On May 9 2017, all the SPOMAN Open Science students left the laboratories for an afternoon and went to Odense. In Odense one of the SPOMAN Open Science collaborators, NEWTEC, is located. This trip was intended to let the students experience one of the SPOMAN Open Science companies first hand. The students were invited to learn more about what NEWTEC are doing and how the open science projects fit into the innovation and research in this company.
Through talks on different applications, setups, and reseacrh results, the students were introduced to the diverse areas of research covered in the NEWTEC laboratories. Both students and the engineers from NEWTEC engaged in discussion on the science and projects, applications and alternative solutions were suggested and discussed. One of the projects in the project catalogue for 2017/2018 concerns building of an open source air STM (scanning tunneling microscope). This project has already been started at NEWTEC and the present stage of the open source air STM was presented for all the students to see and investigate. All the students have been introduced to the therory and use of an STM during their education but none of the students had been involved in designing, building and coding an open source STM. The project of building an open source air-STM clearly appealed to the student, they were ready to build one for their homes as well. But besides the fascination of building your own advanced characterization tools, the discussion of the project also let to a common agreement that it was important for the quality of science and productdevelopment, that everybody could acces advanced equipment as an STM.
The students visited all the different laboratories found at NEWTEC. On a guided tour through the laboratories Bjarke Jørgensen (head of R&D) shared stories and examples on how the laboratories were used and why they were important for the research and innovation on NEWTEC. And the laboratories had a broad range – from building of prototypes to production of graphene from potatoes. NEWTEC are involved in many university collaborations besides the SPOMAN Open Science collaboration and students are invited to take part in the research during their education. Some of these projects were presented to the SPOMAN students and the students were invited to ask questions and come up with suggestions on how to approach different challenges.
Some of the current SPOMAN Open Science projects are directly linked to research done at Newtec. The students involved in these projects were thus presented with a great opportunity to discuss results, interpretations, and applications with an industrial partner.
It was very inspiring to get a first-hand impression on how industrial challenges could be solved by using basic research and theoretical knowledge.