“Start looking for a project as soon as possible!”

For her bachelor in Nanoscience and Technology Paula Maynou Rivas did research projects on optics and on brain cancer, but for the Science and Business Management research project she wanted something out of the lab – and found it. Her advice: start looking for project as soon as possible!

Paula’s research concerns determining the leakage of gas (methane) in Amsterdam, by driving through the city in a VW van in which they have installed all the measuring equipment. Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas. In the Netherlands it is still used a lot for heating and cooking. She simply found the project on the website of the research group.

Her project is part of a larger research programme a PhD student works on. He already did measurements in Utrecht and Hamburg. Apart from collecting data, she worked on writing the code in Matlab to process all the data. Also evaluation of the method is part of the project.

“I had never studied atmospheric chemistry, so in the beginning I was a bit quiet, waiting for my supervisor to tell me what to do. During the project I have become more outgoing. Every week I give a presentation and discuss the results with the PhD student and my 2 supervisors. I have never had to do that before but it’s really nice. They are really on top of things and I like that, it puts some pressure on it.”

Finally, she has one more piece of advice: “Start writing as soon as possible. I have already written the introduction and that really helps to structure your project.”