Monday, June 1, 2015

First day in the lab! 

At 9:00am there was an orientation for the NBIC REU scholars at the IHouse. The presentation detailed the IHouse rules and procedures and highlighted upcoming opportunities to engage in their international/cultural programs. Following the IHouse orientation, our NBIC group proceeded to Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter and its adjacent Penn Singh Center for Nanotechnology. 

The Singh Center for Nanotechnology is a new facility which was completed 2013. I remember presenting in a finished part of the building when participating in the 2012 and 2013 NanoDay@Penn NBIC events. (Yes, that is me on their 2014 web advertisement.)

Dr. Kristin Field, the head of the NBIC REU program, led us in an ice breaker session followed by employment paperwork; we will receive our Penn IDs tomorrow. We had a welcoming lunch with members of our lab groups. Mostly postdocs and Ph.D students attended the luncheon. I was very happy that my lab director Dr. Drndic joined us along with Ph.D student Paul - one of my mentors for this summer. Adrien - a Masters student from the French exchange with the NBIC - is also researching in the Drndic lab. During lunch, Dr. Drndic began to discuss our projects with us; we will learn our project specifics at the Drndic group's lab meeting tomorrow. 

Following lunch, Adrien and I walked with Paul to the Drndic Lab where we met our other mentor Will, who mentored Paul when he was a summer REU intern in the Drndic lab. Will gave us a tour of the labs where we will perform our experiments. I am especially eager to experiment in the clean room at the Singh Center for Nanotechnology. With Will, we received a more in depth tour of the labs and explanations of equipment used in them. 

After our tour, we returned to the Drndic Lab, met more members of the lab and received their unique lab and Philly tips. Paul gave us keys to the lab along with Laboratory Notebooks. I look forward to writing new techniques and recording data in mine.

The NBIC REU scholars joined with other School of Engineering and Applied Science REU scholars for a nice dinner. On the way home from the lab, we were caught in a light rain. Despite the wetness, the Penn campus still looked beautiful as we strolled along the Penn pathway. 

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