Ide3a Scholarship: Summary and Evaluation of the stay with Technical University Berlin

As a mechatronic engineer, I was placed in the mechanical and transportation department at Technical University Berlin, supervised by Sangyoung Park. I was given the opportunity to work in collaboration with my previous supervisor for my undergraduate paper, Mingming Liu.

The research topic was an extension of the work that I had been doing during my undergraduate degree, the design and implementation of a drone with a companion computer. I was able to combine the interests of both my supervisors to work on the design and optimisation of a deep-learning based energy consumption model, of which I was extremely satisfied with the results. With the constructive input put into the project by both supervisors. I was able to create an accurate energy consumption model that was supported using real drone data that utilised a wide range of input features.

I strongly believe that the scholarship was a large success given the issues regarding the cyberattacks experienced by the host university as well as the Covid 19 pandemic. The team had provided resources that helped me prepare for the stay with TUB. Prior to visiting the country, resources for finding accommodation and cheaper travel fares were supplied which helped budgeting. A structured course was provided which detailed the differences in culture in Germany which was very useful in everyday life. While it was not possible to use the university’s library facilities, a space for work was prepared for use courtesy of my supervisor, Sangyoung Park. Meetings and collaborative work were seamless and flexible which worked well for all parties.

From the beginning stages of the scholarship the coordination team has been punctual and communicative of any updates or issues that occurred during our stay. They have been extremely accommodating given the Covid 19 pandemic as well as the recent cyber-security attack experienced by the host university. Due to the cyberattack, I was unable to receive the stipend with no guaranteed date for when it would arrive. The initial warning given was that at the worst case scenario the stipend would arrive sometime in August, which in my case would cause financial problems. The coordination team was fully transparent in what had occurred, and after asking for assistance they had immediately contacted the financial department within the host university to prioritise their request. Once pushed, the financial department was quick to reply and not soon after the issue was resolved.

Aside from academic endeavours, the scholarship has given me an opportunity that I will never forget. As a result of this scholarship, I have been able to live a very different life outside of family in a new and exciting place. A lot of freedom was given in the scholarship to explore the city as well as myself. However, more emphasis on connections with the other scholars could be placed. Covid 19 has limited the possibilities of meeting up, but this can be improved upon for future scholars. I have been able to broaden my horizons on the wider world and learn of the diverse cultures that thrive in Berlin. As a result, I have changed a lot about myself, and for that, I cannot thank the team enough.

I value this experience deeply, and I am hoping for the success of the Ide3a team and the other scholars in their futures. A very special thank you to both Johannes and Lisa for doing their utmost to make my trip as comfortable and easy as possible!