Per September 2016, thirteen students start with their internship in Minas Gerais. The group consists of students from Avans University of Applied Sciences HZ University of Applied Sciences and VHL University of Applied Sciences. They conduct research at UFMG, UFV, PUC Minas and a newcomer: FUMEC.
The number of students who do an internship in Brazil via Living Lab is increasing every year. Also more professors from both countries are involved. According to Erik Lammers, project manager at the Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy (Avans/HZ) is networking through student and staff mobility crucial to get a proper network. "Last year and a half, 30 students went to Brazil for an internship or graduation assignment. Those students use their knowledge, which they have obtained during their studies in the Netherlands, during their project. Also they bring brack knowledge from Brazil. This enriches our curriculum and individual personal and professional development. At this moment the interest of Brazilian students to come to the Netherlands is growing. Hopefully these students can also do some research projects with our universities, like Avans, HZ, HAS and VHL. It is good that we join forces and therefore these students can get the opportunity for personal development in an international environment as well."
Rosemarie de Ruiter, Chemistry student at Avans University of Applied Sciences, is currently doing research at UFMG. "I am doing research on the synthesis of biodiesel from non-edible plants. The aim is to optimize the synthesis process, since this is important for the development of bio-diesel that is not in competition with the food supply. Ultimately, we hope that this research gives companies the tools to implement it in practice and to commercialize."
Each year the number of students who go to Brazil increase. This is due to the interest from the students, but also by the range of projects. Through the exchange of students, we can know each other better and exchange experiences in the areas of applied research topics and curriculum building.
The evaluation surveys showed that students scored hear their experience in Brazil, namely with a 7. Also 91% of students recommend other students to do also an internship or graduation project in Brazil. Furthermore scored supervision by the Brazilian, the student life in Belo Horizonte and Viçosa, events organized by Living Lab and housing excellent. Unfortunately scored working facilities, such as laboratories and installations reasonable to poor.
Most of the students who went to Brazil study at Avans University of Applied Sciences (46%). HZ University of Applied Sciences was responsible for 27% of the outgoing students. VHL University of Applied Sciences sent unfortunately less students to Brazil compared with the others. The most important reasons for this is that this university is less than one year member of the consortium.
When we look at the origins of the students notice that it is a diversity of nationalities. The reason is that both offer Avans, HZ and HAS international training in the field of Environmental Engineering and Chemistry. Of course, the Dutch nationality is the most common. Moreover, the majority of the other nationalities from Europe.
Most of the students do research at UFMG. Departamento de Engenharia Sanitária e Ambiental (DESA) and Laboratório de Ensaios de Combustíveis (LEC) are the most imporant departments from UFMG which participate in Living Lab. UFV participates through their Laboratório de Celulose e Papel, Laboratório de Engenharia Sanitária e Ambiental (LESA), Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. PUC Minas is working together in the field of Biofuels, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Water Technology. FUMEC is officially not a partner yet.
To read the personal blogs of the students, please click here.