Hallo alle zusammen
My name is Tuur Mertens from Belgium. I’m the Early Stage Researcher #6, working in Berlin. As simple a statement it seems, as crazy a journey it has been; it all started with an spontaneous application, which—though exiting—seemed opportunistic at the time. But here I am, writing my first entry for the EJDFoodSci Science Blog. Life has its twists.
The project kicked-off in March in Kraków, where all the ESRs received training about multiple topics; but more importantly, where the team got to know each other and where the foundations were laid of now deeply rooted friendships.
The training at VLB in May thought us a lot about malting, process automation, packaging, among other things.
But above this, it showed in palpable detail the common thread which every beer person shares: passion. The farmer from Argentina raises his pint with the same amount of love as does the brewer or the scientist. We all have our beer stories; anecdotes shaped in a glass. It’s a global phenomenon that never ceases to amaze me.
Currently my work got a bit sidetracked, as I’m doing my best to learn German (thanks to the support of the TU-DOC office).
Before this, you could mainly find me in the lab doing complexing tests. I’m researching what compounds form or don’t form complexes with an array of metals.
So far, the results are as anticipated. In my spare time, I read beer news and articles, listen to brewing podcasts, follow the latest trends in craft beer and analytics, etc. While I enjoy this, I’m also of the opinion that it’s important to make time for yourself and others, as it can be easy for a—novice—PhD student to lose himself in stress and work.
Recently I also brewed my first batch of beer. It’s the beer that will keep the ESRs from getting thirsty during their training in Berlin in September. Although my contribution was relatively limited, I can’t help feeling proud in being able to serve something to my friends and colleagues that I’ve helped create. I hope they feel the same way.
It was a great learning experience and I would like to continue brewing the occasional batch in order to justifiably link the theory with the practice. I think that is something of great importance.
The EJD project becomes more real every day; and although challenging and hard at times, I can already look down on my past self with satisfaction. With that last idea in mind, I would like to conclude my first entry to this blog. May many follow.
Tuur Mertens, ESR6