer was busy:
starting with an incredible kite surfing trip down in Oregon and some
people visiting i was pretty much drowning in studies, research and TA
stuff for June, July and August. But then I got it all done, had
another friend visiting and summer fun kicked off: we went ocean
kayaking for five days off Bamfield, on a week long road trip though
the Rockies and of course for local mountains. Summer is great here! So
many opportunities and incredible consistently perfect weather. So
Now fall is in the air and everyone is getting ready for the wet season. Yet, i don't want to let go the summer!
at work in the Rockies.
|May 2013||Finally moved
After having settled in Victoria i took a long while searching for my perfect home. But it paid of as i finally found found it: i'm living just five minutes away from the ocean now in a beautiful large house with a big garden together with lovely people. It'll be great!
in my garden.
|April 2013||The winter is over
After some beautiful weeks in fall winter came to Victoria quickly. Not really winter, just as winter as can be here: wet, grey and rainy - at least in the city. In the mountains, however, it dumped an incredible load of snow and we has some beautiful winter trips. It stood like this (wet, grey and rainy in the city, white and full of snow in the mountains) for a a while, but suddenly the city turned green and full of flowers and the sun came out. Now it is incredible beautiful here and we are all so much looking forward to summer. It will be awesome!
|August 2012||Moving my life to
Victoria, BC (Canada)
again: once again I am packing my life into bags and start moving. This
time it is really all my life, because I will be off to Victoria, BC
for at least three years to do a PhD here on renewable energies,
precisely on the aerodynamics of wind turbine blades. Heading off for
three years is a long time, and it feels like long enough to take not
leave anything back. Either take it, or discard it.
Victoria gave me a warm welcome (deepest thanks to Mauricio!) and the weather has been perfect for the last three weeks. It beautiful and I'm happy to be back in academia and am happy to have exciting research to do.
I'm looking forward to all the exciting outdoor fun that's going on here and hope to have time to enjoy much of it. Connection to the local Frisbee community was (of course) easy.
new home in Victoria.
Winter Hiking in Sweden
just spent a week in Sweden for winter hiking. With two friends we took
skies, a pulka with lots of food and a tent to be fully independent and
hiked through Jämtland, Sweden for seven days. It was an awesome
experience: minimalistic, beautiful and kind of an adventure!
A report on the trip is here...
least one decision is made, and it was not too difficult: I found a
nice project and will start working with TWT
GmbH on Oct.
17th. And the best: this project is limited on 6 month, meaning I can
see again in spring whether we had any success in funding the
speed sailing project. If so i could continue that - if not I can still
look for another PhD position and in the meantime i can gather valuable
experiences in industry. But that gives me (and the sailing project)
some time - at least till Christmas.
However, another decision is still pending: I still don't know which bike to buy...
Time of Decisions
Straight back from travelling I have to face days of important decisions: as my bike got stolen just before I went to China I now need to get a new one. There are some good models, but it’s not easy to decide which one to pick. So I spend quite some time at bike shops talking and test-riding bikes. Besides choosing a model there are two more crucial questions: 26’’ or 29’’ wheels? Carbon or aluminum frame? – Not easy!
Also with my
job there is the need for decisions:
Well, it’s an exciting time.
|September 2011||Back from China - looking for a new job|
I am back from
China. It was a very impressive trip. Everything is so different there
and it was quite exhausting. I saw a lot and came back with lots of
impressions, which i now need time for to process. Much time
|A park in China|
|July 2011||Planning my summer
holiday: a trip
to China (Aug. 13th till Sept. 9th)
|At the moment i am
planning this year's
summer holiday. Since i am not too much occupied with work (yet) i get
the chance once again to do a bigger trip. So i took off four weeks to
travel China, possibly Tibet (if we get a permit), the Taklamakan
Desert and finally Kazakhstan.
The trip will consist of mainly train travels, with the famous "Tibet Train" (see: Wikipedia: Qinghai-Tibet Railway and Tibet Train Travel) and as major part of it.
Initially i wanted to finally realize my long term plan and travel back all the way from Beijing to Munich by train, but finally i decided to do only parts of the train trip this time. The rest is saved for another time. My dream of travelling Mongolia (maybe by horse) is still alive and maybe this will combine with the rest of the train journey one day.
Since i didn't include a propper blog-tool here, yet, i will try to post news on my travelblog - if i find time (it's only a short tris this time) and working internet: http://manuel-f.blog.de/
|July 2011||Rocking Frisbee
After a lot of hard perperation since spring we (my Frisbee Team, Tiefseetaucher) were quite arrogant and went to Frisbee University Nationals with the goal to win. - and so we did! We won all games and gained gold.
With this awesome team it was huge fun! Thanks to all my mates.
our official and awesome team photographer Malte Wilms can be found on Shutterbutton.
(courtesy from Malte, www.shutterbutton.de)
|May 2011||Plan: Funding
and getting the PhD going
project's funding from industry and private people is still difficult i
will now be heading in another direction:
|April 2011||Summer came, but the
with the end of March summer came. The nature has turned green and it
was beautifully sunny and warm here recently. Lovely.
For work we had a presentation last week. It was some success, but things are progressing too slowly. Especially funding for the project turns out to be quite difficult.
Also with my PhD things are moving too slow. I have narrowed the field down to a nice topic now, about cavitating hydrofoils. However, it's difficult to find a supervisor, since not many people are working on this field - at least not in Germany. But i am still confident, as there are still a couple possibilities to work on. I hope to succeed in doing the next step soon. It's time for some progress!
two bosses and
me at a project presentation at the Yacht Club Tutzing.
|January 2011||Düsseldorf Boat Show
this month is mostly occupied by preparing for the presentation of our
project at Düsseldorf Boat Show. Within that we finally got the home
page online. Check it out at: http://www.speedsailing-bayern.de.
Despite all the work i managed to take a few days off and had great times in the snow and the mountains.
invitation to the Düsseldorf Boat Show.
|December 2010||working and enjoying the winter|
i know, the month is almost over and it's rather late for this post.
But i was busy and do not really have much to tell. Life is going well,
but nothing especially exciting.
Work is progressing and the design of our high speed sailing craft 50plusX is taking shape.
We already have had snow here in Munich (quit a lot) and i am looking forward to ice hockey, snowboarding and hope to be snow kiting soon, too.
|Our high-speed sailing craft 50plusX|
|We had a beautiful fall here and i spent some awesome
out in the yellow forests. It was almost like Canada. And that for
Work is going quit well and i feel very comfortably in my new apartment.
|Plan: getting used to working and getting the project started|
is progressing slowly yet. This has to change and i am confident it
I have already installed myself comfortably in my room and my new flatmates seem to be nice. Yet i feel like i need some more time to get to know the guys and finally settle down. But i'm also confident about that!
Obviously: every day life is catching up with me, too.
|My new room.|
Israel was awesome! I have returned with many impressions: it's a
beautiful country with a quite different culture. Tho i tried to avoid
politics it wasn't possible and i found the whole subject
sad - even more than in expected since it is so unnecessary. Well, i
don't know a solution either...
Work has started now, slowly, but things are getting on their way. I will write more on "the project" as soon as i have more information/ have something to present.
Since i am working at home all is quite comfortable and still fells quite like being a student - i like it!
Ah, i almost forgot: after six month of roaming around in finally moved into a new shared flat: home again. Canyon
|Canyoning in Wadi Dargot with Katia.|
|Plan: getting things going|
Well, the last
day being a student (at least officially) is over. Now life as
an engineer at work starts.
|Israel; Dead Sea in background.|
were quite fun, tho we did not play as successful as hoped.
Hiking and climbing at Wilder Kaiser
|Plan: deciding where to go, getting things going and: mixed nationals|
now looking forward to the mixed nationals this weekend and hop we can
win some games.
But mainly the upcoming weeks will be dedicated to deciding what to do for PhD and where i want to go. By now i got several tempting offers, each with its own special features, each with advantages and disadvantages. Hence this will be the month of a big decision.
Besides that i hope to go climbing for a couple of days and am looking forward to Oktoberfest again!
German Mixed Nationals 2010.
(courtesy from Malte, www.shutterbutton.de)
was a nice month. I spent most of the time with searching for PhD
projects and writing applications. This turned out rather successful
and now i have a couple of great opportunities.
Kite surfing last week was awesome and while being at the beach for several days i realized again how much i like being close to the sea.
The preparation for the Frisbee mixed nationals was good (tho not as intense as it probably should have been), and we feel ready for next weekend.
|Plan: Finding a PhD project and enjoying the summer|
this month will be dedicated to finding my perfect PhD position.
Yet there should still be enough free time left to get around a bit more. Especially since i am super keen to get up to the sea again after i spent that weekend in Warnemünde. I need to get out kite surfing soon!!!
Lucky me that there is already a kite surfing trip in preparation for late August. But i'm still looking for chances to go earlier.
Besides that i need to decide whether i can join the others going to Finland, and:
i need to prepare for the Frisbee mixed nationals to be rocking with Tiefseetaucher!
|Sunset at the beach with the guys.|
|July 2010||Review: Beautiful Germany and searching for my future|
at home again in Mai and graduating in June, July was dedicated to
deciding on my future. I was successful in that and now know what i
want to do! Hence i started to write some applications.
However, i didn't stress too much about all that, but still took some time off in between to get around a bit in good old Europe, to see old friends and discover new places. I went to WUCC (World Ultimate Club Championships) in Prague, have been mountaineering in Italy, played some Frisbee tournaments myself, visited Göttingen and Frankfurt and went hiking along the river Rhein.
And once again i found what many Germans don't seem to realize: Germany is a damn beautiful country!
|Dusk over Schönburg at Rheintal.|