Between 8-13 May 2017, Stefan Razvan, as a winner of best essay competition, had a visit to Max Planck Institute for Meteorology. Below are his remarks.
I arrived in Hamburg in the evening of Monday, 8th of May. I contacted Mr. Ilya Serikov from MPI and we arranged a meeting for the following morning.
Tuesday morning I went to MPI were Mr. Ilya greeted me. After the formal introductions we went to his department where he introduced me to the people his working with and everyone told me a few words about their work at the moment. In the afternoon I went sightseeing around Hamburg.
Wednesday morning I attended a departmental meeting with Ilya’s group. There I could learn more about the research they are undertaking at MPI, as everyone presented updates on their current work. I learned about the different atmospheric observations that are taking place at the institute’s observatory on Barbados, about the way they use the data obtained but also about challenges they have to face in order to obtain the data. The laboratory on Barbados is run by Mr. Ilya’s group so they are in charge of the scientific coordination of the project but also for the administrative and technical aspects. In order to obtain high quality data they have to face many challenges, like power outages on the site, corrosion, dust and sea water that are making the LIDAR windows dirty and thus corrupting the cloud observations they are undertaking. Resolving this issues can sometimes be a very tedious process, for example for the dirty windows problem they had to in house design an automated window washing machine that will be shipped on Barbados.
Thursday I attended a Barbados Observatory group meeting where I learned more about the actual data coming from Barbados and how it is used by the researchers. The focus of the Barbados Observatory is cloud observation and it is well prepared for this task, with instruments such as LIDAR (a new LIDAR is being developed by Mr. Ilya’s team), RADAR, ceilometer, telescopes etc.
On my last day at MPI, Friday, there was a special meeting organized at MPI. Professor Ulrich Schumann was a guest lecturer and he held a seminar on some of his research. Before and after this seminar researchers from the different groups at MPI gave short talks on their current research projects. Below are some pictures from Mr. Ilya’s group presentation:
All in all, the entire week was an absolute success. I was really impressed by the state of the art scientific instruments used at MPI – some of them developed in-house- and by the dedication of the researchers. The perfect teamwork and interaction between all departments, the openness and capability to adapt to different challenges, and also everyone’s professionalism made me think of a possible future collaboration with the Max Planck Institute.