Hejdå Sverige, vi ses igen!

For those of you that are not Swedish, the title says: Goodbye Sweden, we’ll see each other again. After nearly 3 years living in Gothenburg, the time has nearly come to move on. In a bit less than 1 month, I’ll exchange Gothenburg for Leuven (Belgium). I will start working at imec again, now as “Photonics design engineer”. In that sense, I’ll be coming home again, even though the project will be totally different from my Ph. D. work in imec, or my post-doc work in Sweden. I’ll start working in the team of Xavier Rottenberg, in close collaboration with my former supervisor Pol Van Dorpe. The project is part of imec’s life science program, which is briefly outlined in the movie below.

The main idea is to use nanotechnology in order to come to new miniaturised lab-on-chip devices, which in future will lead to a dramatic reduction in health care spendings, while at the same time obtaining test results much faster than with current technologies. Needless to say that I like this challenge a lot, and look forward to coming home again in Leuven.

In fact, I must admit that the last 3 years have really flown by, which means that I truly enjoyed the time in Gothenburg. Therefore, I want to take the time to say thank you to quite some people that have been an important part of my life in the last few years.

Let’s start from the start, the reason why I moved to Sweden, being my job at Chalmers. Thanks a lot to my boss Sascha Dmitriev for offering me the opportunity to be part of his research team within the division of BioNanoPhotonics of Mikael Käll. I want to thank everybody in the department for the fun times we’ve had, both on the job and at social side activities. Apart from that, I also want to take the time to say thank you to some of our collaborators within Chalmers, most importantly the work done together with Eva Olsson. At the same time, I want to thank our hardcore magnetism friends from the Åkerman lab, namely Johan Åkerman and Randy Dumas, who were always there to help us out when our magnetism knowledge was to limited.

I was also fortunate enough to be involved in quite a few international collaborations, and I would like to thanks everybody involved. First of all, I want to thank everybody in the PhotoNVoltaics project, you are with too many to address every one of you individually. Also, I want to thank our friends Paolo Vavassori and Nicolò Maccaferri from NanoGUNE in San Sebastian, for the very fruitful collaboration. The same goes for my predecessor at Chalmers, Valentina Bonnani and her colleague Francesco Pineider in the university of Firenze. Also, I would like to thank many more collaborators from all around the world: Ilya Razdolski (Radboud University Nijmegen), Maxim Shcherbakov (Moscow State University, Russia), Niels Verellen (Imec, Belgium), Tavakol Pakizeh (K. N. Toosi University, Tehran, Iran), Daniel Higley (Stanford University, USA), Anke Sanz-Valesco (Chalmers, Sweden), Casey Miller (University of South Florida), and probably a few more that I forget at this time…

Obviously, there was also plenty of time to relax, and that often involved a few pints in the two Dubliner pubs at Kungsportsplatsen and Järntorget, where I made many, many, many friends. I want to thank everybody at Dubs for always making me feel welcome, you were my second home during the last 3 years. Now that we’re on the subject of Dubs, this immediately brings me to my freelance stagehand job at The Gothenburg Crew, with whom I enjoyed a lot of nice working nights over the past few years. Thanks in particular to Kevin for getting me into the crew, and arranging me a spot on the shows that I really didn’t want to miss (Metallica, Roger Waters, Volbeat, In Flames to just name a few). Also born – or should I say reborn? – at Dubs is our dart team The Assassins, with whom I spent so many lovely evenings. So thanks to our “manager” Scouse Steve, Gary – Shrek – McKiernan, Gerry – Gandalf – Lions, Gerrard – Gerry Jr. – O Callaghan, Davey G (THE best barman in town), Aidan and Andy. Hope to see the lot of you in Lommel and Edinburgh for some more Euro-League games, and I’ll promise I’ll bring the Belgian team over to Gothenburg next summer 😉

Oh, and before I forget: I couldn’t leave Sweden without throwing a party, so mark your calendar for the 9th of May if you want to join for a few beers and some good craic. (Check Facebook or your mail for more details ;-))