Watch the video or read the interview below to find out what Pantelis likes most about the programme Nanotechnology and why he chose to study Nanotechnology.
Why did you choose Nanotechnology?
I liked the multidisciplinary nature of this program. The program combines several aspects of physics, chemistry, materials science and engineering in order to understand the new and weird world of nanotechnology. The study fits well with my own interests and expands my prior studies in materials physics. In addition, the focus of the program toward research as well as its close connection with the Mesa+ institute for Nanotechnology gave extra reasons to choose for this MSc program.
Did you do an internship? If so, did it play an important role in your future career?
As a master student at the University of Twente, I’ve completed an internship at ASML. ASML is located in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, and it is the largest supplier of lithography systems. During my period there, I was working on their new lithographic system based on EUV (extreme ultraviolet, 13.5 nm) light. My task was to find solutions that could enhance the efficiency and speed of the EUV light source.
Working at ASML as an intern gave me the opportunity to work in a professional environment, learn new skills and improve/sharpen skills and attributes that I already possessed. It enabled me to make connections that could be of potential help afterward. More importantly it gave me the opportunity to get a glimpse of the company dynamics and culture. Furthermore, experience there helped me to improve my organization and time management skills, which has significantly helped me during my PhD years.
Which challenges did you face during the programme?
The main challenge that I faced during the program was the need to combine knowledge from several fields including chemistry and biology, which my prior understanding was limited. However, due to the excellent teaching methods and facilities, that allow you to quickly grasp important information and get the required knowledge from other fields enabled me to overcome this challenge.
What kind of experiences learned during your studies were really useful when you got a job?
The most important experiences that I learned during my studies and I find very useful for my job are teamwork and critical thinking. Through the program’s courses, internship and master thesis, I learned the importance of teamwork and collaboration. Teamwork is an essential part of the PhD life. In addition the structure and type of the courses as well as the teaching methods, strongly promote critical thinking. The importance of which I still see it today. The ability to critically obtain information (from research papers, books, conferences, meetings etc.) is a necessary tool during my work, since it helps me to improve my efficiency, productivity and the quality of my research.
Expectations versus reality: are your goals fulfilled yet?
I could say that my goals are so far fulfilled, since I am doing what I really like.
Did you follow the track of your programme, or did you end up in a totally different place?
I am currently doing a PhD in applied physics at the University of Twente. The topic of my PhD is closely related with nanotechnology. It deals with the structure and dynamics of ice nanocrystals that are geometrically confined in nanopores smaller than a nanometer.
Do you have tips/pieces of advice/recommendations for current students of your programme?
My suggestion to current students is to stay focus and motivated throughout the MSc program. To pick wisely the courses based on their own interest and their future goals.