Research:

This week I explored printing with the new hydrogel. It works splendidly as a printing material. It is easy to manipulate via the printer’s settings, and holds shape very well when under no stress. 

Naturally 😉

However, its mechanical properties are very poor. If you press it with your finger, it squishes and smears like it’s mud. This is why I will this week attempt to add metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to the gel composition that will enhance its mechanical properties. Now that the end is in sight, I’m looking forward to gathering final data to use in the writeup.

Printing the shape of a Starship with the translucent gel. Because space, of course.

Dr. Moser’s Workshop:

At the final meeting, we gave our presentations describing our experience in South Korea, and critiqued and praised each other for content and delivery. From this, I think I will be able to portray my time abroad very well. Looking back, these workshops were particularly helpful in identifying my strengths and flaws as a speaker, and how to improve my abilities. Thus, I believe I now have greater potential to be a good communicator, and I’m sure this will serve me well.

Excursions:

A friend of Matt’s lent us bikes, so I’ve been going on bike rides, covering much more ground than I otherwise would on foot. The riverside paths are especially fun to ride down. It also let me explore more of KAIST’s campus, which is very beautiful.

A crane spotted along the river…

This weekend I did another hike, at Daedunsan Mountain. This one was very steep, with such a long unbroken incline that I wondered how far I could continue. It was so worth it, though. The trail led to the Geumgang Gureum Bridge (also known as the Cloud Bridge). It’s notable because it swings. The bridge is built on cables (thankfully, very thick ones), so it swings and bends as you walk over it. I’ve found that I’m not too concerned about heights… although I’m not sure the same can be said for my buddies. That makes shaking the bridge even more fun!

The Cloud Bridge (with the Samseon Overpass in the distance). It’s a long way down…

After the first bridge, it was a short climb to the Samseon Overpass. This was a near vertical staircase (also on cables) bridging the gap between two rock columns. It’s really high, and definitely easier to fall off!

View from the Samseon Overpass. Looking at the center left, you can see the Cloud Bridge.

At the peak was the highest elevation in Korea I’ve climbed to yet, at 878 meters. It was a stunning view from the top, and I have no regrets about the suffering it took to get there. After we got back to Daejeon, our friend showed us gamjatang, a pork bone soup. It was very delicious!

View from the top of Daedunsan Mountain.