By Oka Sarang, Ph.D student of Chemical Engineering
I spent the summer of 2011 gaining international experience on two extremely stimulating research projects. I spent the first leg at TU Graz, Graz, Austria, working at the Research Center for
Pharmaceutical Engineering (RCPE), led by Johannes Khinast, a former Rutgers University faculty. While there I worked on dry granulation; the principal aim of the project was to determine the effect of different solid binders on the production of fines post milling. Graz is the second largest city in Austria after Vienna, and in my opinion, it is one of the prettiest cities in the world. It won the title for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) “city of design” this year. Overall, the experience in Graz was terrific, and the host students were more than just warm hosts.
We spent our time riding trams, hiking, watching live soccer games in stadiums, eating traditional Styrian food, and traveling across Austria whenever our research let us. For the second leg of my trip I traveled to Weimar, Germany to work with Glatt Ingenieurtechnik. Weimar is a centrally located small German city; the size of the city is deceptive of its rich history. Resident to greats like Sebastian Bach, Schiller, and Goethe, the city was also the home of the Bauhaus moment, and thus rightfully home to the Bauhaus University. After Weimer, I continued my travels to the Otto-Von-Guericke University, Magdeburg where a part of the experiments were performed. A former industrial hub and the second most destroyed city in Germany during the Second World War (after Berlin), Magdeburg feels like a bastion.
The focus of my work in Germany was to study the residence time distribution in continuous fluidized bed systems. Working with world experts in fluid bed technology was an extremely enlightening experience. The data I collected in Germany is being used to model the fluid bed dryer with the modeling team here at Rutgers University. The whole experience was terrific not only from an academic standpoint but also from a personal perspective.