In HICE twelve PhD students have been successfully prepared for careers in science and industry. They worked on interdisciplinary topics with the common goal of finding about the health effects of aerosols from different emission sources. All in all 28 publications were published during the five years of the project. The PhD students obtained intercultural management and communication skills by being involved in the preparation and the scientific conduct of four international measurement campaigns with about 40 participants each. Furthermore they joined corresponding courses at the Helmholtz Graduate School of Environmental Health – HELENA
Experimental learning: you can do it!
An exceptional possibility for training obtained the PhD students during four international measurement campaigns at the University of Rostock, Germany, and the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio. The PhD students were involved in the preparation of the campaigns and independently conducted their measurements during the four weeks experiment rounds. Biologists, chemists, physicists and engineers collaborated on the common goal to find out about the health effects and chemical characterization of emissions from ships, cars and wood stoves. Around 40 people were involved in the preparation, organisation, logistics, scientific conduct and research.
Show your work to international fellows
The students presented their work in front of an international audience and their project partners during three summer schools and workshops that took place in Prague 2013, Munich 2014 and Cardiff 2015. The topics ranged from analytical methods, challenges of health and aerosol research to data structure and statistical data integration. HICE organized together with the German Association for Aerosol Research a Workshop on “Aerosol Emissions from Fossil Fuel and Biomass Combustion” as part of the European Aerosol Conference (EAC) 2013. A HICE session on “Aerosol and Health: A challenge for chemical and biological analysis” took place at the analytica 2014, the world’s biggest fair on laboratory technology, analytics and bio tech.
Get to know other labs and workflows
The partners from the University of Eastern Finland tested their cell exposure devices in the laboratory of the Helmholtz Zentrum München in 2016. The group at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) invited the HICE students twice to learn about the handling of the air-liquid interface system for the exposure of human lung cell cultures to aerosols. They got to know the basic operation principles and the preparation of the cells before being implemented into the interface system. The Metabolomics Group of the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) organised a lab training course on profiling cellular metabolism. During the one week course the HICE students analyzed metabolic effects on human lung cancer cells caused by wood combustion-derived nanoparticles.
It’s science, virtually!
The students followed weekly lectures on science and technology such mass spectrometry and its applications. International experts presented the newest developments in research and industry. The lectures were hold at the University of Rostock and transmitted via video conferencing to all HICE Partners.
HELENA – Helmholtz Graduate School of Environmental Health
All HICE PhD students were embedded in the graduate and mentoring program of their host universities. Furthermore they had the opportunity to participate in the Helmholtz Graduate School of Environmental Health – HELENA which is established together with the LMU Munich and the Technical University of Munich (TUM). HELENA offers courses to foster independent scientific working as well as training such as self-management, scientific writing and presentations. PhD students are assigned a personal thesis committee for intensive guidance and mentoring. They can earn a certificate in Environmental Health research as an extra qualification. HELENA promotes international networks by financially supporting the attendance at conferences and research stays at other consortium organizations.