Research and Workshop:

This week’s research focused on testing the hydrogel in various print configurations. The nozzle size (gauge), printer pressure, and print speed can all be varied. I am testing three nozzle gauges. I print 18 samples for each gauge as I vary the pressure and speed. 

The 3D printer hard at work!

Afterward, I gather the glass slides with the samples on them and go measure the width of the lines I printed onto them under a microscope. This is very tedious, but necessary to solving the problem of printing the gel accurately. Having finished the test series, I will now plot and analyze the data. The graph I will produce will enable us to easily tailor the printer’s settings to suit our needs!

A stack of completed prints!

We continue to develop our elevator pitches in Dr. Moser’s workshops. Both times that I’ve presented mine, he provided helpful feedback so as to make it sound more natural and meaningful. I have a tendency to write very differently than I speak, so last time I showed up with my pitch, it didn’t really sound like me and I found myself stumbling. Dr. Moser and the other scholars noticed and suggested how I might correct this. Rather than sounding like a talking resume, I’m focusing on being more warm, conversational, and confident in my elevator pitch. 

Excursions:

This weekend the whole cohort converged on Seoul. With new Covid restrictions looming due to an outbreak in the city, we made the most of what we could do. For our first outing, we visited the Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and the Secret Garden. Kervin, Matt, and I dressed up in traditional Korean outfits for the occasion. The garden was very large and beautiful. No wonder the king would hang out there!

The best photo I could find of just us three in Korean clothes ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Later, we visited the Namsan Seoul Tower (남산서울타워), needing to use a cable car to even reach the bottom of the structure. Located on top of a mountain, the tower provides one of the best views of Seoul. Even from there, the capital city still stretches as far as the eye can see. Also, almost every railing along the mountaintop platform is smothered in brightly colored locks that couples put there when they visit!

The view from the top of the tower, with the setting sun peeking through the clouds!

Some of the locks contrasted against the city below.

Lastly, we got ramyun noodles and had dinner along the Han River. The next day we had lunch at a nice restaurant and visited a vinyl record store before Matt and I headed back to Daejeon. Despite being completely exhausted, only a couple of hours after arriving, I saw Black Widow with an American friend, closing out a fantastic weekend.

Seoul at night.