Blog post

Wednesday, May 18th

Published on
May 3, 2016

EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne)

Early Wednesday morning, birds are singing and a ray of sunshine sneaks through the curtains. Its 6:30, time to wake up and get breakfast. The desserts of yesterday are waiting for the hungry wolfs! At 7:45 sharp, we left the hostel and started walking to the tram to move towards EPFL campus were we arrived comfortably early due to strict planning, which allowed a touristic detour to the amazing Rolex Library.

After visiting the Rolex library we arriving at our destination; Viviane Boulinard Rouelle introduced us to EPFL (École Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne) and innovation park. Francesco Stellacci introduced us to his group: Supramolecular NanoMaterials and Interfaces Laboratory (SuNMiL) and talked about the future food demand and grand challenges in order to make it possible to feed all humans in 2050, with special focus on food 1.3 billion tons of food waste. Examples of his work are the Solar Sharing Greenhouse, body sensors to register intake and the kitchen of the future were robots will prepare the food. The next presentation (Esther Amstad) was about using drops to shape materials and her group mainly focusses on microfluidics in order to study amorphous nanoparticles, emulsions and more specifically encapsulated emulsions.

It was time for Remko to introduce the food process engineering group and he mentioned similarities in amount of students, PhDs and ‘researchers’; together with our research aim. Next was Bjoern Schulte who investigates how to improve food packaging with carbon-nano structures (sheets) which that can modify properties like permeability to increase storage time. And Matthew Charles Reid studies (methylated) arsenic in Rice, why it got there and differences between different continents. The next presentations before lunch were given by Eline, Fiona and Meinou, who had to talk extra quickly in order to be on time for lunch! Everybody was looking forward to the lunch because we had delicious pizza and super nice desserts (tiramisu and a Portuguese delight).

With extremely full bellies we walked to Nestlé’s Institute of Health Sciences, were Jackie Chan (Kei Sakamato) explained us about their work on genetics, diet and health. Patrick Descombes and Julian XX took us into their lab were they explained how they sequences human, coffee and bacterial genomes. We had to run to arrive at Swiss punctuation at the SMaL lab and we got a tour around their facilities and how they investigate nanoparticles and emulsion encapsulation. In contrast to FPE they also produce their own emulsifiers and microfluidic chips! Back at the presentation room, we had 4 more presentations from FPE: Anti-Victor, Jaap, Patricia and Kelly talked about their subject and finished the session at EPFL. Where Adrie was waiting for us to take us for a 3hr drive to the German/Swiss border to a lovely little place called Lorrach.

Arrived just in time for dinner, we had typical German pasta with a lovely schnitzel and as dessert a chocolate donut! Part of the group fancied a walk in nature while the other preferred their 2 euro beer. This was especially appreciated after partying in downtown Lausanne. Four beers and some games of Ping-Pong later, Pina, Juliana and Patricia did still not return from their evening walk. Apparently, they visited an elderly home. They arrived perfectly in time for the last round of beers, at 21:57.